Urophobia is the irrational fear of urine. Someone suffering from this condition can expect to endure a very high amount of anxiety at the mere thought of urine or of someone urinating. Someone with urophobia may be fearful of urine in general, including their own, or they may only be fearful of other people’s urine. Their fear may be rooted in a deep concern of getting contaminated or getting the other person’s germs in some way.
Nevertheless,, it is important to note that someone suffering from urophobia does not also mean that they then suffer from mysophobia too, which is the fear of germs. Although there is a clear connection between these two different phobias as most people try to refrain from coming into contact with both of these things, they are indeed two distinct fears.
With this being said, it still does not omit the possibility that someone can have both of these conditions at once insofar as they have the right genetics, among other things.
Someone suffering from urophobia may refuse to use public restrooms in businesses due to their intense fear of urine. This can lead to bladder problems insofar as they were in a situation were they needed to use the restroom, but they were hours away from their home. Nevertheless, if someone with urophobia where to use a public restroom, they may go to obsessive lengths to ensure that the area around them is as clean as possible by excessively using cleaning products ad nauseam.
Symptoms of Urophobia
Anxiety will be the main symptom experienced with someone suffering from urophobia. In some extreme cases, their anxiety may be so intrusive and extreme that they may even endure full blown panic attacks as a result of their fear of urine. Although this will likely not occur every time someone’s urophobia becomes tested, panic attacks are likely to occur somewhat frequently with people suffering from phobias nonetheless. Depending on the severity of their urophobia, they may even need to be hospitalized as a result of their panic attack. However, this will vary from person to person.
It may also not be uncommon for someone with urophobia to also have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) or vice versa due to the fact that people with OCD are known to be obsessed with the cleanliness of things. This is not to say that both of these conditions are synonymous with one another, but rather that someone suffering from one of these conditions may make the transition to developing both of them insofar as they have the right genetics to do so.
Below, you will see some more common symptoms of this phobia:
- Anxiety when thinking of urine
- Anxiety when being in a public restroom
- Anxiety when urinating
- Avoiding public restrooms
- Unable to cope with their fear of urine
- Increased heart rate, sweating, and shakiness
- May experience panic attacks
Causes of Urophobia
There are no known causes of urophobia. However, genetics and one’s environment may both play very significant roles. For example, someone who has a family history of mental illness may also have an increased chance of developing urophobia. This may be due to them also having a genetic predisposition to developing mental illness in general. If they were to have such a genetic predisposition, then it may only require that they experience some sort of traumatic event for them to develop full blown urophobia.
Essentially, any event which was emotionally painful enough that also included urine in some capacity may be enough for someone to develop urophobia. However, such an experience does not have to occur for someone to develop this condition. Instead, they may merely find urine to be grotesque and something worthy of being terrified of. Although they may realize that their intense fear of urine is out of touch with reality, when they are in the midst of urine or when they are near a public restroom, they will likely not be so pragmatic.
Although we do not know the definitive causes of urophobia, the consensus among most mental health professionals is that both genetics and one’s environment play very significant roles in the development of virtually any given mental disorder. So, taking a closer look at these two different parameters may shed some light as to whether or not you may be at risk for developing urophobia.
Just as there are no definitive causes of urophobia, there are also no treatments that are specifically designed for this condition either. Be that as it may, there are indeed several different forms of treatment which can significantly help to minimize some of the symptoms that are associated with this phobia. One of these forms of treatment is called exposure therapy. With this treatment, the patient will be exposed to their fear over a given period of time. However, due to obvious ethical reasons, exposure therapy may not be a very effective way to go about treating urophobia.
With this being said, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be a much better way to treat urophobia. With CBT, the patient can expect to learn why it is that they think and feel the way they do about urine. Unveiling such knowledge about the way in which they think about their fear should significantly help them to minimize their symptoms of urophobia merely as a consequence of being more educated about how their brain works
Besides CBT, some anti-anxiety medications may also be very effective at helping to soothe some of the symptoms that are associated with urophobia. However, this is something that should first be discussed with you and your doctor to ensure that it is safe and effective to do so.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) for Urophobia
DBT is a very effective form of treatment for people struggling with emotion regulation. It is often used to treat people suffering from borderline personality disorder. Nevertheless, it can also be very advantageous for someone suffering from anxiety disorders like urophobia too. This is due to the numerous amount of coping skills you can expect to learn in a DBT group. These groups typically last about 6 months long and can have anywhere from two people to several people depending on how many join the group.
