Psychological Treatment for Paruresis (Bashful Bladder)
Psychiatric Clinic, Ichilov Hospital, Tel Aviv Medical Center
Paruresis, or bashful bladder, is a functional disorder that involves inability to urinate in the presence of others. The symptom meets the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for simple phobia or social phobia. Although the prevalence of paruresis is relatively high (7% in 1 study and 32% in another), there are few reports of its treatment. The treatment of choice presented in the literature is cognitive-behavioral.
We describe a multidimensional model used in treating 3 men who suffered from paruresis. Promotion of relaxation, mental imagery, paradox, gestalt, metaphor, cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic techniques were used. After 5 treatment meetings, 2 younger men, 18- and 24-years old, respectively, were able to overcome the condition, while a 50-year-old got only partial relief.