Can’t Pee? 7 Tips To Overcome Pee Anxiety

Can't Pee? 7 Tips To Overcome Pee Anxiety

After a few drinks on the terrace, you urgently need to pee.

You walk towards the public toilet and see that 2 of the 3 urinals are occupied.

Reluctantly you open your fly or pants, but … you fail to empty your bladder. There is no way you can empty your bladder. pee fear!

Do you also suffer from this psychological problem? Fortunately, I have the solution to get rid of your fear of peeing.

Hint: A very special method to get rid of your fear of peeing in public is the ‘Eminem method’.

Learn how this method can help you overcome your fear of peeing faster in this article (and much more!).

Purpose of this article:  first you will get acquainted with pee anxiety or paruresis. You will find out what exactly happens with a fear of peeing and how this can have a negative impact on both your health and your daily life. You will also learn 7 simple tips to get your fear of pee under control permanently.

What is pee anxiety?

If you suffer from urination anxiety or paruresis, you will not be able to urinate in front of others or in public places.

In English this condition is called ‘shy bladder syndrome’ and actually this is a perfect name for this problem.

You are too shy to empty your bladder in front of others or in public places. Physically there is nothing wrong with you, the problem is purely psychological.

In the DSM-5, paruresis is cataloged under social phobia .

It is estimated that 15% of men and 7% of women have difficulty urinating in certain circumstances.

What Happens With Pee Anxiety?

Finally it’s vacation. In good spirits you leave by car to the south. After a long drive, it is urgently time to stop and have a sanitary stop.

In the gas station you look for the toilets, because the need is high. You’re in luck: you have the toilet all to yourself. Suddenly you hear footsteps and two other travelers come and stand at the urinals.

You are terrified and what you had feared happens: you block and you can no longer pee a drop…

For the form you will wash your hands and hope that it will work next time because you still have a long ride ahead of you.

If you suffer from urinary anxiety, you find it difficult to urinate in front of others or in public places. This can completely block you and – although the urge to urinate remains – you are unable to urinate at all.

Although paruresis can cause various anxiety symptoms such as palpitations, sweating or dizziness, according to a scientific report  by Kenley LJ Kuoch David W Austin and Simon R Knowles, this rarely leads to an  anxiety attack  or a  panic attack .

It is important to overcome your fear of peeing for several reasons. After all, this fear can have a major impact on your daily life and on your health.

Later in this article I will discuss the consequences of urinary anxiety in detail, but first let’s look at the causes of this psychological condition.

Causes of pee anxiety

A direct cause for paruresis usually does not exist and varies from person to person. Do these causes look familiar to you?

Bad past experiences

Suppose as a child you were required to urinate at certain times – for example before you went shopping with the family – and you were unable to do so, this may have been a trigger to develop a fear of peeing.

Just having to urinate ‘on command’ can lead to stress to urinate.

For example, if you were once laughed at by your friends as a teenager while urinating, that may have contributed to paruresis.


Peeing is often considered something very intimate. However, this is not necessary at all.

Everyone pees and most likely everyone does so in the same way – except for the differences between men and women, of course.

Urine can have a pungent odor and bystanders may hear a splashing sound while urinating. This also makes you ashamed to urinate.

Vicious circle

The danger with pee anxiety is that you quickly end up in a vicious circle.

If you are unable to urinate in front of others, the following questions may immediately come to mind:

Would he have noticed that I couldn’t pee?

Maybe he thinks I have a problem?

He’s probably wondering what I’m doing in the urinal for so long?

Concentrating on this will only increase anxiety and stress and increase the chance that you will completely lose your confidence to pee in front of others the next time you visit the toilet.

Peeing is a natural response of the body to remove waste products. Not being able to urinate can have both medical and social consequences.

Curious about what these consequences are? Then read on carefully.

Consequences of pee anxiety

The consequences of pee anxiety are often worse than you think:

Medical consequences

During the purification of the blood, urine is produced by the kidneys. Urine consists of water and waste.

If these waste products remain in the body for too long, they can be harmful to certain organs.

Urine is temporarily stored in the bladder and once it is full you feel the urge to urinate. Urination is important to remove these waste products from the body.

