how to tell someone
We recommend telling people you trust on a need-to-know basis. This means you can stop all the deception etc, which is a relief. It is not easy to tell someone, but everyone who has says it was worth it.
So if you want to tell someone of your AP, avoid dropping them in the deep end. Instead lead them in gently viz
"You know what a phobia is, don't you?" (of course they do, but it sets a context. And we know it's a social anxiety, but the term phobia is more recognisable)
"Its an illogical fear of something."
(Hopefully you or they know someone with a bit of a phobia: flying, spiders, needles, heights.)
"Well I've got a phobia and its really messing up my life, and I'm too embarrassed to tell anyone."
(now they know its serious and will be concerned, and realise its something out of the ordinary).
"It's a social anxiety which means I can't do something when there are people around; think of stage fright: where someone loses the ability to speak while being watched."
(this gives them an example they can understand)
"Well in my case, when there are people around, I lose the ability to pee. I want to go, but the body does not respond. Its horrible and makes my life miserable.
I've discovered it's a recognised condition, and a surprising number of men and women have it, but no-one talks about it.
I've got a chance to get some help for it over a weekend......."
If they ask how they can help, you can say that just their knowing takes a weight off your shoulders. They can understand when you choose one pub over another and not dispute it; they can understand when you need to take your time in the loo and not query it; they can understand when you ask them to do something unusual for you and accept it.