Frequently Asked Questions

This document is provided for free, but wouldn’t be possible without the help of many volunteers and contributing members of IPA. If you find the material helpful, please consider making a donation to IPA so we can further our efforts in helping those with paruresis.

The information given in this document is not intended as a substitute for therapy or medical advice from a professional. IPA recommends that anyone seeking help for paruresis obtain professional advice before and during a treatment program.

Click on one of the following questions to jump to the answer.  The questions are organized so that one or two are covered on a page, making printing easier if you only need a portion of the FAQ.  If you would rather read or print the questions from a long document that includes all of them, click here (PDF).


Q: How do you pronounce “paruresis?”

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Q: Is this condition mental, physical, or something else?

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Q: What kinds of treatment are available?

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Q: I’m facing a urine drug test for employment, what can I do?

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Q: I’m facing a urine drug test in prison, for probation, or related to a criminal/civil judgment.  What can I do?

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Q: How important is it to know how this condition originated?

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Q: How long does it take to recover?

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Q: What are my chances of recovering fully?

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Q: What can I do to maximize my chances of recovering?

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Q:  Are there other disorders that may be present with paruresis that I need to know about?

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Q: I’m a woman, is there anything different about paruresis for women to know?

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Q: I’m gay, is there anything different about paruresis for me to know about?

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Q: Should I tell others about my paruresis?

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Q:  I am a parent of a school-age child with paruresis, what can I do for my child?

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Q:  I am thinking of joining the military, what kind of barrier will paruresis be for me?

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Q: I am a student in high school or college, how can I recover?

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Q: I have limited income, what can I do to get treatment?

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Q: What books do you recommend for learning about paruresis and recovery?

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Q:  Is my diet a factor in paruresis? Can I help my recovery by changing it?

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Q: I am taking an airline trip, how can I get through it?

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Q: How does alcohol affect paruresis?

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Q:  I’ve lost my job (or employment offer) due to being unable to provide a urine sample. What can I do?

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Q: Is it important to let my doctor know about my paruresis?

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Q: What percentage of the population has paruresis?

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Q: What causes paruresis?

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Q: Does paruresis put me at risk for other problems?

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Q: What does a “medical screen” mean?

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Q: What is the breath-holding technique? Does it work for everyone?

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Endnotes:

[i] Enoch, Mary-Anne M.D. and David Goldman, M.D. “Genetic origins of anxiety in women: a role for a functional catechol-O-methyltransferase polymorphism,” Psychiatric Genetics 13.1(2003): 33-41.

[ii] Zhang, Xiaodong, Raul R. Gainetdinov, Jean-Martin Beaulieu, Tatyana D. Sotnikova, Lauranell H. Burch, Redford B. Williams, David A. Schwartz, K. Ranga R. Krishnan, and Marc G. Caron. “Loss-of-Function Mutation in Tryptophan Hydroxylase-2 Identified in Unipolar Major Depression.” Neuron 45 (2005): 11-16.

[iii] Allen, T.D. “Psychogenic Urinary Retention.” Southern Medical Journal 65.3(1972): 302-304.

[iv] Hambrick, James P. MA, Justin W. Weeks, BA, Gerlinde C. Harb, MS and Richard G. Heimberg, PhD. “Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Social Anxiety Disorder: Supporting Evidence and Future Directions.” CNS Spectrums 8.5 (2003): 373-381.

[v] Liebowitz, Michael R. “Social anxiety disorder: importance and awareness of treatment.” Primary Care Psychiatry 9.3 (2004):  95–104.

[vi] Kyrouz, Elaina M. Ph.D. and Keith Humphreys, Ph.D. “A Review Of Research On The Effectiveness Of Self-Help Mutual Aid Groups – Part 1.” Mental Help Net. Oct 24, 2001
http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=500&cn=91

[vii] Gregory M. Herek, Ph.D. “Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation.” Sexual Orientation:  Science, Education, and Policy. University of California at Davis Psychology Department. January 23, 2005
http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_molestation.html

[viii] Groth, A. N., & Gary, T. S. “Heterosexuality, homosexuality, and pedophilia: Sexual offenses against children and adult sexual orientation.” In A.M. Scacco (Ed.), Male rape: A casebook of sexual aggressions (1982) pp. 143-152. New York: AMS Press.

[ix] “Small Employers And Reasonable Accommodation.” U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. March 1, 1999
http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/accommodation.html

[x] Kessler, Ronald C. Ph.D., Murray B. Stein, M.D., and Patricia Berglund, M.B.A. “Social Phobia Subtypes in the National Comorbidity Survey.” Am J Psychiatry 155(1998): 613-619.
http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/155/5/613

[xi] Weil, Monroe Ph.D. “A Treatment for Paruresis or Shy Bladder Syndrome.” The Behavior Therapist 24.5(2001): 108.

 

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