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International Paruresis Association, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Counseling, Health, Mental Health, Mental Health Disorders, Voluntary Health Associations & Medical Disciplines

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

Community Stories

232 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Great support for those of us with shy bladder syndrome through workshops, regional support groups, and an online forum. Well-run by dedicated people.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I suffered for years not know what was wrong with me. I thought I was the only person who had the problem. Once I discovered the IPA, I finally realized that I was not alone and I now had a term for my condition. I had been to doctors in the past and none of them did anything for me. They did not even know why I could not go while someone was in the bathroom with me. Once I discovered that I had Paruresis, I began educating the doctors in my town on this condition. I am and always will be glad for the International Paruresis Associaton.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am 42 years old and have suffered with Paruresis since I was a child. I am not sure was caused this problem. For years I suffered thinking I was the only person in the world with this problem. I even went to a local doctor, to see if he could help me. He could not help me or advise what was causing this condition. It was not till about ten years ago that I read an article in a national news paper did I realize what the condition was caused and that there was an organazion. I immediately went online to the Paruresis Association website. I finally had a name for my condition and I discovered for the first time that I was not the only person in the world who had this condition.

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization changed my life. I suffered from paruresis since I was a kid, and thought I was the only one who had it and was doomed to living a severely limited life because of it. Then about 15 years ago I went to an IPA workshop and started reading the IPA message boards and it changed everything. I can honestly say that now my condition no longer limits my life in any way. Steve who runs the organization has been there from the beginning and him & the organization are devoted to making people's lives better. And they really do. I couldn't recommend an organization to donate to more highly.

2 Ted_5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The worst part about paruresis is thinking that you are alone. Through finding the IPA site, I discovered I wasn't alone and there were people out there who could help. With the information on the website, I was able to start down the long road of recovery. I have been to two workshops, and now am a group leader. Not only have I improved, but I have seen improvement in the quality of life of others. Truly a fantastic group.

Chuck8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is the most informative site for those suffering from Paruresis. It was the site that I first discovered the name for my condition, and the efforts of those that run it have led to Urologist and others being educated about it. 5 super stars!

Client Served

Rating: 5

IPA is a groundbreaking organization for people with shy bladder syndrome. Their workshops have been truly lifechanging for me and many others, and their education and advocacy are second to none. I struggled with paruresis for over 4 decades. The first workshop I attended was a liberating experience, and I have been to many others since then, and become a volunteer with the organization. They are led by a visionary, courageous, dedicated group of people.

Client Served

Rating: 4

In my lifetime, I have suffered from various afflictions including severe depression (numerous suicide attempts) & eating disorders (below 100 lbs for three years), but the most disabling of all these was the paruresis I have had for over 40yrs. This is a disorder kept secret by both its sufferers & ignorance in our society. I believed I was alone in this afliction until I discovered the IPA some three yrs ago. I have found the IPA to be a help for the helpless- a nonprofit which is truly dedicated to helping paruretics overcome this disorder. This is a nonprofit which definitely gets results & changes lives for the better. In my opinion, the IPA is worthy to be a top-rated nonprofit, both now & in the years to come.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm 61 and I've suffered from Paruresis most of my life. For me, and milions of others who suffer from this social phobia, the IPA is the best source of information about the condition and how to cope with it. I've attended an IPA workshop and read some literature from the IPA store, including Dr. Soifer's book, Shy Bladder Syndrome. The workshop experience was extremely helpful. It showed me that I could make progress with my problem, and has given me confidence to face social situations where having a shy bladder could be uncomfortable and embarassing. I shared my notes from the workshop with my urologist and my psychiatrist, and they both appreciated the information. My urologist said, "You're educating me about this condition." With continued desentization exercises, I expect to make much more progress. IPA has given me the tools.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm one of millions of people who suffer from Paruresis or Shy Bladder Syndrome. Like most sufferers, I've spent most of my life keeping my problem a secret, too embarassed to tell anyone that often have difficulty urinating in a public restroom or whenever other people are present. Thanks to International Paruresis Association, I've learned about gradual desensitization exercise which are helping me to ameliorate my symptoms. I appreciate the knowledge and emotional support of this organization. Even doctors often lack information about Shy Bladder Syndrome. In fact, my urologist has thanked me for sharing with him the information I've received from IPA publications and workshops.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm 34 and suffered from paruresis since I was a teenager. I came across the IPA website a few years ago. Since then, I've attended a workshop and several practice sessions. The treatments I learned have had such a positive experience in my life and paruresis is rarely a concern for me anymore. The steps to recovery begin with sharing your problem with others. I kept this a secret from everyone for many years, thinking I was alone. Since discussing the problem with others, it lifted a huge amount of stress off my shoulders. Thank you IPA you have saved my life!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I suffered from from Paruresis for over 50 years, and I was sure that I was absolutely alone with this until I discovered the IPA during an Internet search. The workshop that I attended in Chicago in 2010 was the first step in my recovery process, and the graduated exposure techniques that have been constantly practicing have carried my recovery to a point where my condition now has very little affect on my daily life. This has been such a positively life-changing experience for me that I have since become a support group leader so that I can help others in turn.

