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Common to Pee When Nervous

Published: January 10, 2013
Dear TeenHealthFX,

I noticed whenever I get too nervous I make multiple trips to the restroom. Like I was nervous about this situation I was in yesterday (waiting at the Navy base to pick my job and join) and I noticed that in 1 hour I had gone about 6 times (which is way more then usual). All I had to drink that morning was orange juice and I was pretty sure by 3 trips it should've been out of me. Can frequent trips to go pee be connected with a nervous reaction? By that I mean when you get nervous is it common to have to go pee more?


Dear Common to Pee When Nervous,

TeenHealthFX is going to assume that it is not a medical problem. However, if you have noticed that you have an increased frequency of urination in general then it is best to check with your primary care physician to rule out more medically serious conditions. It is generally a good habit to check with your primary care physician periodically.

There are several views as to what causes frequent urination from anxiety. Since anxiety and frequent urination are controlled by the sympathetic nervous system, many people cite the "fight or flight" response as playing a role. This is essentially caused when the nervous system becomes overloaded. Your body needs to prepare for so many different things at once that it can't handle them all and the area of your brain that controls urination essentially shuts off. This explanation is more likely to occur during a moment of complete terror. For example, if someone points a gun at you, it's not uncommon to urinate as a reaction to the fear.

Muscle Tension can be related to frequent urination. When you are anxious, your muscles get very tense. This tension puts pressure on your bladder, which in turn makes you feel like you need to urinate more than you would otherwise.

Another thought is that when we are anxious we are more inclined to to focusing on different sensations that we normally wouldn’t. There could be many times when you may feel the need to urinate slightly but your body has no problem ignoring the feeling and holding it back. With anxiety for some reason your brain is focus on the sensation which causes you to feel like you need to urinate more than you do.

Since excessive worrying is at the heart of a great deal of anxiety here are some techniques that can help you make the situation better:

  • Learn to manage stress in your life. Keep an eye on pressures and deadlines, and commit to taking time away from study or work.
  • Learn a variety of relaxation techniques. Information about physical relaxation methods and meditation techniques can be found in book stores and health food shops. There are also many Apps available that are easy to access and helpful.
  • Practice deep abdominal breathing. This consists of breathing in deeply and slowly through your nose, taking the air right down to your abdomen, and then breathing out slowly and gently through your mouth. When doing this it is important to focus your mind on the breathing itself.
  • Learn to replace "negative self-talk" with "coping self-talk." Make a list of the negative thoughts you have, and write a list of positive, believable thoughts to replace them. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

 

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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