Hammelstein P, Soifer S
J Anxiety Disord 2006;20(3):296-311
Paruresis manifests in an inability to urinate in public restrooms followed by a considerable avoidance behavior. According to DSM-IV TR this disorder is classified as social phobia. A sample of N = 226 subjects completed different questionnaires concerning paruresis, social phobic symptoms, lower urinary tract symptoms and depressive symptoms. These individuals were divided into four groups: no symptoms, suffering primarily from paruresis, non-generalized social phobia and generalized social phobia. The paruretic group differs significantly in all symptom variables from both the non-generalized and the generalized social phobia groups. Regression analysis separated by groups shows that the interference with everyday life can be mainly explained by paruretic symptoms (in the paruretic group) or by social anxiety and depressive symptoms, respectively (in the social phobic groups). These results question the classification of paruresis as simply being a form of social phobia.