If you do not urinate or not often enough, this can have very negative medical consequences.

  • Bladder infections and urinary tract infections
  • Enlarged and flaccid bladder
  • Damaged kidneys

Social consequences

If you suffer from pee anxiety, you will avoid peeing outdoors as much as possible.

This often also means that you no longer dare to go to parties and if you do go there you do not dare to drink anything.

In the long run, this can ensure that you no longer go out at all and you end up in social isolation.

Your relationship can also suffer from paruresis. Not everyone understands their partner’s fear of peeing or that their partner suffers from it at all. After all, fear of peeing is often taboo.

Going out together is fun, but if you keep making excuses because you’re afraid of having to pee outdoors, your partner won’t always understand.

In some cases, people with paruresis may even experience problems at work. Holding your pee all day because you can’t pee in the toilets of the company where you work can cause you to lose the courage to go to work after a while.

Do you notice that your fear of peeing is having a negative impact on your social or professional life? Are you worried that your paruresis will harm your health in the long run?

Then you probably also realize how important it is to overcome your fear of peeing. To help you with this, I would like to give you some tips.

7 tips for not being able to pee

Tip 1: find a peeing partner

It may sound a bit strange, but a peeing partner can certainly help you overcome your fear of peeing.

The International Paruresis Association also sees a lot of advantages with a urine partner. This is actually a form of exposure therapy .

The advantage of a peeing partner is that he or she understands your problem because he or she experiences the same. This not only creates a bond, but also largely takes away the shame.

Tip 2: make as much noise as possible to get used to

If you suffer from paruresis, shame plays a big part. You can be ashamed of the smell of your urine, but just as much with the noise you make when you pee.

Keep in mind that almost everyone splashes when peeing. That’s nothing to be ashamed of at all, so don’t mess with it.

Also do this when your peeing partner is nearby. This will help you get used to the idea of ​​someone hearing you pee.

Tip 3: Practice in different locations

Try to practice with your pee partner in as many different locations as possible.

After all, after a while you will get used to peeing in a certain bar or sports club, but this does not mean that you have completely got rid of your fear of peeing.

The idea is that your fear of peeing will no longer hinder you and that you can pee at any location or in the presence of anyone.

Tip 4: Eminem method

Doctor Aziz Gazipura , a clinical psychologist at Stanford and Palo Universities, has developed a very special method for overcoming the fear of peeing. He calls it the Eminem method, after the American rapper of the same name.

He based this method on the indifference that rappers radiate wherever they go and whatever they do.

Doctor Aziz himself suffered from pee anxiety and this method has helped him overcome his paruresis for good.

The first time he used this method, he tried to pee in an airport building while listening to an Eminem song.

This song inspired him for his unique mantra: ‘I pee wherever I want, whenever I want and for whomever I want’ .

This one sentence gave him so much confidence that he overcame his fear of peeing. The next time you have to pee in front of others, try to find (or use this phrase) a mantra as well.

So that you gain enough confidence not to give up and actually pee. You will find that you get yourself under control and can handle the situation perfectly.

Tip 5: medical treatment

If you are unable to overcome your fear of peeing on your own, medical treatment can offer a solution.

The doctor

Discuss your problem with your doctor. This will reassure you that you are not alone with this problem and that it does not necessarily mean there is something physically wrong with you.

Your doctor may also prescribe medication such as anti-anxiety drugs to control your general anxiety. However, various studies show that unfortunately these often do not have the desired effect.

The neurologist

If you are a hypochondriac and not yet completely convinced that your fear of peeing has no physical cause, consult a urologist .

He will examine you extensively and confirm that not being able to urinate has no physical cause.

If you have extreme fear of peeing, he can teach you how to insert a urinary catheter to empty your bladder.

The psychotherapist

A psychotherapist can also help you get over your fear of peeing. Both cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy can be effective in treating paruresis.

Tip 6: try not to go too fast

Whichever method you use, your fear of peeing will not disappear immediately.

Keep in mind that this can take quite some time and there will be times when you notice a relapse. However, don’t give up right away!


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