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.