Having anxiety about needing the toilet (toilet anxiety) is surprisingly common. We probably see 2 or 3 new cases a month.
Although every case is different, they all share similar characteristics. The typical triggers generally involve believing they will need to use the toilet but for some reason, it will be difficult. Generally, the reasons will be quite specific and often very narrow. i.e. it might be whilst driving and encountering a traffic jam or it could be whilst out shopping and being unable to find a public toilet.
They will often try to use the toilet frequently before going out, sometimes 5 or 6 times. They will often avoid eating or drinking before going out as well.
This type of agoraphobia behaviour can be very debilitating indeed for the sufferer. They may not go out socially to things like restaurants or the movies, even though they know that there are toilets there. They may not travel on public transport, even trains or coaches with toilets on board.
The anxiety is heightened when there is only one toilet. As they will worry that someone will be using it when they need to use it. So they may get very anxious at a party for example if a queue for the toilet develops.
They may become very anxious in these sort of situations. Sometimes they can have a panic attack at a party or social situation and have to return home where they feel safe.
Is this your journey to work?
Toilet anxiety needs no evidence
Even though the sufferer may have never had the experience where they have wet or soiled themselves in public, and have no evidence that it will indeed ever happen. The lack of evidence will do nothing to lessen the fear. They may, for example, need the toilet and have to hold it for an hour or more. This for most people would be evidence that they are capable of holding it for a reasonable amount of time to facilitate getting to a toilet. However, for the toilet anxiety sufferer, this simple piece of evidence will be completely ignored as that does not fit in with their current beliefs.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) sufferers often suffer from toilet anxiety and it will quite often exacerbate the IBS by raising stress levels, which of course feeds their toilet anxiety.
How can hypnotherapy help with toilet anxiety?
Toilet anxiety can only exist if the client has the belief that they will not make it to a toilet. For most people, this fear is tempered by the belief that they can hold it until they reach a toilet. Essentially it is a confidence issue, the confidence in their body to deal with the situation when it arises.
By using hypnotherapy we are able to deliver the suggestion directly to the subconscious part of the mind. Once that suggestion is taken on by the subconscious, the beliefs change and then ultimately the behaviours fall in line.
There may be numerous situations that trigger their fears. However, normally we only have to tackle a few of them before the subconscious gets the message. At that point, the fear collapses and the anxiety falls away.
The specialists at the Surrey Institute have a vast experience dealing with toilet anxiety and can generally resolve it within 4 to 6 sessions.
If you have toilet anxiety, be rest assured that you do not have to live with it and the problems it brings. By using hypnotherapy for toilet anxiety we can help you to get rid of it for good.
If you would like to find out more about treating anxiety please visit our main anxiety page.
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Since the COVID pandemic, we have been working with clients to help them overcome their toilet anxiety on line. The interesting thing is that it appears to be just as effective as in-person sessions. We are now working with clients from all over the globe and helping them to return to a more “normal” and carefree life.
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