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I would like to know if it is possible for anxiety to cause…

Hello,I would like to know...
Hello,I would like to know if it is possible for anxiety to cause bladderproblems like urinary retention and bladder overactivity. Like if you fear it and you are constantly conscious regarding it, it will happen.I feel like I have to pee all the time, and I still feel the urge when I'm done, like I can not completely empty my bladder. I have severe health-anxiety. Especially a fear of ms. Hope you can help me!Kind regards Kathrine
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Answered in 1 hour by:
11/14/2017
TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 6,001
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hello Kathrine, I'd like to help you with your question.

The urgency to urinate is a common and frequently distressing symptom of anxiety. People can experience either an urge to urinate frequently or a need to go even after they have went to the bathroom.

When you have anxiety, the urge to urinate comes from the fight or flight response common in anxiety. Your thoughts convince you that there is something wrong or threatening that will hurt you. You may feel out of control. As a result, your body responds by assuming there is a threat and that it needs to react. This causes physical changes that include eliminating urine and feces from the body, making it easier to respond to the perceived threat. This reaction occurs with threats such as being confronted with bodily harm or a traumatic event. People will experience a need to urinate and/or defecate as a result.

Your body is also overly stressed from the constant anxious feelings. When your body feels constant stress, it reacts by over activating bodily systems. You may experience many physical symptoms as a result such as a loss of appetite, sensations such as sensitive skin or tingling, head pain, blurred vision and a frequent need to urinate or defecate, or both. Many of these symptoms mimic physical diagnoses, but most of the time they are not physical but psychological symptoms instead.

It is understandable that you are experiencing health anxiety. Being concerned that your anxiety symptoms may mean a physical disorder is common. The best way to deal with your anxiety is to see your doctor first, if you have not already. Your doctor can rule out any concerns you have around your symptoms and the possible causes. More than likely, your symptoms are caused by anxiety since you know you have anxiety and because the symptoms you are describing are common anxiety symptoms. But it never hurts to be sure. If possible, take someone you trust with you to see your doctor so you don't feel more anxious seeing your doctor (which is also very common with anxiety). Once you have your doctor rule out any physical issue, it will be easier to reassure yourself that you are simply experiencing anxiety symptoms.

I hope this has helped you,

MaryAnn

TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 6,001
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thank you for all this information, it is a big relieve, now I understand the mechanism. I also feel like, when I go and pee, even though I feel the urge I can't void, only a little bit. Could that be because of excessive thinking - that I fear I can't, and then I can't. Hope you understand, my english is not that good.Kind regards

You're welcome! No problem with your english, you sound fine and I understand what you are asking.

Yes, that can be the cause of not being able to urinate when you try. It also may be that you feel like you have to go because of the anxiety overstimulating your bladder but you really do not need to go. That is also very common. If you focus on feeling anxious around going to the bathroom, you are going to need to go just from the anxiety alone, not from a need to urinate. It's like when someone says do not think about purple elephants. You try not to, but it is all you can think about. It is the same with anxiety, the more you try not to think about going to the bathroom, the more you feel you have to. In order to stop, try therapy, relaxation techniques and self help. Here are some resources to help:

On line links:

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_types_symptoms_treatment.htm

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_self_help.htm

http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-anxiety-disorders

Books:

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne

When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life by David D. Burns

The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anxiety: A Step-by-Step Program by William J. Knaus EdD and Jon Carlson PsyD EdD

Coping with Anxiety: 10 Simple Ways to Relieve Anxiety, Fear & Worry by Edmund J. Bourne and Lorna Garano

Support groups:

http://psychcentral.com/resources/Anxiety_and_Panic/Support_Groups/

http://www.dailystrength.org/c/Anxiety/support-group

Progressive Muscle Relaxation:

http://www.guidetopsychology.com/pmr.htm

These resources can help you learn how to relax your mind and therefore your body, reducing your anxiety and the need to use the bathroom.

MaryAnn

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thank you very much. I understand. I think this healthanxiety is all because I have a twinsister in wheelchair. I'm the only to take care of her, and the only one who understand her, so I'm afraid something will happen to me (like incurable disease) so I can't be there for her.I will follow your advice. Thank you - this helps a lot.Best regards

You're welcome. I'm happy to help anytime.

It is very possible that being a caregiver and the worry that goes with your situation is causing the anxiety you feel. And if it is not the whole cause, it is certainly a factor. Being the sole caregiver is very stressful and finding a balance to take care of yourself is not easy. I'm not sure if you have tried therapy or not, but the support can help tremendously as can support groups. Whatever you decide, you do not have to be alone. Reach out any time you need to. You deserve support and help.

MaryAnn

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I see. Thank you. I will try therapy maybe. Do you think I can be much more "aware" of my bladder because of the health-anxiety - Like now I feel I have the urge to pee almost constantly. Like I can only hold like 300ML then I have to go to the bathroom.- Regards

Yes, because of the anxiety, you are likely more aware of your bladder. Like we talked about, if you try not to think of the purple elephant that is what you think about. Because you are anxious and worried about having to urinate, you will focus on your bladder. That can make you feel like you need to go to the bathroom, even if you don't.

MaryAnn

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I understand. Thank you again.

No problem!

Take care,

MaryAnn

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