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Thursday, January 12, 2006

My Plan to beat Shy Bladder

Before I start, a disclaimer:

This is my plan, it's something I made up for myself after reading the book. You will need to make your own plan.

One treatment that seems to have consistent results for all types of social anxiety is gradual exposure therapy, slowly expanding the situations in which you can perform "normally".

The plan is pretty simple, I'll need two things :

Bathroom Image

1. A bathroom.

Waterbottle Image

2. Water. Lots of water.

Obviously you can't practice peeing unless you need to go so the plan calls for drinking water near-continuously during the day. In order to increase my chances of success I'll only go into the bathroom when I feel truly desperate to do so. Hopefully I should be able to generate at least 5 or 6 urgent bathroom-trips this way.

My plan diverges from what is recommended in the book in that I don't have a pee-buddy (someone who is going to stand around and make me nervous) so I'm going to have to enlist the services of strangers and co-workers who happen to wander into the bathroom.

No, the idea isn't to approach people and say "Do you mind standing next to me while I try to pee." That might be an interesting experiment but it's not what I had in mind. Instead, I plan to wait in the bathroom until someone comes in and then, and only then, attempt to urinate.

I'm going to start by trying to go in a stall with the door closed but unlocked. If when I reach the bathroom people are already in the stalls or at the urinals I will attempt to go immediately, otherwise I'm going to have to wait until someone comes into the bathroom.

If I fail to go before the others in the room leave, I stop trying and wait until the next person comes in.

When (and if) I do manage to pee I'm going to aim straight for the water to make as much noise as possible. I'm tempted to add a few loud "Ahhs" of relief but maybe that would be too much for this plan.

Making noise is important because part of the Shy Bladder mindset is unreasonable thinking that others are noticing your performance and judging you for it.

If I can do this 3 times, I'll try to graduate to a greater challenge.

Further Reading :

Read about how this plan worked out.

Read more about graduated exposure therapy.

Read about my progress after the first month.

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