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Thread: Anxiety, bladder spasms, ptsd (trigger warning for medical ptsd)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2017

    Anxiety, bladder spasms, ptsd (trigger warning for medical ptsd)


    I hope this is the right section to post this in but I am looking for some collective wisdom from the folks at NMP. I'm 47 and full on in perimenopause. I know that I started to go into perimenopause around 40-41 because I had a number of things suddenly shift for me that looking back I realize were early hormonal changes (drop in progesterone). These included really bad acne, a very noticeable increase in anxiety, an increase in inflammation. Then at 41 I had what was diagnosed then as an onset of interstitial cystitis, which was pretty severe urgency, frequency, pressure, pain and burning. But, it didn't end there! I also had an uptick in IBS, pelvic pain, reemergence of old injuries, basically a greatest hits album.

    What I have come to understand through the last six years of dealing with this is that most of the above is directly related to anxiety. As I've dealt with the ups and downs of healing my body, I have found that my greatest wins have come with addressing my anxiety. But I have reached a wall with my bladder pain/issues. My bladder is my HA origin story. When I was a very young child I had what was later determined to be a completely unnecessary procedure. I had what they thought were chronic UTIs and how they treated it in the early 70's was with a procedure called a urethral dilation. It's very a very invasive thing to do to an adult let alone a toddler. When that didn't do the trick they resorted to performing a surgery and cut open the urethra. I was under anesthesia but in some ways that was worse because I was only four and had a very limited understanding of what was happening. I did know that I was fine before I went to sleep for surgery but was in terrible pain when I woke up.

    I've had severe HA ever since. In spite of that, I've made HUGE strides with my HA not related to my bladder with my anxiety work and even some very good changes with bladder HA when I went through the whole IC process. What I am struggling with is the anxiety that occurs during sleep. Due to ongoing anxiety, hormonal changes, and whatnot I sometimes have body spasms while falling asleep or wake me up if my sleep is restless. My work with the Heart Math app has helped me to dial down the panic I experience during a body spasm. Plus, I've been using the panic attack workbooks on the forum and they have been great too. These bladder ones are the worst. I think I may have hypervigilance when it comes to sleep because of my operation. I find that the panic is very severe.

    I know this is a total long shot but has anyone dealt with severe somatic anxiety related to ptsd, medical or otherwise? If so, I'd love to chat to see what helped you move past it. I know that there were a couple of ladies who were dealing with anxiety bladder stuff and wasn't sure if any of that was related to a past trauma or if it was just changing hormones and anxiety. Mine seems to be a perfect storm of all three. I understand that ptsd and trauma are very sensitive topics and I'm fine with also taking this to a PM, if that's preferred. Thanks in advance for any help!

    PS. I should note that I have been working with my doctors to rule out anything greater than changing hormones and anxiety. I get regular check ups and testing. I'm not looking for medical advice.
    Last edited by MJunderway; 18-06-19 at 21:47. Reason: Clarification

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    , , United Kingdom.

    Re: Anxiety, bladder spasms, ptsd (trigger warning for medical ptsd)

    Hi I completely understand what you say here I'm going through bladder thing just now . It's completely made me ill with worry and totally ruining my life and it only started 4 weeks ago . I know my anxiety started because of a lot of things in the past that happened. If you need to talk just message me as I could do with some more advice on bladder issues too . Xxxx

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2017

    Re: Anxiety, bladder spasms, ptsd (trigger warning for medical ptsd)

    Hi Molly,

    Thank you for your message! I just randomly checked this sub-forum and saw that I got a reply. I will DM later this week. Ive been dealing with a lot of emotional PTSD flashbacks recently, sometimes they affect my bladder, sometimes not. I think the ongoing lockdown has made it really hard to escape these parts of myself. Anyway, Im sorry to hear you are going through these issues as well. Im happy to share some things that have worked for me as well as just lend an ear.

  4. #4

    Re: Anxiety, bladder spasms, ptsd (trigger warning for medical ptsd)


    I have similar anixety and bladder problems, Iam currently still struggling with my bladder issues. I went through a traumatic experience when I had to hold my urine for several hours on a road trip, I was fine a few days after. But when I had a stressful last few years. I found myself trying to empty my bladder too soon. I even did this yesterday. I have a complex now and can't seem to get past it. I am worried that I have damaged my bladder. The local GP said your bladder can take a lot before it will be damaged. But I have been doing this to bladder for several years. GP suggested Sertraline. I did try it, although I was drowsy on it, and had more setbacks. So I stopped taking it. Iam considering trying it again. Because I feel pressured to get to the bathroom on time without hurting myself again. Has anyone else had similar issues with anxiety, stress and urination problems. Any help would be very grateful. Craig

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2017

    Re: Anxiety, bladder spasms, ptsd (trigger warning for medical ptsd)

    Hi Craig,

    Sorry for the very delayed reply! I did not get any notification about your post. There's a very strong correlation between anxiety and bladder issues. I know that doing just simple diaphragmatic breathing helped me to break the overactive pathway between my brain and bladder. It still kicks in from time to time (I have my triggers) but it definitely helped to calm things down a lot. Also look up vagus nerve calming exercises. It will take a bit of time for the results to kick in but it does help. Hope you find this to be helpful!

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