Client Served

Rating: 4

The biggest thing I learned about paruresis through IPA is that I am not alone. The workshop I attended was very informative and I learned to adjust my perspective on this condition. I am not cured of paruresis but live comfortably with it and it rarely stops me for doing what I want. This level of comfort would not have been possible without IPA's assistance. I have told all of my close friends of my condition and we laugh about it. They have, in turn, told me about other friends of theirs with paruresis and I have passed the IPA website information on to them.

Client Served

Rating: 4

I have been dealing with Paruresis for about 40 years. Until my wife found an article in the newspaper discussing this phobia, I thought I was the only one with it. After attending a workshop in Las Vegas, I realized that help was possible. So I joined a group in Orange County CA and I have been particpating for several years. Ed and I formed a group in the Long Beach/Lakewood areas and we have kept it up mainly because we are the only group in the greater Los Angeles area--which is a shame. Although we have gotten a good number of participants through the website, we need more publicity in other media. The IPA program is great but we need to do a better job of getting the word out.

Donor

Rating: 5

I've suffered with Paruresis since college and it rules my life. It conditions my leisure, my work - anything outside of my home. I stumbled upon the IPA webpage about 6 years ago and I literally cried. I wasn't alone. Not only that, those with this affliction shared their experiences. The IPA has many resources to deal with Paruresis as well as a support lifeline. I proudly support their work.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was 15 years old the first memory I have of not being able to relieve myself around other people, at that time my brother and father. From that earliest memory, and every day since ( I am now almost 60 y/o) I have lived with fear of entrapment or not being able to relieve myself. Although I ended up in professional sales career where it is common at meetings to have the "5 minute" bathroom breaks with other salesmen, this phobia has had a huge negative and worrisome effect in my life. Only within the last 6 months did I become aware that others had a similar problem. I found out through IPA website. Since then, I participated in weekend session that has since brought me to a point where I can now relieve myself in public bathrooms much of the time. This is a program of continual work to overcome and I know to have ultimate victory will take some additional time. Yet, even with the small success, in my life it is huge! I encourage anyone with bashful bladder to investigate this program. If only I could have done this in my 20s' I would have saved 45 years of hell.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Having suffered for paruresis for over 30 years, finding that an organization like the IPA existed was a life-changer. For the first time, I realized I was not alone. The IPA is the only organization I'm aware of that exists to tackle this condition, which has a moderate to severe impact on a small but significant minority of the population. By providing resources such as books and workshops, spreading awareness and hosting an online discussion forum, IPA has greatly improved the lives of many who suffer from paruresis.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had suffered with shy bladder since 3rd grade. In my mid 40's, due to this problem & others, I wanted to kill myself & was able to get mental help for my OCD. By 50, I was ready to tackle this problem. I found IPA on the internet & met with the Houston group. That day was a life changing experience. For the frist time since I was a kid I was able to pee in front of another man with their non threatening help. I was most amazed to find that I was not the only person in the world suffering from this problem. I made a commitment to to improve, so I read Dr. Steve's book many times & went to every monthly meeting of the Houston group. In additiion to the therapy, just taking with guys with the same problem was good for me. They were all an inspiration to me. I attended the IPA Houston workshop & made much progress there. I continued with the monthly meetings & went to the next year's workshop with Dave in Houston. He & the guys their made me realize that it did not matter if I was at a urinal or in a stall, whatever it took to help me to feel comfortable to pee. In addition to attending all monthly meetings, the workshop gave me the confidence to daily after work go to the walmart & stand at the urinal or in the stall till i could pee. This added therapy did so much in making me feel comfortable in public restrooms. It got to be routine. The fear I was experiencing before i entered begin to disappear as well as being in a restroom. i thought i would never feel comfortable in a restroom. I no longer attend the monthly meetings, but I thank Dr. Steve, Dave & all the great supportive guys in the Houston group in helping me to live a more normal life. I am never quick in public restrooms & many times use a stall, but I am always able to pee, which was the point in the first place. Thanks to this new freedom, I now attend restuarants, the theater & have traveled to a number of foriegn countries with no problem thanks to the IPA. Mike

Client Served

Rating: 5

IPA is an important organization to me. I've attended 1 workshop & 1 group exercise which were both very professionally organized & conducted. In the past 4 years I have made grade strides to recovering from Paruresis. I now no longer let this physiological handicap keep me from doing the things I enjoy like fishing trips, football games, etc! Thanks IPA & thanks to Dr. Soiffer!

