Got more than a wee problem with urinating in public? You’re not ...

World

Got more than a wee problem with urinating in public? You’re not alone

Meet the sufferers of shy bladder syndrome, who would rather spend their pennies on Amazon than use a public loo

Chris Stokel Walker

When Andrew Smith was a young man, he used to have to plan out every move he made during the day so he wasn’t caught needing to pee while outside of his home. When he was in public, a constant fear would tick over in the back of his mind: the risk that he’d need to use a public bathroom, and that he’d have to pee in a urinal – and wouldn’t be able to.

“I’ve had a shy bladder all my life,” the 73-year-old chairman of the UK Paruresis Trust explains.

Paruresis is the medical term for shy bladder syndrome, a paralysing fear of urinating publicly that can, in its milder stages, cause men to stand uncomfortably next to others at urinals trying to pee, and at its worst result in sufferers being housebound for fear of needing to urinate in the presence of others...

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