“It’s been like living like a monster in a cage, a caged animal, for the past 50 years of my life,” said Bill. “It’s affected every aspect of my life, from childhood to adulthood.”
“It was making me miserable,” said Richard. “I can’t enjoy the things I want to.”
“It destroyed the relationship I had with my father; it destroyed the relationship I had with friends,” said Russell. “It destroyed my ability to go out and participate in athletics.”
The unnamed “it” is paruresis, and in an era when it seems every possible human condition is regularly discussed in public, most readers are no doubt unfamiliar with the term. Also known as “bladder shyness,” paruresis is the inability to urinate in public bathrooms, or even in a private bathroom while others may be somewhere nearby.
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