Why Anxiety Causes Frequent Urination

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anxiety causes frequent urination
Ananya Bhattacharjee
Writer. Musician. Mother. Reading, music and travelling are all time favourites. Been into ‘writing’ from the last 10 years and have become an everlasting love since I started.

Anxiety makes one upset; it is an upsetting and distressing issue faced by everyone. Many symptoms crop up with anxiety and cause more distress to a person. The tendency to pee when anxious is an example of these symptoms. Many people experience strange, anxiety urination issues from anxiety, which in turn heightens the anxiety levels.

When the body is calm and relaxed, the bladder gradually fills up with urine regularly from the kidneys, and the body sends signals to your brain giving the urge to urinate many times throughout a day.

When the body is anxious, the body is not running smoothly as the bladders come into a ‘fight or flight’ response. When that response activates, the brain overrides all other signals and focuses on the time to pee signal for the body. It is at that time that the bladder muscles contract, and puts additional pressure on the bladder to create the urge to pee.

At that time, the fear response of the body is triggered, overwhelming the bladder’s mechanisms for retaining urine, and causes the person to urinate. This is a sign of shy bladder syndrome.

Does anxiety causes frequent urination?

Anxiety causes frequent urination problems. During a bout of anxiety, the biggest worry of a person is the inability to hold one’s bladder when they experience extreme fear and tension.

However, this reaction is not common, and it requires sheer terror to overwhelm the brain. The reason one feels the shy bladder syndrome is because the brain can only handle a limited amount of processes at a particular time.

When a person is under extreme fear and anxiety, the body turns off the part of your brain that is responsible for keeping urine in the bladder. This is because that action is considered less important than fighting or running away from the situation that causes fear and the person feels pee when anxious.

anxiety causes frequent urination

How anxiety causes frequent urination?

Another more common symptom of anxiety is frequent urination. When a person experiences frequent urination, they tend to fear for the worst and worry about serious health issues like prostate cancer, diabetes, or other problems occurring in the body. However, the reason for this condition is not precisely known, though the following theories are associated: 

  • Busy Brain: An overwhelmed brain would have less energy to process and focus on holding the urine, thus causing the urge to pee more often 
  • Body Weight: Another associated theory is that if a person faces a dangerous situation, they would need to fight or flee at any moment. Urinating would help lose excess body weight, and it would be easier to run. As such, this might be one of the reasons behind the urge to pee when one is panicking. 
  • Muscle Tension: Anxiety causes muscle tension in the body. As such, it is possible that anxiety also tenses the muscles around the bladder, thus creating urinary urgency.
  • Focus: Anxiety causes hypersensitivity, which focuses the brain into processing he bodily functions more than any other action. Even if a person may not have the urge to urinate more regularly, they may feel the urge to urinate immediately, thus causing the feeling to be stronger than usual. 
anxiety causes frequent urination

Controlling the Peeing Problems From Anxiety

The best way to reduce the feeling of pee when anxious is to control and reduce the anxiety itself. It is also essential that people don’t assume their urination issues to be a result of more serious like diabetes, which is one of the significant fears a person has when they experience anxiety.

In such a situation, it is essential to get themselves checked to be sure. Also, several mental health professionals suggest practicing cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, to help manage anxiety and thus the bladder.

The CBT will also help the people to understand that frequent urination is only a bi-product of their stress and shy bladder syndrome and nothing else. As anxiety causes frequent urination, practicing mindfulness techniques can also help to reduce anxiety and have control over the bladder. 

But, does anxiety cause overactive bladder?

If a person practices these methods and still struggles to control the urge to pee when anxious, then they might have a condition called ‘overactive bladder’ and should consult a urologist at the earliest.