Donor

Rating: 5

I met Dr. Soifer in early 2000 because we were planning a trip to Europe. I had many fears about the facilities in Europe. I did go to Europe (Germany and Switzerland) and was able to go in the floor to ceiling stalls. Since that time I have gone to several workshops and practice sessions. I have made amazing progress. I want to thank Dr. Soifer and all the other friends for their help and support. I now live in an area that does not have any practice groups. I an no longer bound by my paruresis.

Client Served

Rating: 5

IPA has made a great difference in my life. Just knowing I am not alone with my problem was a great leap forward, but the practice techniques I learned have helped me greatly. It is a very worthwhile organization .

Client Served

Rating: 5

IPA has been invaluable. It has allowed me to discover that I'm not alone, introduced me to a strong support group , and provided me with resources and techniques to work on my recovery. (In particular, I have found the breath technique to be incredibly helpful, allowing me to practice successfully in all kinds of situations.)

Client Served

Rating: 5

IPA is a great organization. For 34 years, I, like many, suffered from Paruresis. I did not know what to do about it, and did not know anyone else with it. Guys don't talk about this...Interestingly, I did NOT let it interfere with my life or life style. I am a professional pilot, and have worked as an airline pilot while dealing with this. It did not stop me. I always found a way to cope. But I have since learned that many do limit their lifestyle because if it. I continued with my career in spite of this condition. I was determined not to be prisoner to it. I learned of IPA several years ago, from a book, Shy Bladder Syndrome, I think. I found the book from an internet search engine. One thing led to another...and soon, I managed to find a support near where I live. I started meeting with a local group...almost weekly, if my schedule permitted. It was wonderful! After suffering for so long, I was able to meet other guys dealing with the same thing, and was determined to over come this condition! After many months of support group meetings which were VERY helpful, I decided to attend a weekend workshop which was held locally in Los Angeles. This proved to be incredibly helpful to me, and this is where I was finally able to overcome the condition...it was a MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH for me. I am now in 'recovery' as it has been explained to me. On a rare occasion, it crops up, but I am generally able to overcome it. I can't thank the IPA enough!

Client Served

Rating: 5

IPA has helped me enormously, by helping me know I am not alone and that there is nothing defective about me. Thank you for helping me love and accept myself as I am!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I felt so alone and did not know how to treat my shy-bladder problem. I was so grateful when I discovered IPA. The organization has changed my life. Little by little I am conquering this social phobia and living a more fulfilling life. Without the knowledge and support I have gained from IPA I would not be where I am today. It is an extremely important organization. I hope through contributions to IPA more research can be done to find the underlying cause and a treatment for this problem. IPA gives me hope that in the future paruresis (shy-bladder) will be a thing of the past.

jmc62446

Donor

Rating: 5

Most of my life beyond age 8 or so has been spent avoiding going out unless I was sure there would be a bathroom to use that was quiet and very, very private.
As a teacher for 38 years, I was bound by the length of classes and learned to restrict my intake of liquids to prevent having to use a restroom at a specific time, knowing the time I had was very short.
Living with shy bladder syndrome, paruresis as it is medically termed, produced much anxiety and sadness. I wanted to go places and see the world, but couldn't.
About 10 or so years ago, I discovered the International Paruresis Association and upon investigating it, found that there were many others like myself, looking for a way to cope and solve a life restricting problem.
The information was straightforward, factual and accompanied by people you could call for help. This gave me HOPE!!. Until finding them, I wasn't too keen on anything.
I used my job and its demands as a shield to cover my real thoughts; having the IPA to use let me keep in touch with new research and new ideas that could lead to not needing to worry about my problem.
This organization gave me the hope and courage to learn how to self catheterize if I needed to and for that I am very grateful.
Who can say where I would be today without their help!

Previous Stories
6

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been dealing with the effects of Shy Bladder Syndrome for the past 55 years. I've become a mostly stay at home person, venturing out only to places which make me feel safe and provide private bathroom facilities. Until I found out about this organization, I had little hope of overcoming it, but hope now is strong. Through their efforts at providing literature and setting up workshops, I feel a sympathetic ear is available and I will be dealing with others who understand my plight. About 9 years ago, I came upon a list of therapists and others who had been successful treating this syndrome; I worked with two for a while and am working with one still. I am able to keep up my hope with my therapy and used it this past March to contribute to a symposium on the causes and possible solutions to the problem. I downloaded the transcript of a telephone conference between scientists and doctors, which discussed the physiological and psychological causes and possible areas for future consideration. I read it and wrote my understanding of the topic from a patient's point of view. I submitted it to the organization for inclusion to the study of paruresis or shy bladder syndrome. Without this organization, I would still be wondering how I could cope with my affliction and whether there were others like me in the world.

