Why do anxious feelings create the need to go to toilet frequently?
Last Updated: 01/27/2021 at 8:25pm
Michael Hofrath, Ph.D. Candidate
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Being nervous or anxious can make you need to go to the bathroom frequently because the nervousness can make your stomach turn or hurt. When I get nervous or am excited or scared about being in public places, I tend to have to look for the nearest restroom.
Good question; there is actually a biological reason for this! Many animals (mammals particularly) including humans have something called the "fight, flight or freeze" response, an autonomic reaction to fear. Thousands of years ago, this response would have been useful to us because we lived in a way that put us under certain dangers in which the ideal response would have been to either fight or flee what was terrifying us: for example in the case of running away from a large, angry bear moving towards us. When we perceive a danger, we get anxious/scared. The danger prompts our adrenal glands to release a hormone called adrenaline, which travels all around our body and can cause all kinds of different responses evolved because initially, they would have helped us to survive certain threats. One of these responses was feeling the need to urinate/defecate, or even involuntarily doing so in the most extreme situations. At one time, this was a helpful response to us as: a) It would make us lighter and able to run away faster, and b) It would quickly deter certain predators and possibly slow them down. Obviously, in today's world, the response is no longer so useful at all and can actually cause considerable problems and even make someone more anxious. However, the evolutionary response remains to a considerable extent and we have to seek out different ways to cope with it.
If you feel anxious and have the need to use the restroom often when you become anxious, you may be experiencing your stomach muscles tightening which press down on your bladder/bowels and cause you to feel that urge to use the restroom. This is a normal reaction for most people, even though some may not feel the urge to use the restroom, being anxious can cause tightening of muscles in the body.
I swear that this happens to me a lot. This is because during anxiety your heart beats fast, your breathing gets faster and this way you will go to the toilet frequently
Anxiety can cause stomach upset,digestive problems,digestive illnesses,collitis,irritable bowel syndrome,ulcers,frequent urination all of which can cause the need to go to the toilet frequently.
It's the first thing that pop into our mind when we need to be alone. Anxious = need to be alone = toilet.
Eh, I'm no doctor, but here goes a biological explanation. If you have severe, and we're talking straight-up disruptive anxiety, odds are you are spending a lot of time with a heightened heart rate and BP measure. Combine this with some moments of adrenaline on a particularly rough day? When you're body is stressed like that, it has to work harder, quicker to keep the BP and HR up to snuff. Those fast processes make fast waste. There's just the cold, hard, facts.
It's not about the toilet itself..it's more about being alone in a place where no one will bother you .. In this case this special place is the toilet cause it is the most isolated place in a house right ??
It is usually because I always feel like something is wrong. so i go to make sure nothing is wrong .
Because when we feel anxious or nervous, Our bladder muscles tighten up which make us have to use the restroom frequently, Depending on how nervous or anxious you become on a daily basis.
The physical feelings of anxiety are caused by the "fight , flight, or freeze" part of the brain firing off prematurely. During this time your body prepares itself, as if it had to run away from a threat (like a safer tooth tiger) thanks to our evolutionary history. Your heart beats faster to get more blood to your vessels, your breathe faster and your digestion slows down to direct that extra energy towards your muscles. When your digestion slows down, and gets altered frequently due to anxiety attacks IBS (or irritable bowel syndrome) can develop where you need to use the bathroom frequently. For me, I get lots of bloating and stomach pains if my anxiety attacks occur frequently enough. But I recommend seeing a doctor about it, if it is causing you too many problems.
With anxiety, it can cause mixed emotions and feeling within your body, and can cause the body to react randomly sometimes. Your mind is being flustered, and your body can be confused, which can cause you to need to use the restroom a bit too frequent. The person may not know to how to control it, so they have the need to go.
It's all to do with your fight-or-flight response. It sends lots of blood to the parts of your body you might need/makes the muscles contract (eg brain, arms, legs) and withdraws blood from the less important areas and makes them relax (bladder, stomach, colon). This is why being nervous makes people feel they need to/need to wee, poo and puke.
Usually with anxiety your muscles tense and contract, which can cause that need to frequent the restroom. It's normal, just try and breath through the anxiety. Focus on your surroundings and your present self and that you are ok in the moment.
A lot of people use it kinda like a crutch. (I know it sounds odd but IT'S NOT.) You feel safe in the bathroom. There is no one that can get you. You've locked the door and you can finally be yourself.
It activates our Autonomous Nervous System. Going to toilet is a physiologic response to stress stimuli.
It's part of the body's whole reaction to anxiety. Anxiety causes several stimulating hormones to be released in the body, many of which are diuretics meaning they make it so that you need to use the bathroom.
It may be that your body has spead up do to the flight or fright response. Following this needing to use the bathroom is a way of getting out of a suitation
Because anxiety makes your blood prioritize the brain and the big muscles instead of the interior organs. This means that the food is not being properly digested before it leaves the body.
It is psychology: I don't know the scientific reason but I wanted to assure you that it happens to me too. Whenever I can't sleep at night and whenever I get nervous about not being able to sleep, I always go to toilet in 10 minute periods. It's frustrating - but remember, you are not alone! :)
Anxiety can cause a feeling of needing to go to the bathroom even though it is not your regular time or you have already gone during the day. This is because when the fight or flight system is activated, pressure builds up inside of the body which can make stool feel like it needs to come out.
Anxious feelings make your stomach turn and hurt. This makes your body think you need to go to the bathroom.
There are several beliefs for what causes frequent urination from anxiety, and the likelihood is that all of these factors play a role: Muscle Tension – When you have anxiety, your muscles get very tense. This tension puts pressure on your bladder, which in turn makes you feel like you need to urinate more than you would otherwise. Light Overload – It's also possible that, because anxiety is a misfiring of the fight/flight system, your body may simply be lightly overloaded. The fear is not intense enough to cause immediate urination, but it may make it harder for you to feel like you can hold it back. Also, those with anxiety are more prone to focusing on different sensations unintentionally. There are often times when you may feel the need to urinate slightly but your body has no problem ignoring the feeling and holding it back. It's nothing to worry about though, it happens to everyone :)
It's often how the body responds to those type of things. Just like when you get stressed, you can get a headache or your heart suddenly beats faster than normal.
When we feel anxious our bodies go into whats called "fight or flight" mode which simply means if there is a danger we either fight or run! Of course with anxiety there isnt always an immediate reason for the anxious feelings but out mind and bodies are predispositioned to go into "fight or flight" mode. So needing to go to the toilet frequently is simply the bodys way of evacuating "non essential" contents as it needs adrenalin to either fight or flee!
To get out of the situation causing anxiety would have to be my guess. I've never really had that issue before so I'm not too sure!
I compare anxiety and the need to use the restroom to playing hide and seek as a child. You find the perfect place to hide and feel comfortable but once the person who is seeking says they are coming you get really nervous and anxious. You start to fidget, maybe shake some, and probably feel your muscles contracting. Between the sudden jolt your body is feeling and the muscles trying to respond this type of excitement could be why we feel the need to use the restroom when anxious.
Anxiety creates an overall tension throughout the body. As the bladder tenses, it contracts and is able to hold less. Therefore, you end up using the bathroom more frequently.
Maybe because when you are anxious. You tense up your mucles. And your bladder is a mucle. So that may make you have to go to the rest room more frequently.
Excitement probably, your body releasing fluid to deal with the feeling. Quite a few people can relate to what you mean by this and wonder too.
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