One very effective DBT skill for helping someone with urophobia is half-smiling. This technique works by having you think about that which you fear or upsets you all while slightly raising the corners of your mouth by lightly smiling, thus the term “half-smiling.” Although, it isn’t enough to just think about your fear while half-smiling, you also have to try and refrain from entertaining those painful emotions that your specific fear may evoke.
Mindfulness meditation is also heavily used in DBT and can greatly benefit someone with urophobia as it is done in a group setting, which helps to put the patient out of their comfort zone. These group mindfulness practices may include drinking warm tea to hone in on the sense of taste and tactile senses or simply focusing on the breath.
Coping ahead is another very useful DBT skill that can help someone with urophobia. With coping ahead, you will want to find a place where you can sit down quietly without distraction. Close your eyes and then think about the many different possible scenarios where you would face your specific fear and overcome it or cope with it. Doing so will help you to be much better adept at coping with your urophobia when you are actually exposed to the specific fear associated with it in real life.
Yoga for Urophobia
There are numerous different yoga poses that can substantially benefit someone who is suffering from urophobia. In part, this is due to the meditative state of mind that yoga tends to emit in those who practice it on a consistent basis. Yoga can be thought of as meditation in motion. It can help to relieve some of the anxiety associated with urophobia due to the mere fact that by engaging in yoga, your attention will be redirected to something more productive.
There are many different types of yoga that someone with urophobia can benefit from, such as hatha yoga or hot yoga, among many others. Nevertheless, regardless of the many different forms of yoga that exist, virtually all of them can help to relieve some of the stress and anxiety that is associated with urophobia.
If you have never practiced yoga before, then it may be in your best interest to take a class or watch some guided videos that can help you through each pose. Just like with meditation, the more you practice yoga, the more adept you will become at it. Besides helping you to reduce your symptoms of urophobia, you can also expect to acquire increased strength and flexibility, among other benefits.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Urophobia
CBT is a psycho-social intervention that aims to improve one’s mental health. It is a modality that is often used to treat people suffering from anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder and OCD. Someone with urophobia may also be able to benefit from CBT as well seeing as how it would allow them to have a much better understanding as to why they think and behave the way they do in relation to their irrational fears.
CBT can be immensely helpful for someone with urophobia given the sheer automaticity of their symptoms. For example, when someone with urophobia is exposed to their fear, they will almost always have an instantaneous subconscious reaction to their fear. Such a lack of introspection is likely a large part of why someone with this condition will suffer to the extent that they will. CBT can help you to take a step back and analyze your fears more deeply than you typically would.
Besides learning to be more fastidious with regards to understanding one’s specific fears, someone with urophobia engaging in CBT can also expect to learn various other skills aimed at helping to relieve the anxiety caused by their condition.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for Urophobia
MBSR is an 8-week evidence-based program that offers secular, intensive mindfulness training to help people who are suffering from anxiety, stress, depression, and other sorts of mental anguish. MBSR may be able to significantly help someone who is suffering from urophobia as mindfulness meditation has been shown to be very beneficial for anxious people. In such a structured program, someone with urophobia can expect to learn a plethora of different skills that can help them to relieve the intense anxiety that’s associated with their specific phobia.
Talk to your doctor or therapist to see if MBSR can help you to reduce the intensity of your symptoms of urophobia, as well as where to find MBSR programs in your area.
Exposure Therapy for Urophobia
As previously mentioned, exposure therapy is one of the most common ways to treat anxiety disorders such as urophobia. It can be an efficient way to help desensitize the patient to their specific fears. Be that as it may, it is imperative that the therapist implementing it on their patient is very adept at doing so. For example, if the therapist were to slightly expose someone with urophobia to their fear, then it may not be very effective as they may need a higher amount of exposure to truly trigger any sort of worthwhile change in the patient.
The same can be said for the antithesis of this scenario. If the therapist were to excessively expose someone with urophobia to their fear, then doing so could be highly counterproductive to the point to where their urophobia may become immensely worse due to the therapy alone. So, it is paramount that the therapist implementing exposure therapy for someone with urophobia has a very strong sense of just how severe their symptoms are so that they can know the level of exposure that the patient will likely be able to handle.
Reducing Caffeine for Urophobia
It is no secret that consuming large amounts of caffeine throughout the day can aid in making you more anxious. This makes sense when we look closely at how caffeine affects our body’s physiology. When we consume a high dose of caffeine, our heart will start to beat faster and we become more tense. Essentially, our body will begin to go into a “fight or flight” state of mind. Such a frame of mind is often a precursor for someone with urophobia to experience panic attacks.