1 Jim M.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 4

IPA currently offers the only solution for those who suffer from shy bladder phobia. Doctors (even urologists) and psychologists don't know what it is and haven't a clue as to how over-come it. Using public restrooms at airports used to be about an 8.5 on the 10-scale of difficulty for me. After attending several IPA Workshops, they are now only about a 4.5 in terms of anxiety, and I ALWAYS manage to urinate there (just not always on my first attempt).

Donor

Rating: 4

After revieling my problem with my girlfriend. She found the IPA for me and I attended the Chicago workshop. It helped to have that link to others in the same situation.

FreePfan

Client Served

Rating: 5

IPA is like a miracleworker, helping me to rise like a Phoenix out of the ashes after decades of suffering in silence with Shy Bladder. This is an excellent organization and deserves more attention and support from across the globe.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization helps with promoting workshops around the country. I attended one and it made a big difference in my life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

IPA is there for people who often don't have anywhere else to turn. It is a combination of a dynamic support group and educator about this condition. Just being a part of the group has assisted me tremendously in the way this condition affects my life and encourages me to work on improving knowing that others are all working as well. Things have been much better the last few years since I found IPA.

Previous Stories
5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I suffered from this condition since my 20's and it greatly impacted my social life. I attended one workshop and also met many others through the organization who were battling the same challenges. It helped tremendously and I now notice a huge improvement (70-80%)as a result of the work I did with the institute. It is a great organization that tackles a tough problem openly and with understanding, support, and direct action. If you suffer from this or know someone who does, don't hesitate to contact them or support them now.

Client Served

Rating: 5

IPA is a very important organization. Besides organizing support groups for those suffering from Paruresis, it offers training to overcome this condition and researches medical solutions that may one day treat this frustrating problem. I've know about IPA for about 5 years and the on-line discussion groups are invaluable. Being able to talk with someone who understands what you are going through from personal experience really helps with the anxiety and embarrassment I feel. Just knowing that I'm by far not the only one with this problem, somehow makes me feel validated.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can't tell you how much just knowing that there are others who struggle with this challenge has helped me. I attended a workshop that was really a huge boost to my self-esteem and helped in my challenge. Afterwards, I was more willing to open up to friends and family regarding my phobia - and found that people can be very supportive. Without IPA, I never would have been able to do that.

joe-d

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I would like to take a moment and say how much IPA has helped me. I have struggled with a shy bladder for 90% of my young adulthood life, from the age of 17 until well into my 40s. It was tremendous relief to find the support on IPA users forum bulletin board. The term Paruresis has a more precise definition for this condition. Before there were broad ranging categories that only talked of generalized feelings which could range from lack of self esteem to social anxiety. There was no possible way to describe what I was going through.

I felt alienated from what other people were able to do. Until I found the support group at IPA. I had my library transfer their recovery book to my branch and started reading it from cover to cover. Little by little I was able to grasp the understanding recovery is a gradual process. It is very good to relate with other people who are suffering as well. The most benefit I found was that I could give other people encouragement. I am still having to suppress my anxious feelings. Basically my main concern is will there be any privacy. I have a feeling I am with a bigger majority of people who are thinking the same way. I can say it definitely helps to write things out. To get a better understanding of the problem, is to get it out from the inside and look it in front of myself. I now know not hide the embarrassment and to get the problem out “on the table” to say what is the problem from the very beginning, so others will know what I’m talking about if I seem a little nervous.

