Why do anxious feelings create the need to go to toilet frequently?
Last Updated: 02/18/2021 at 11:30am
Michael Hofrath, Ph.D. Candidate
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Usually because the mind finds a way to distract itself from feeling it. The mind does not want to deal with it so it finds the toilet as a distraction. It’s like a getaway. There’s nothing wrong with it. The mind is powerful but when you are going through something the mind scares you from feeling better. It thinks it’s a horrible thing to get better. In reality it’s the most beautiful thing to heal. You also get distracted by movies and games just so you can avoid facing your anxiety. It’s just part of growing up. You will learn to deal with it without distractions.
I think that anxiety triggers the fight or flight response, where it is an advantage to evacuate your bowels incase you need to do either.
Maybe it makes you more sensitive or you might go to toilet frequently to subconsciously try to distract your mind from your anxiety
anxiety causes our adrenaline system to kick in and this causes your body to try and excrete unnecessary fluids so it can slow down non fight or flight systems
In my experience my anxiety shows up sometimes as an upset stomach and that causes me to sometimes frequent the restroom.
The scientific reason behind needing to go to the toilet when anxious is that the body activates the stress response (fight or flight) and a part of that involves the body removing waste products as quickly as possible, so you wouldn't have to whilst fighting or fleeing. An example would be that if you were being chased by a bear, you would be more effective a either fighting or running away if you didn't need to stop to go to the toilet in the middle of it.
My theory is basically that anxiety tells us to go to the bathroom because we can avoid other people in there. My anxiety makes me hella gassy (to the point of agony) so I usually have to go lie down (away from people) to make it go away. In my experience, a good way to avoid that is to make sure you've gone to the bathroom (no. 1 AND no. 2) before you enter a stressful situation, then anxiety can't make you do much. Except throw up. Which would be unfortunate.
It comes down to the fight/flight response - your endocrine/adrenaline system is activated. and that makes it easier to run from danger according to evolutionary biology.
Anxiety and stress create issues in your stomach and gut. That's why some people might feel sick when they have a panic attack. If your gut is off, you bathroom schedule will be off too
Because when you're anxious you're body is too. When you're brain can't relax, it causes other issues.
Anxiety usually causes people to tense up. When the muscles around your bladder etc are tensed up, it leaves less space in there. Less space means more frequent trips.
The stress caused be anxious feelings I think causes our bodies to act to remove all toxins within the body. So when high stress freaks the body out, it tries to rid of the bad thing by making us pee or sweat.
When you are anxious your body goes into the fight or flight response, this goes back to the times when humans used to fight wild animals. They would have to either choose to fight the animal or run. Part of the fight or fight response is to get Rid of any excess waste that your body doesn't need, hence you needing the toilet a lot:)
This is a physical symptom of some anxiety disorders, albeit an uncommon one. Our bowel movements are tied in to some pretty deep physiological systems. Animals release their bowels in high-stress situations, like when they are attacked or feel threatened enough. We are animals, too. The physical system is tied into the psychological system.
Anxiety has been shown in several studies to affect the gastrointestinal system. The stomach, intestines, and the muscles controlling defecation and urination are affected as well, becoming inflamed. This causes spasms, diarrhea and/or constipation, and pains in the stomach area when one becomes anxious, causing a more frequent need for going to the toilet.
Try not to be alone. Being alone gives way to dark thoughts, with nothing to distract you from them.
Sometimes it is a coping mechanism and some times it is due to fear. When you urinate it makes the body warmer and as long as there is warmth your body will learn to cope with fear and anxiety
When you get stressed out you can get nauseous and make your stomach hard it could make you have to puke of poop.
The butterflies in your stomach are actually intestinal movements speeding up. It frequently happens when you're very anxious.
Anxiety causes physiological responses in the body that rev the body up and put it into over drive which can lead to an increase in bowel movements.
In my own experience, i felt safer in toilet cabins. It feels like the walls are protecting you and you are free to do anything without judgement.
haha for me i think it's almost a way for me to stall and put off whatever it is that is making me anxious!
Maybe because you are having a mental breakdown so all your system feels like that and its trying to autoregulate
This is possibly just one of the physical signs of anxiety just like other symptoms like sweating and heart palpitations. If you still need the toilet frequently when you don't feel anxious you may want to speak with your doctor as there could be another reason behind it.
From my own experience, anxious feelings create the need to go to the toilet frequently because all of my bodily processes seem to be accelerated. The body is working harder to regulate itself. I've also had a more difficult or delayed time in going to the washroom if I'm anxious.
Anxiety is stress and stress frequently brews in the stomach. When you get stressed/anxious your stomach muscles get all tight creating those reactions
Anxious nervousness affects the bladder, causing the need to go to the bathroom often, especially at night
Different cells react differently to stress between individuals so... biological complexity = easier bladder release ;) the power of science!
Anxiety can physically affect your body in a lot of different ways, including making some body parts feel on edge. This nervousness can cause some people to feel the urge to use the restroom when they experience anxiety.
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