Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

Why do anxious feelings create the need to go to toilet frequently?

170 Answers
Last Updated: 08/28/2020 at 10:33pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Michael Hofrath, Ph.D. Candidate

Pre-Licensed Professional

The only way to the other side of pain is to walk through it rather than around it. Life is a continual journey. Sometimes we get stuck. I will help you get unstuck!

Top Rated Answers
Aquadreamer4151
April 7th, 2016 7:11pm
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
WhisperingMist
May 15th, 2016 9:01am
In my experience my anxiety shows up sometimes as an upset stomach and that causes me to sometimes frequent the restroom.
CopperSkies
May 18th, 2016 9:19pm
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.
winsomefish
May 20th, 2016 12:51pm
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.
BriDreaming
May 26th, 2016 10:43pm
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.
Zeprider98
May 28th, 2016 5:06pm
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
Anonymous
June 1st, 2016 4:08pm
Because when you're anxious you're body is too. When you're brain can't relax, it causes other issues.
hardtimesbetterlife12
June 16th, 2016 12:12pm
Anxiety can cause muscle contractions that may press on the bladder and bowels making one feel the need to expel waiste more frequently
Anonymous
June 16th, 2016 11:59pm
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.
Anonymous
June 18th, 2016 5:19am
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.
Cheerfulsunshine
June 23rd, 2016 8:35pm
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:)
NaturalScience
June 28th, 2016 12:17am
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.
Anonymous
June 30th, 2016 9:09am
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.
Kyarra
July 1st, 2016 9:53pm
Try not to be alone. Being alone gives way to dark thoughts, with nothing to distract you from them.
LondynRose
July 10th, 2016 3:13pm
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
JoyfulDreamer13
July 14th, 2016 4:41pm
When you get stressed out you can get nauseous and make your stomach hard it could make you have to puke of poop.
Anonymous
July 15th, 2016 9:12pm
The butterflies in your stomach are actually intestinal movements speeding up. It frequently happens when you're very anxious.
Anonymous
July 21st, 2016 8:10pm
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.
CinematicMeerkat
July 22nd, 2016 7:06pm
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.
klementineritz
July 22nd, 2016 11:38pm
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!
Anonymous
July 28th, 2016 2:11am
Maybe because you are having a mental breakdown so all your system feels like that and its trying to autoregulate
michelle2000
August 8th, 2016 12:51am
Your anxiety may be fooling your brain into thinking that you need to use the restroom but perhaps in reality your body uses the bathroom as a place to hide your anxiety and relax for a few minutes. Just being in the bathroom may calm your brain and help stop your anxiety temporarily.
peachicus
August 27th, 2016 8:19pm
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.
BhEARd
September 1st, 2016 4:33am
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.
Anonymous
September 1st, 2016 6:09am
Anxiety is stress and stress frequently brews in the stomach. When you get stressed/anxious your stomach muscles get all tight creating those reactions
muhammeds20
September 1st, 2016 8:38am
LightenYourDay12
September 3rd, 2016 7:18am
Anxious nervousness affects the bladder, causing the need to go to the bathroom often, especially at night
Anonymous
September 4th, 2016 7:50am
Different cells react differently to stress between individuals so... biological complexity = easier bladder release ;) the power of science!
AlexandriaL
September 4th, 2016 7:56pm
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.
SeanW
September 7th, 2016 10:50am
When someone manifests anxiety it causes tension in the the body. Going to the toilet is a release of this tension. But one must be reminded, all tensions are created mentally.