Previous Stories
6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have dealt with Shy Bladder syndrome since as far back as I can remember. It was then considered a problem that only a child has trouble understanding. When we turn 18 we are considered adults. The problem just doesn't go away like a flick of a switch. At 18 I seriously started becoming more concerned and more pre-occupied with this every isolating problem. In my 30's I discovered a website called IPA for International Paruesis Association. From then on, I finally started to identify the problem. Shy Bladder actually has a technical name, Parursis. I became aware that I was not alone. There are many men and women out there of all ages who suffer. The benefits that I received from being able to share my experiences and offer my support to a bulletin board clearly out weigh any costs. In a nut shell, the most important lesson I've learned is to be up front and say what the problem is. I can't thank enough the people who run this site for providing an opportunity to share with and support the many who have lived with Shy Bladder Syndrome everyday of our lives.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I think reading the reviews already posted here amply testifies to the IPA's importance and to Steven Soifer's tireless and selfless work. Paruresis is unbelievably debilitating and isolating and a source of dark despair. Steven and his fellow workers at the IPA shine a dazzling light of hope and community on that darkness and it's absolutely vital that they continue in their work.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Finding the IPA web site had a profound impact on my life. It made me realize that I was not thonly one suffering in silence. Years ago, I attended a workshop with Dr. Soifer. I am not completey cured, but have been able to do things I never thought I'd be able to since atending the clinic. Being able to talk to other people about the problem has helped to lessen the anxiety I feel. This organization has defintely had a major, positive impact on my life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended a workshop in the last year. Speaking openly to other people about my paruresis for the first time was itself a great help in reducing my anxiety. There online information was also of great use. My shy bladder is not cured, but thanks to the work of this organization, and the desensitization training that I have done with the advice provided by the IPA, it has improved greatly to the point that I have little anxiety going to unfamiliar place. I have even made new friends through the workshop. I feel a great deal more freedom, and am no longer ashamed to talk about my shy bladder with friends and family and even co-workers. I'm very grateful to the IPA. I know that the people who run the IPA have sacrificed a great deal for something that they know is important but that few people understand or think is important. It deserves to have much more support that it has.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently went to a workshop run by IPA. The experience was amazing, and I would recommend it to anyone suffering from Shy Bladder.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a very important organization that has helped me come to grips with a syndrome i have faced since childhood. I always thought of myself as isolated, fighting this situation all by myself, without any support group to speak of. It was only when i started researching on the internet, after i had gone through middle school, highschool, and college, did I realize i was not alone, and that there was help.

Through Dr. Soifer's concerted effort he has helped countless people such as myself come together, step out of anonymity to discuss collectively and thereby begin the first steps of overcoming this issue. It is because of his organization and the ipatalk message board that I was able to attend a workshop spearheaded by the late Chris Mccullough, and begin to slowly realize the power of graduated exposure therapy and cognitive behavior in recovery.

This association, with its pamphlets, books (shy bladder , free to pee) have been instrumental in leading me out of my mind and into a life interspersed with social gatherings and activities, something unheard of just six years ago. I have not gotten over shy bladder, and it remains to be seen if one can truly be "cured" of it, however, through this association i have learned to realize that i am not alone, that there are countless thousands who are fighting this crusade alongside me.

This nonprofit serves a marginalized portion of the community, one that has for too long had to live with the shame and social stigma associated with this condition. It helps empower and educate, and through its efforts on the new media front serves to improve workplace environments for sufferers. It has been crucial in leading efforts for alternative drug testing, exposing workplace discrimination for those who are disabled by this condition, and giving a voice to the estimated 7% of the general US populace (and who knows what % of the world populace) who have for years suffered silently

This is a worthy non profit that lives up to its mission statement; The only thing preventing it from scaling to even greater heights capable of larger impacts is funding - funding to spread the message to the powerbrokers in congress to help provide full and equal protection under the american disabilities act for employees to preclude them from being unjustly fired for failing to produce a drug testing sample due to the archaic, conventional method of urinalysis (a methodology especially ingrained in the D.O.T) - funding for scientific research into curing this condition - funding to help bring this issue out in the open to serve as a conduit for discussion in every household across the world without shame.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wonderful organization. Dr Soifer is a genius and I truly believe his work is underappreciated. One thing that should not be understated is the need for his work and how pure his motives are...I genuinely believe he's trying to help out the countless people who suffer from this condition. Even for those that can't afford treatment, the organization is there to provide them with the support they need. Nobody is turned away. They have also made numerous efforts to advocate for the cause. It is truly commendable.

Client Served

Rating: 5

For 30 years I avoided public restrooms. There was much shame and physical pain over this time when I could not find a "safe" place to urinate.

The Shy Bladder Syndrome workshop gave me the tools to help myself. After approximately 1 year of support group work, I am truly a free man.

This experience has helped me grow in other areas of my life.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Ever since I was ~ 10 years old I have had Shy Bladder. I thought I was the only one on Earth with this problem. It ruled my life. Then I found IPA.
Wow!!!! What a support system. I felt bad for those that had the same problem I had of course at different levels, but knowing there was help out there like IPA was Heaven Sent. Oh yea, I am 52yrs old now and lived with Shy Bladder till I was ~50. This organization is a life changing group. Imagine holing urine for 12hrs and not being able to be social with friend till now.

Donor

Rating: 4

Valuable source of treatment options, information on research in the field, and advocacy for those impacted by the condition. If nothing else, the Association has raised awareness of the significant numbers of people dealing with this affliction and how it affects their lives. The Association has achieved quite a lot on a very modest budget.

