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Restroom Phobia

Question:

I have a fear of the restroom. For as long as I can remember I’ve had a problem in which, when I am using the bathroom, I fear that someone is going to walk in. It happens anywhere and even when the door is locked. I want to know if anyone else has this problem and what it is called.

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Answer:

Your fear of the restroom is called “Shy Bladder Syndrome,” and the technical word is Paruresis. You will find a blog article on this topic at the following URL:

http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=28901&w=5&cn=1

It is a very common phobia but people are hesitant to discuss it, much less admit to having it. There are many self help books on the same topic.

This fear takes many forms, including the fear of: 1. Being heard urinating, 2. Feeling rushed while others are waiting, 3. Someone entering the restroom even if the door is locked, and many other variations thereof.

There are those whose symptoms are mild and there are those who are so very distracted by this fear that they never allow themselves to go anywhere too far from home so that they can get back to their private toilette. This can affect the ability and willingness to travel, visit friends and relatives, inviting people to your home, and working anywhere too far from home.

Generally, some good ways to counteract this fear is to engage in stress and anxiety reducing practices, such as: Meditation, Yoga, Deep breathing exercises, Visualization of relaxing places to visit and lots of exercise. Much of this is described in the many self help books that are available.

If self help fails, then it is necessary to see a therapist who is expert in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Behavior Modification Techniques. The old fashioned talking therapy, such as Psychodynamic Therapy, will not help with this.

Try to not feel discouraged. You are not alone with this. It affects men and women equally and it is not clear what causes this problem.

Good Luck

If a person is still unable t

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