So, consuming little to no caffeine throughout the day may be able to significantly help reduce your day to day anxiety. Although doing so will likely not make all of your anxiety go away, it will indeed help you to reduce any unnecessary suffering that you would have otherwise experienced if you were to consume a large amount of caffeine.
Beverages like coffee and tea are often high in caffeine, as well as some energy drinks. In fact, even some foods have caffeine in them as well, such as dark chocolate. Being more conscious of your daily caffeine consumption may help you to reduce some of the symptoms associated with urophobia.
Psychiatric Drugs for Urophobia
These types of medications aren’t only for people who suffer from depression as they can also help people suffering from anxiety disorders as well, such as urophobia. Some common antidepressants are Paxil, Zoloft, and Lexapro, among several others. These drugs may be able to help reduce some of the symptoms of urophobia.
These types of drugs are typically taken on a daily basis. They can indeed help prevent panic attacks from occurring, but they are more so used to help reduce people’s daily anxiety. Talk to your doctor to see if taking antidepressants can help to reduce your symptoms of urophobia, as well as whether or not it is safe to do so.
These types of medications are very useful to help prevent panic attacks. Such drugs can be extremely useful for people suffering from severe urophobia due to the fact that people with phobias often experience panic attacks as well. Some common anti-anxiety medications include Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin, among many others.
These types of drugs are not typically taken on a daily basis, but they may be insofar as their urophobia is severe enough. However, this is something that you should first discuss with your doctor before you decide to do so to ensure that it is safe and effective.
Exercise for Urophobia
Exercise has been shown to be extremely beneficial for people suffering from anxiety disorders, including urophobia. Specifically, cardiovascular exercise can significantly help to relieve one’s stress. This is not to say that weight-resistance training would not benefit someone with anxiety, but rather that aerobic exercise is has been shown to be more effective at releasing those feel good chemicals in the brain, such as endorphins.
According to the American Psychology Association, exercise can help to condition the mind to better cope with stressful situations. This makes sense when we take into consideration the high amount of stress that the body is put under during strenuous exercise. So, if you yourself are sedentary, then engaging in some form of aerobic exercise may be able to significantly help reduce your symptoms of urophobia by making it much easier for you to cope with the anxiety and stress that’s associated with this condition.
There are many different aerobic modalities that you can partake in to help reduce your symptoms of urophobia, such as swimming, biking, skiing, walking, and jogging. You can also acquire the many benefits of exercise by playing sports such as tennis, soccer, basketball, and racquetball, among many other sports. Engaging in some form of exercise consistently may be able to help relieve some of the pain associated with urophobia over time.
Meditation for Urophobia
There are many different forms of meditation that exists which can be very advantageous for someone suffering from urophobia. Specifically, mindfulness meditation has been shown to be quite beneficial for helping people to enter into a more equanimous state. There are many different ways with which you can implement mindfulness meditation and there are also many different meditation apps which are designed to make things as easy as possible for you.
Mindfulness has the potential to significantly help those suffering from urophobia due to how it will help one to distract themselves from their fear by refocusing their attention onto something else that does not have any sort of emotional baggage attached to it, such as by focusing on the breath for example. This is one of the most basic ways that one can meditate and be present.
For someone with urophobia in the midst of a panic attack, redirecting one’s attention to the various sensations felt when breathing can actually help to reduce the amount of mental anguish experienced during such an influx of anxiety.
To implement mindfulness meditation to help relieve one’s symptoms of urophobia, you can do so by paying close attention to the way the muscles in your abdomen and chest contract and relax with every inhale and exhale. You can spend time dwelling on how it feels as your chest expands during each inhale and how it sinks in with every exhale.
Besides focusing on your breathing, you can also focus on the sounds around you, the way your skin feels as you touch certain objects, the way foods taste, as well as the way certain aromas smell. Essentially, honing into your 5 senses can significantly help you to reduce some of the anxiety that is associated with urophobia. Also, remember that it will take a lot of practice to become an adept meditator. So, practice is key.
If you think you may be suffering from some of the symptoms of this condition, then you may benefit from therapy. Feel free to reach out to your doctor or local mental health clinic to see what your available options are and to see if there is any sort of discount or promo code available to help you with the costs of treatment, as well as if your health insurance will cover treatment costs.