Donor

Rating: 5

I attended a workshop several years ago and the support I received was very encouraging. Up until that point I thought I was alone. IPA continues to fight for important issues affecting those with paruresis, such as alternative drug testing methods.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This charity changed my life after the workshop I attended. They provided great support and means for me to understand and improve my condition.

I hope they can continue their great work and help others like me.

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization has done amazing things not only working with those of us with shy bladder, but also advocating for changes in drug testing in the work place and defending those whose jobs were unjustly terminated because they couldn't provide urine for a drug test. Every year they offer workshops to help get people with shy bladder introduced to graduated desensitization and on the path to addressing this issue. They also provide a directory of the various support groups around the world where people can connect and work together on the issue.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The International Paruresis Association continues to be an important and unique resource to my family. Our son suffers from paruresis and is away at college. In the past, he has been afraid to venture far from home. The organization has offered support in many ways: workshops, individual sessions, inspirational and support literature--including coping mechanisms and stories of success. I can't thank the organization enough. We have tried health professionals including counselling with psychiatrists, but they do not offer the expertise nor focus on this condition. Through the workshops and sessions, we feel confident that he will continue make strides and not be held back but this condition/fear. As a mom who worries about her son and his future, this small organization offers so much in the way of support and hope. My sincere gratitude to the IPA.

Client Served

Rating: 5

It is impossible to describe how dibilitating and shameful this condition can make one feel It negatively affects and influences every decision in life, work, marriage, family, social interaction, entertainment, events, or just going to the store. One becomes a humiliated and depressed victim to the condition overwhelmed with helplessness and hopelessness, The IPA has changed that for myself and thousands of others. We are not alone, it is not hopeless, it is possible to manage (but never overcome completelt). Their education, support and assistance have made a diffence in the lives of those helped that cannot be expressed with mere words. What you have just read is what participants in their workshops describe, including me, and the positive outcome is nothing less than life altering. What was impossible is not with their help. There are a great many other sufferers who desperately need IPA's help as they live with this great secret due to deep shame, suffer from dangerous depression, and are robbed of the joy of a 'normal' life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

It's difficult to convey the pain of paruresis. It is invisible and it strangles your life away from you.

During the time I could not use public restrooms, my life was lived in 8 hour intervals. My life froze in High School - I would not join after-school programs because by that time of the day I had to use the washroom and the only place I could relieve myself was at home.

My life in the Church community was limited. No weekend retreats for me ... I told people I was too busy studying ... I wasn't but I knew that I couldn't bear a weekend of not using a shared restroom.

This Bashful Bladder killed my dating life. About 4 hours into a date, I'd need to use a washroom ... and that thought worried me and didn't make me great company. I remember eating salt before going out, or simply not drinking ... the results were dehydration and diarhhea.

I finally went to a doctor at age 23 - I was informed that this problem did NOT exist. I was crushed. It really was a body blow to me because we weren't in the Google era at the time. I believed my doctor and assumed I was a social reject ... it was a period of great depression for me.

At age 28, I discovered that I was not a freak, but rather, a person with a phobia called paruresis - bashful bladder. My life began at that point. I did the 'graduated exposure' exercises that work to overcome this phobia. I began dating a girl from work. I became more active in my community. I go anywhere I want to go.

The girl I dated became my wife. We have two sons. I take them to football games, hockey games and I feel such a peace that regardless of where I go, I won't feel the physical and psychological bonds of paruresis.

Knowing I was not aloned gave me my life back.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was able to attend a workshop in Baltimore recently and that helped me immensely. Without the IPA I would be still wondering how to improve my phobia and seeking help in people and organizations with no knowledge of what paruresis actually is, let alone the methods to recover from it. For their continual support to thousands of people left in shame and in the dark the IPA provides information through their website and printed materials, provides support through leadership and an online forum, offers workshops with trained therapists for learning recovery techniques, and puts in many hours of research and advocacy for improving the lives of people with paruresis. There is no other source for such effective help and support available to us.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended an IPA clinic in Baltimore with Dr. Soifer. The clinic helped me, but the in no way cured me. I am not sure it is even possible to truly cure a paruretic with behavioral therapy. The most beneficial part of the clinic was simply talking about this weird thing called paruresis. I had never spoken of it to anyone before going to the clinic. It was an extremely liberating experience. This organization is an extremely important entity. Dr. Soifer thinks there is a cure out there somewhere. I believe there is as well, and with funding the IPA just might be able to help millions become free of this debilitating disorder.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

