[Shy bladder syndrome]

Riv Psichiatr. Jul-Aug 2013;48(4):345-53. doi: 10.1708/1319.14632.
[Article in Italian]


Paruresis is the inability to urinate in situations where there is perception of scrutiny, or potential scrutiny, by others. According to DSM-5, paruresis is classified as social phobia.

Aim: The present study aims at offering a clinical description of the disorder in a sample of paruretics voluntarily recruited among users registered on an Italian website dedicated to people suffering from this disorder (www.paruresis.it).

Methods: Data were collected through a set of questionnaires published online, including assessment and screening measures for paruresis (Paruresis Checklist), generalized social phobia (Mini-SPIN) and depression (Beck Depression Inventory).

Results: 65 participants showed clinically relevant symptoms of paruresis, as suggested by a PCL score above the threshold. Mean age was 28 ys (SD= ± 7.75 ys); most of participants were male (87.7%; N=57). Although gender differences in the clinical manifestations of the disorder appear limited, the variable mostly connected to the severity of paruresis is the presence of a further diagnosis of generalized social phobia.

Discussion: Paruresis is a clinical condition associated with high level of distress on which, however, there is limited knowledge among mental health professionals.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Assessment
  • Phobic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Phobic Disorders / psychology*
  • Quality of Life
  • Sampling Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Syndrome
  • Toilet Facilities
  • Urinary Retention / diagnosis
  • Urinary Retention / psychology*