Urine testing is a non-invasive, easy, and cost-effective way of administering a drug test. Urine is the most widely employed specimen for a drug test. A primary reason for the prevalence of urine for drug testing is the fact that drugs and their metabolites last in the urine for a longer period of time which greatly increases the drug detection window. However, not everyone is comfortable with the idea of disposing of their pee in public, especially if one is suffering from a shy bladder.
Table Of Contents:
- Why do people suffer from a shy bladder?
- How to overcome a shy bladder?
- How to make yourself pee for a drug test?
- How to overcome a shy bladder for a drug test?
- The takeaway
A shy bladder or ‘paruresis’ is a medical condition that inhibits a person's ability to pee in the presence of people nearby. Paruresis has been characterized as a social anxiety disorder that affects about 21 million Americans, and approximately 220 million worldwide. Keep reading to learn more about how to overcome shy bladder for a drug test.
Why do people suffer from a shy bladder?
According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), paruresis or shy bladder is classified as a social phobia. Shy bladder is marked by a perception of threat and fear of being scrutinized by others. Shy bladder can cause social, interpersonal and occupational distress and significantly hamper an individual’s quality of life.
There are different levels of severity and symptoms. They can include fear of people hearing or smelling your pee, the inability to pee at home when guests are around, negative self-talk, or the need for complete privacy when using the bathroom. Several factors may be responsible for people suffering with shy bladder. These include:
- Specific bathroom related incidents, experience of being teased, embarrassed, or harassed by others.
- Traumatic event in childhood, early or late adolescence, or even late adulthood in the form of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse.
- Shame associated with discussing bodily functions that may prevent someone suffering with the condition to share about their problem. This may lead to avoidance and reinforce phobia and anxiety among sufferers.
- An underlying physiological condition such as ‘benign prostatic hyperplasia’ (BPH), that may restrict an individual’s ability to urinate.
How to overcome a shy bladder?
Shy bladder can be a chronic and debilitating condition. People with the condition often anticipate that they might be judged for peeing. This makes them freeze up and stop from urinating. Apart from the physical discomfort that people experience, shy bladder can upset long distance travel plans, cause marital and familial discord, and hinder people from taking up certain jobs.
If you happen to suffer from a shy bladder there are a variety of treatment options that can be effective in treating this condition.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is aimed at addressing false beliefs surrounding psychological issues. If someone isn’t peeing because people might judge them, they’ll gradually work through what is propping up that false belief until it’s no longer an issue. This involves working with a therapist to expose you to situations that might have led to a change in your thought and behavior about psychological disorders such as shy bladder.
Graduated exposure therapy where someone works up to facing their fears by taking smaller manageable steps usually over a course of a few weeks. This involves trying to pee in increasingly public bathrooms to get over social phobia. A recent study has confirmed the efficacy of this method where significant improvements in shy bladder patients were found after the use of graduated exposure therapy.
Medications such as benzodiazepines to treat anxiety associated with the disorder, and antidepressants like sertraline and fluoxetine are prescribed to treat shy bladder. Additionally, alpha-adrenergic blockers such as tamsulosin may be prescribed in the case of BPH. However, there is lack of sufficient evidence to prove the efficacy of medications for treating shy bladder.
Support groups such as the International Paruresis Association (IPA) can often provide much needed help for individuals suffering with shy bladder. A strong support system can forge valuable connections among individuals at different levels of their recovery stage. Participants in the group typically meet every month for interactive sessions and workshops to learn and share from each other’s experiences.
How to make yourself pee for a drug test?
A urine test is the standard drug test performed as part of most workplace drug testing programs. Testing may include the standard 5 panel drug test for the presence of controlled substances like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), opiates, cocaine, phencyclidine (PCP), and amphetamines.
Drinking excessive water may interfere with the test, and may cause inaccurate test results. Certain foods and drugs can also interfere with accuracy of the test. Your healthcare provider will provide a plastic vial or collection cup for the urine sample. If you find yourself forcing to pee at the time of the test, consider trying one of these methods:
Listen to the sound of water:
Turn on the faucet of your toilet and listen to the sound of water. Focusing on the flow of water can help you relax and trigger your bladder to pee.
Wash the perineum:
Rinse or wash the perineum that is the area between the genitals and anus to stimulate the urge to pee. You can use a squirt bottle with warm water to wash.
Relax your mind:
Sit on the toilet and relax. Take deep breaths and let go of any thoughts that may distract you from urinating. Forcing to pee may actually interrupt the communication between your bladder and brain.
Sit on the toilet, bear down, and use your forearm to gently press your lower abdomen taking care that you do not press your bladder.
Tap the suprapubic area:
Use your fingertips to tap the suprapubic area which is the area between your naval and the genitalia. It has been found to stimulate the bladder to pee.
How to overcome a shy bladder for a drug test?
Depending on your situation, your urine specimen will be collected at the workplace, a doctor’s office or any other testing laboratories selected by the employer. Observed collection is prohibited in some states as an unfair invasion of privacy but is not considered illegal in others.
Observed collection may be required if the donor is suspected of tampering with the specimen or if the test result proves to be atypical. According to the Urine Specimen Collection Handbook for Federal Agency Workplace Drug Testing Programs published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an observed collection may only be used when:
“A federal agency has authorized a direct observation because a donor’s previous drug test result was reported by an MRO as drug positive, substituted, invalid without a legitimate medical reason, or canceled because the split specimen failed to reconfirm the primary specimen results or could not be tested.”
Be sure to inform your employer, healthcare provider, or lab assistants about any prescription medicines, including illicit substances that you might be taking before going for the test, to avoid being shown a false positive. Also, it is wise to intimate your employer or healthcare provider about your medical condition. Individuals affected by shy bladder may be covered under the American with Disabilities Act with respect to a drug test. Correspondingly, employers are entitled to consider an alternative course of testing and provide disability accommodation for individuals with shy bladder.
Urine testing is a non-invasive, easy, and cost-effective way of administering a drug test. Urine is the only specimen approved under federal law for the testing of safety-sensitive workers. However, for people suffering with shy bladder, providing a urine sample may prove to be a daunting proposition.If you are suffering from a shy bladder, make it a point of informing your employer or whoever ordered the test about your unique medical condition. Drug testing such employees without any disability accommodation could be construed as invasion of privacy and an act of disability discrimination under the ADA on the part of the employer.