For 16 years I was suffuring from a mysterious disease that I thought was absolutely unique to me.Literally I damaged my every walk of the life killing my whole confidence in life. I alway assumes that I will die soon.On 29.04.2007 I discovered !!! a site this site.I dont have words to say the amount of joy confidence I got just by visiting that site.Of course my paruresis is not over becase I dint worked on it which I will do very soon ( I am dam confident about getting rid of the I will work on it) but knowing it has almost improvoved my condition at least 40 %. GREAT GREAT AND GREAT

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

For years, more then I remember, I have had a problem urinating in public or semi-public bathrooms. Sometimes, even visiting friends or relatives in their home caused this problem. When I say I was having problems, I mean I couldn't go at all. This affected my life in many ways. My social life revolved around "safe" bathrooms. If I wasn't sure, I would just not go. The problem came to a head when I traveled to England with my wife on a long anticipated vacation for her. I was unable to go to the bathroom on the flight over or the one back. So I was holding it for 7 or 8 hours. That's when I went on-line and found IPA. I signed up for a weekend program and just that weekend changed my life. We talked, we practiced going in different settings and developed some strategies for dealing with the problem. One strategy was to practice with someone else, especially another paruretic. I have been doing that monthly for about two years. Between the seminars I went to, and this monthly peeing practice, my condition has improved dramatically. I no longer "lock-up" before going into a public bathroom. My condition has become much more manageable. I flew to France this year and was able to go on both flights. There is no doubt in my mind that the folks at IPA as well as the other guys I met there have been the reason for this shift. I'm not "cured" but without this organization, my life would be so much more limited. My gratitude to Steve Soifer and the others at IPA and my peeing buddy Andy is great. I highly recommend this organization.

6

Client Served

Rating: 4

This is a very useful group for anyone looking to work on their problems with paruresis/shy bladder syndrome. I attended only one workshop, found it very useful, and will likely attend another one next time it's held in my city.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had suffered from "Shy Bladder" for years. I learned of this organization & intended 1 intensive weekend workshop. Not only did I become educated, we did extensive exercises to improve the condition. I have enjoyed 70% improvement just with this 1 workshop & it has made a major difference in my life. I understand they also do advocacy for public bathroom designs, etc.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have suffered from Paruresis / Shy Bladder for over 25 years and would not have survived without the help of the IPA/Shy bladder institute. I have attended 3 workshops over the years and what I have learned from these workshops has helped me tremendously for what I need to do to overcome my shy bladder. With what I have learned from the IPA I have been able to start support groups here in New York and help others as well. They teach you the desentization techniques which is so crucial to helping overcome this problem. It's also nice to know that the IPA exists and that I always have someone to turn to for help, that is so important. If they did not exist I know I would have no one to turn to and that is very scary. Unfortunately the medical industry hasn't figured out how to treat paruresis effectively whereas the IPA has. The IPA does so much in terms of getting the word out to the world about how awful it is to have paruresis and how it paralyzes ones life and to let others know that help is readily available.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The International Paruresis Association (www.paruresis.org) is a relatively unknnown organisation which can be a life saver. For more than 40 years of my adult life I dealt with being pee shy. I had a phobia which almost always made it impossible for me to urinate if I thought anyone could see me or hear me pee. Although I did not think I was the only person with this condition, I was too ashamed of my shortcoming to talk about it with anyone else. Until I was in my 60's, I scheduled my life around never being more than a few hours away from the privacy of a toilet where I knew I would be safe. Then I discovered the website for the International Paruresis Association, and my life changed. The IPA is an enabling organization which teaches paruretics how to overcome what can be a debilitating phobia. The work is done by a tiny staff who conduct weekend workshops in the U.S. and some foreign countries, and by a volunteer staff who serve as leaders in an international network of support groups. I know of the benefits that can come from working with the IPA. After having attended several weekend workshops and having served as a support group leader for six years, I have first hand experience with people who are now able to do what they had once thought would be impossible for them. And I am such a person. The IPA teachings have enabled us to conquer our fear. Probably every telephone directory in this country contains the names of hundreds, if not thousands, of men and women with paruresis. It is estimated there are millions of us who have this phobia in varying degrees of intensity. But we don't talk about this, and the general public is unaware of us. Only a tiny number of paruretics know there is help available to us – much of it at no cost. Even much of the medical community does not know of the IPA and its services. The IPA is worthy of additional financial support – from government, from industry, and from individuals. It would benefit from having trained staff to raise public awareness of the organization and to make its services more widely available. The IPA could be involved in scientific research to benefit people who are pee shy. And the organization could sponsor legislation to ease the unintended burdens often placed on paruretics. Instead of changing the lives of relatively few people each year, the International Paruresis Association should be changing the lives of many.

