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Thread: A panic attack before I use the bathroom?

  1. #1

    A panic attack before I use the bathroom?

    It just happened about 20 mins ago. Not the first time this has happened either, but quite often just before I need or know that I need to go for a #2, a sudden what feels like out of nowhere panic attack comes over me. That fear of impending doom.

    Usually I feel a sudden zap or pop in the back of my head, then comes the feeling like I need to sit down before I fall down, and then comes the pure fear thinking I am getting a stroke or something. 10 mins or so later when I empty my....you know what, the symptoms quite soon subside.

    I don't have a fear of using the bathroom, and it's very strange how it comes along before I even feel that urge for bathroom.

    I wanted to know if anyone else experiences or has experienced this or have any theories on why this is happening?

  2. #2
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    Re: A panic attack before I use the bathroom?

    Iíve read that it can have something to do with the Vasovagal Reflex in some people! Iíve experienced panic before bowel movements too, but I believe itís just I can be a little hyper aware of more normal signals in that area and read them wrong.


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  3. #3
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    Re: A panic attack before I use the bathroom?

    Happens to me every morning. It stopped for a long time but has came back; which makes me think my meds are not doing the trick. Anxious mornings are common for me.

    Until my bowels are all released my body is in anxiety mode. I'll be running back and forth to the toilet. No idea how that much accumulates up there. I'm not impacted or constipated and I don't think I eat that much

    But yes, this sets off the fast heart rate, sweating, shaking, impending doom etc. I just tell myself "This happens every morning, grab a book and give it a read while you're sat here".
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  4. #4

    Re: A panic attack before I use the bathroom?

    I have a bit of a random theory, thinking on a primitive level but if you sense danger/panic your brain could say to fight or flight. If your in flight mode and on edge and are trying to get away from the "danger" stopping to go to the toilet would slow you down and if you were being hunted by a predator they may be able to catch you during this time. Maybe if you're already feeling anxious and a bit on edge and you need the toilet, maybe your brain is panicking and saying to hurry up so you can run from the danger if needed. Also when you stop to go the toilet you would be vulnerable as you can't really run or walk anywhere at that time.
    I went to a talk once about horses and stress levels and the person giving the talk said horses can have these "panic poos" (thats what they called them) where they get rid of everything whether it be fully digested or not and the person doing the research thought it may be so they could get away from the stressors and not have to stop running. Maybe its the same in humans too, obviously were not in danger like a horse but maybe our brains still trigger the primitive flight or fight causing us to panic as going to the toilet could leave us in a "vulnerable" state. Once you've been to the toilet you are able to run away so maybe the symptoms decrease as you are now able to get away if there was any danger.

  5. #5
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    Re: A panic attack before I use the bathroom?

    Digressing slightly, but I now often regard toilet visits as 'time out', and 5-10 minutes of peace and privacy for as long as it takes for me to have a bowel movement. And provided it's a decent toilet of course.

    ATM, especially with this ongoing COVID-19 scare, I place toilet paper on the seats of all toilets (other than the two in our house) prior to doing a sit-down job.

  6. #6
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    Re: A panic attack before I use the bathroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lencoboy View Post
    Digressing slightly, but I now often regard toilet visits as 'time out', and 5-10 minutes of peace and privacy for as long as it takes for me to have a bowel movement. And provided it's a decent toilet of course.

    ATM, especially with this ongoing COVID-19 scare, I place toilet paper on the seats of all toilets (other than the two in our house) prior to doing a sit-down job.
    I'm male, and sit down for both 1 and 2 Less accidental spray, but more so for comfort. My son picked this up very early on and he also sits down for both. When I have my nephews stay over my OCD is all over the place and they definitely make a mess when standing up.
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  7. #7

    Re: A panic attack before I use the bathroom?

    This could be me. I have exactly the same issues. Its terrifying. I've been on low dose amytriptyline for IBS for almost a year, but the anxiety has now got so bad, I have a panic attack if I need the loo. Dosnt matter if I'm home safe, it can happen without warning. Gp has given me 75mg Venlafaxine to add to the amytriptyline, been on it two weeks and anxiety has increased quite a bit, I'm pinning my hopes on the Ven

  8. #8
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    Re: A panic attack before I use the bathroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by WiredIncorrectly View Post
    I'm male, and sit down for both 1 and 2 Less accidental spray.
    Have a word with my husband will ya, I have to get the cloth out before I can sit down for a wee!

    Yes, I've told him - trillions of times.

    I've asked nicely. I have left passive-aggressive Post-It notes on the toilet seat, and I've full gone full on Nora Batty! (minus the brush)

    Nothing works.

    It's not just on the seat. It's on the floor, and up the wall.

    I was brought up with three males in the house, but my mother didn't have to put up with this mind-crappery!

    And, yes, he leaves the seat up!
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    Re: A panic attack before I use the bathroom?

    Quote Originally Posted by NoraB View Post
    Have a word with my husband will ya, I have to get the cloth out before I can sit down for a wee!

    Yes, I've told him - trillions of times.

    I've asked nicely. I have left passive-aggressive Post-It notes on the toilet seat, and I've full gone full on Nora Batty! (minus the brush)

    Nothing works.

    It's not just on the seat. It's on the floor, and up the wall.

    I was brought up with three males in the house, but my mother didn't have to put up with this mind-crappery!

    And, yes, he leaves the seat up!
    If I did this she'd go absolutely mad. I do sometimes leave the toilet seat up by mistake and never heard the end of it. I always blame my son I feel your pain, when my nephews stay over its all over the place. You can get those "friendly" reminders of the toilet rules to hang up. My partner did it, but with a piece of paper and marker pen.
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  10. #10

    Re: A panic attack before I use the bathroom?

    Wow, this is normal? Sometimes I'll just have random bursts of anxiety, and about five minutes later I realize I have to use the bathroom. I get freaked out and sweaty and I don't always know why I'm so stressed, until I actually go to the bathroom, after which I always feel better. It's such a strange thing, but it always happens to me! Lol!

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