Hi everyone. I am wondering if anyone else here has suffered from this and can offer help. I know toilet anxiety is a form of social anxiety because it involves extreme fear of embarrassment, and that’s why I started taking this course.
I am not talking about shy bladder/bowel, but about dealing with anxiety that causes diarrhea – it basically causes me to “flee” the situation, and whoa trying to keep calm is HARD when your belly starts hurting like hell and you feel it’s coming.
This is how it’s happening to me: I’ve always suffered some social anxiety, appointments and cameras being the trigger for the worst cases ( yeah, needless to say, knowing everyone nowadays carries a camera in their pocket is not helping me ). The problem is diarrhea, and the absolute fear of not making to a toilet on time. “Accidents” happened twice, in my early teens (I’m almost 40 now ) and although that was highly embarrassing, I wasn’t too far from a drugstore and that was years before the smartphone/social media era.
Two years ago I had a close call while inside a bus, and it didn’t help that I was also going through a highly stressful situation…and since then I couldn’t live anymore. Now as soon as I step outside, my belly starts aching and the fear of embarrassment is overwhelming, causing even more anxiety that cause looser stools that cause more anxiety…..
It’s been one year since I last left my house without padding and carrying a backpack with extra clothes and other stuff ( I AM able to walk a few blocks as long as I don’t have any appointment ). ANT immediately throws an image of the day it first happened, or it happening again when I’m far from home; ANT also catastrophizes by trying to make me imagine the scene becoming immortalized on the Internet. It also tries to ruin my motivation by reminding me I’m a 40 year old female and when/if I finally get cured, it will be too late to enjoy life anyway.
I went to many therapists and doctors ( alternative and traditional ) but this program is the first thing that seems to be working. I hope that somehow the new ways of thinking will one day stop my bowels from acting up and I’ll be able to travel again – with public transportation, by daylight, wearing whatever I want and not having to “map” all the places with toilets. That’s how it used to be…
I don’t own a car ( can’t drive because of bad eyesight ) and live by myself.
I come back home as calmly as possible, trying to think slowly and walk as slowl as possible… But how can I not “feed” anxiety? Seriously, it seems like causing diarrhea is THE way for ANTS to win. How can I not do what anxiety wants me to do?
I appreciate if anyone can help me with this