9

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization provides more bang for the buck than many others I know. With the equivalent of only one full-time staff person, it provides workshops around the world for those who suffer from paruresis (about 7% of the world's population, perhaps). Constantly reviewing and improving treatment options, the organization provideds a vital function for those who have no other place to go.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Once I too broke the illusion of being the only person in the world to have a shy bladder, I found the IPA website and was so grateful for all the information, support and methods available for recovery. What Steve and his team do around the world for people has to be known by everybody so that no one needlessly suffers from what is a treatable phobia. Since contacting the organization and starting the support group I have been able to consistently improve and the quality of my life is so much greater. Had I only known sooner, all the isolation, the secrecy, the withdrawing from social situations and the compromises I made to accomodate a fear and its related anxieties would have been avoided. I think there is room for the organization to expand and work with local health organizations once their credibility is established, in order to help people more directly and with financial support from government tax sources. Otherwise, they are currently doing a great job and I am glad I can be involved.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

After suffering from paruresis for my entire cognitive life (over 30 years!!) and more importantly, at the brink of failing a UA random test for employment due to 'not producing a sample' I started doing some research online and stumbled into the IPA website. I spent the better part of a day reviewing the information they had on thier website. I followed thier advice and went to an urologist who 'diagnosed' me with paruresis and wrote a nice letter explaining this to my HR department. I also wrote a cover letter for them as outlined by the IPA information. To make a long story short it was succesful and they have since found other means to establish I am not using illegal substances. The days of sweating bullets over the stupid UA's was over. I immediately went back to the IPA's website and made a donation. The inforation and research they do is invaluable to people like me that have this pauresis condition. Although I have not attended any of thier workshopd, I have read the archives and have used many of thier techniques succesfully. The IPA is doing great work and I commend them for all thier time and involvment. Thank you IPA!!!

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization changed my life. Before I attended the workshops, I had trouble urinating in public bathrooms and even in my own house if other people were anywhere nearby. I hid this problem from everyone, was depressed and had a very low self esteem. After the first workshop, it was as if a huge load had been lifted from me and I felt great. Now several years later,after another workshop and a lot of desensitizing practice, while my paruresis is not 100% gone, it is much better. More importantly, it no longer effects my self esteem and I don't feel that it is ruining my life. Tell your story here and help others understand this charity

11

Client Served

Rating: 5

Like all other paruretics I imagined I was the only person who had this strange problem -- an inability to urinate when other people were around and who could see or hear me. Thanks to the internet I was shocked and excited to discover the IPA and to learn that there were others who suffered as I did, from the pain of an overfull bladder and from the shame of being unable to do what others can do without thinking. I learned from the IPA website about local groups of people who get together for desensitization practice, and despite the intense anxiety I had about doing anything so intensely embarrassing, my motivation to conquer the problem got me to the first meeting -- and the thrill of making progress that first day was wonderful. I continued with the desensitization practice and took a workshop with Steve Soifer which really furthered my progress. One unforgettable day after desens practice we walked into a crowded bus station bathroom and I walked up to a urinal and urinated without the slightest hesitation. Just the thought of being able to do something previously so unthinkable is heady. But these meetings took up a substantial portion of my weekend and unfortunately didn't translate into better functioning when I wasn't with a group of other desens people. Eventually I gave up the desens meetings but have remained a member of the IPA in the 9 years since that first get-together, hoping that the organization, with my small financial assistance, can make progress in discovering the psychological mechanism that is involved, and a means to find lasting help for those of us who have, in some mysterious way, developed paruresis.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Dr Soifer and his dedicated group of professionals, people with paruresis and theirsupporters have spearheaded an amazing international effort, selflessly building the organization with countless unpaid hours of work. In a few short years they have reached many thousands of people who had previously suffered alone and in shame from a treatable and surprisingly common ailment. They have had drug enforcement laws changed, advocated for bathroom re-design, supported efforts at improving biological and psychological treatments and worked non-stop at getting the word out into the general public. They have provided direct care to patients around the world. ALl this has been done on a shoestring , with virtually no paid staff, no money and a lot of volunteer help.

12 Changed

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization is affiliated with the IPA (International Parurisis Association) which helps individuals with Parurusis (Shy Bladder Syndrome). Although to many people who do not suffer from this condition (which affects daily life, multiple times everyday) it may seem ridiculous, for many of us who battle it, this organization has changed our lives. The SBI organizes monthly workshops throughout the world and support groups for continued therapy. I have been fortunate to attend workshops in Detroit, MI over the last ten years. I have also benefited from a strong support group that continues to achieve great things for this cause. I can honestly say that I don't know where I would be today, without the IPA. See this current article from the Detroit Free Press (appeared in print as well) for a better understanding of the Shy Bladder Institute, the IPA, and its members. http://m.freep.com/news.jsp?key=640733&rc=fe