International Paruresis Association, Inc.

Rating: 4.79 stars   96 reviews

Issues: Mental Health, Health

Location: P.O. Box 21237 Catonsville MD 21228 USA

Mission: The International Paruresis Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to cure Paruresis (shy bladder) and improve the lives of all people affected.
Target demographics: Anyone and everyone suffering from paruresis.
Geographic areas served: Worldwide
Programs: Shy Bladder Center, Worldwide IPA Support Groups, and Prisoners with Paruresis
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

IPA helps people recover from paruresis. Paruresis (also known as "shy bladder" or "bashful bladder") is a social phobia which makes it difficult or impossible for the sufferer to urinate in the proximity of other people, such as in a public restroom.

Paruresis may extend to private places away from the sufferer's home, such as the home of a friend. This phobia makes it almost impossible for those suffering from it to enjoy the social activities of daily living that non sufferers, most people, take for granted, such as enjoying an evening at a concert, bar or restaurant with friends and family.

Currently, I am 65 years old, educated and moderately successful by most standards. I had gradually become nearly disabled socially from paruresis, beginning in my late twenties. In 2006, I discovered IPA by happenstance. Subsequently I enrolled in my first IPA workshop which was programmed to help sufferers of paruresis to recover: that is, to help them to learn to urinate in the proximity of others, in public restrooms and in other "difficult" situations, such as in the bathroom of an airplane.

The results of the workshop were almost immediate: I was able to go in a public restroom! It was not easy, but I could go. Through continued practice and workshop participation, I have recovered from paruresis to an extent that I never believed would be possible. It is not perfect. I still cannot urinate as I imagine a non sufferer does, but i am no longer a hostage to paruresis.

Urinating in an airplane bathroom was perhaps the most "phobic" situation for me. Since working intensively with IPA, I have travelled extensively. I was able to use the bathroom on the airplane to China and Africa. I have travelled to Central and South America and Europe as well.

I cannot say too many positive things about IPA, the program, the workshops and the people. It has helped me to live a better, happier, more productive life by helping me to recover from the social phobia of paruresis.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The IPA has had an extremely beneficial impact on my life and the lives of many others. The physical and mental anguish associated with paruresis or shy bladder can be a major quality of life problem for individuals with this condition. The IPA offers support for dealing with shy bladder through website posting board, workshops, publications, and local support groups. Thank you IPA for the great work you are providing.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have suffered from Shy Bladder for the majority of my life and discovered the IPA several years ago. This organization has been very helpful in helping me overcome this disorder and I eventually joined the organization to help others. It is life changing to meet other people who have dealt with the same issues and find out you are not alone.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

This organization changed my life 15 years ago. I cannot adequately extol its virtues and importance . After 15 years of donating to their organization, I decided to take a position on the board to help further this crucial cause. My only regret is that they didn't exist 50 years ago when I needed their help and insights even more. My life would have been incredibly improved. But.....much better late then never. My son has avoided the agony of paruresis because of the IPA. And this for me (and him) is truly a godsend!!!!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I found this organization about 15 years ago. It changed my life and allowed me to conquer paruresis. I am so grateful for the help this organization has given me that I am now a board member. I want to help other people get help for paruresis and have the life changing experience that I have had.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Have been a board member with IPA for 7 years, truly a great organization. The workshops are scheduled many times a year and are the main vehicle through which IPA helps its members. Also works on legislation to promote alternative drug testing for paruretics. Steve has been extremely devoted and the amount of progress we are able to achieve with the resources we have is amazing!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I am 24 years old and have been suffering from Paruresis since I can remember. It is difficult to pin point what triggered this condition but my difficulty urinating in public really became a problem during high school and college with large public functions and such. As most people with paruresis will explain, and I am not different, you think that you're the only one with this problem. It forces you to "avoid" the issue, making life out in public a very difficult thing. One spring day a year ago I decided enough was enough and did a google search for shy bladder. I had heard of the problem shy bladder but didn't think it was real, just that something was wrong with me only. To my surprise and amazement I found the International Paruresis Association website and the shy bladder center workshops and forum. I was so excited! Such as weight off my shoulders. I took the first step and called the office and spoke with Yvonne, who made me feel so comfortable. We spoke for a bit and she filled me in on shy bladder workshops. I quickly signed up for my first in Boston last June. What began as a pretty nerve wrecking experience (actually exposing myself fully for the first time) turned into one of the most beneficial experiences of my life. I have been to one additional workshop since then, only due to a busy schedule. I would go to them once a week if I could. But I have made numerous friends through the IPA including Dr. Steve Soifer who is an amazing person for helping so many people with this condition. Everything that IPA does has been a blessing for me. I am currently on the Board of Directors in a minor role but hope to help this organization improve in the future because I truly cannot describe in words how much it has helped my life. I recommend getting involved with this organization for anyone who suffers from paruresis, you won't regret it. Overall this is the most beneficial non-profit organization out there. This phobia is so unique and can be so crippling to sufferers that the continuation of the IPA is so, so important. Whether or not we win an award, the benefits of this organization needs to be made public. As well as the truth of this condition that people with paruresis are not alone and the IPA is here to help.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

monthly board members and IPA workshop sessions

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Improvements are of course present, but it takes time and money. Things we hope to accomplish are outlined and are being worked on through monthly meetings by the Board of Directors.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I've been involved with IPA for about ten years now, and it is truly a life-changing organization. I joined mainly because I wanted to travel but my fear kept me from doing so. I now have a passport and am a frequent traveler.

I've attended two IPA workshops for shy bladder treatment. They are unlike anything any doctor, therapist, or psychiatrist has ever done for me. It is really amazing to be in a room full of people who know the same shame you experience. The knowledge provided at these workshops and on IPA's website is diverse- people explore the many psychological and medical methods for how they are able to move beyond this painful condition, but the actual practice that occurs at the workshops really is powerful and would be difficult to recreate at any doctor's office.

IPAs objectives are equally diverse- not only helping people recover from shy bladder, but working to change drug-testing laws to accommodate paruretics; and working to influence public restroom access and design to accommodate paruretics. There is just so much to be accomplished by this organization, and it's the only one like it out there!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

all the time- at work, while traveling, shopping, in other people's homes. I try to remind myself everyday, when I'm able to urinate somewhere where I previously could not, how great it is to recover from something so debilitating.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase funding and awareness. IPA is a small organization with a small budget, but it needs to be on the radar of every urologist in the country .

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Likely

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

Had Shy Bladder for all of my life, learned to live with it although it altered the way I did everything, from go to a ballgame to going to a movie.... I found the Shy Bladder Institute and through workshops and following their advice, was able to deal with the issue. The support from the group was incredible and they've helped me with this life longdisability.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The changes in my life have been incredible - as a result of their support

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-6-01

 
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