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Performance anxiety bowel movements

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by HopethereisHope, Oct 11, 2022.

  1. HopethereisHope

    HopethereisHope New Member

    I'm a 32 year old male and I've had tms pretty much my whole life in various manifestations, but it wasn't until a couple of years ago when dealing with pelvic pain I figured out that it was all just tms after coming across "Healing Back Pain" and later this forum. I applied the techniques/mindset and after some trial and error I got rid of the pelvic pain and a lot of other pain issues.

    Since getting rid of the pain issues I've developed health anxiety as I now know how powerful the mind is at creating problems for the body. It's like my mind is constantly scanning for potential health issues.

    My latest health scare is to not be able to have normal bowel movements due to performanxe anxiety (lol). In other words, I'm scared that being anxious about not being able to have normal bowel movements will make it harder to actually do it. And absurdly enough that's what has been happening for the last week after I developed this anxiety.

    I've been able to do it regularly but it feels like I can't get it all out, and sometimes I have to massage my stomach to get it out. Also, several times I've felt that I had to go, but when I got to the toilet I didn't felt like it anymore. My bowel movements have always worked pretty much perfect before this so its obvious that it's not a physical problem but rather an anxiety problem as it started right after I developed this anxiety.

    I'm really panicking about this as I'm not entirely sure about how to get out of this and my mind is constantly thinking about it. With my pain issues it was easier because I slowly learnt to accept the pain sensations and I knew that doing activities wasn't dangerous. In other words, it was easier to accept the worst case scenarios as it didn't interfer with my quality of life that much.

    With this new issue I find it hard to accept the worst case scenarios that my mind is bombarding me with:
    - that I will be constantly constipated and lose the capacity to feel that I need to go, or that if I get the feeling that I have to go I'll always lose it when I get to the toilet. I'm afraid that I will have to frequently go to the doctor or something to get it out and just be a freak without a normal life due to it.
    - I'm afraid that it will never go back to have it was before where it just worked all by itself and I never worried about it.
    - I'm afraid that I have to be careful eating as to not fill up my stomach more and more, which in turn will interfere with my strength training
    - I'm also afraid that massaging my stomach to get it out which I sometimes have to do now will make my body unlearn how to do it itself.
    - I'm also afraid of taking laxative as I'm afraid that my body will get dependent on it and unlearn how to do it itself.

    I know it sounds weird that I have this issue when I know its my mind that creates it. But its like when I try to tell my anxiety to just relax it works for a little while but then it soon comes back again. I've also tried to have a "I don't care if it don't work" attitude, and accept the worse case scenarios. This works for a while but then it soon comes back again. Maybe I'm not trying hard enough though?

    So does anyone here has any tips about how I can get out of this problem? Are my worst case scenarios that I listed above realistic at all? And please, please, I don't want to hear any negative stories, that will just increase my anxiety. Only positive stories or tips. Thanks a lot.
  2. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    Personally, I think you have simply fallen into the tms trap again.
    This work, just like tms, never ends. My suggestion is to do the SEP with an open heart and mind.. and once you have finished it, keep with work, not just the idea of tms in your daily habits.
    Looking at other times ocd thoughts overtake your life is important.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  3. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Or, as I like to say "This is your brain on TMS".

    Your immediate goal is to tame overthinking, rumination, and obsessive thoughts. @Cactusflower mentioned OCD, and although I have zero credentials to diagnose, that's what this sounds like to me, too - based on eleven years of observation here.

    You asked for comments on your worst-case scenarios, but if you're looking for physical opinions, that can only be done by a health professional. From a mindbody point of view, I suppose any of these is possible if you believe that's going to be the outcome. That's how powerful our brains are. They are equally powerful when it comes to self-healing. I know you know this, but fear has you in such an intense grip right now, you are not thinking rationally. You might consider seeing your doctor so you can be reassured physically and at least get a grip on reality so you are in a reasonable place to start thinking psychologically instead of physically.

    I find this to be very sad. Given the nature of our forum (maybe you haven't spent time getting to know us), this doesn't even allow someone with similar issues to offer sympathy and support. This is your TMS fear brain, attempting to limit the information allowed into your consciousness, boxing you in and supposedly protecting you from the real world. In reality, it is not doing you any favors.

    @Cactusflower gave you good advice about doing the Structured Educational Program with an open heart and mind, but if you are too wound up to manage that, you might need to consider therapy for anxiety and possibly OCD.

    I sincerely wish you the best getting through this.

  4. HopethereisHope

    HopethereisHope New Member

    Thanks a lot for your reply. Yes I think you're right that I fell back into the tms trap again. I got complacent I guess since I haven't had symptoms for a while. Will start doing the SEP again. Again thanks a lot.
  5. HopethereisHope

    HopethereisHope New Member

    Hey. Thanks a lot for taking your time to reply to me. Yes you're right that fear is having me real hard now. Just the tought of the brain being able to make my worst fears into reality is extremely scary. And I guess people are different but for me hearing about someone else being stuck in the same mud as me now is just way too traumatizing and just fuel to the fire of my fear. So yeah it's sad but it is what it is. I guess what my brain needs is reassurance and positive stories. Again, thanks for replying and helping me.
  6. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

    “I haven’t had symptoms in awhile” - meaning not your regular pain? It is important to remember you constantly have “symptoms”, like a blush when embarrassed or tensing arms when frustrated or other physical manifestations of our emotions. Noticing these things regularly is helpful ongoing practice to remind us how we are feeling emotions, and helps fear when we have other symptoms.
    JanAtheCPA likes this.
  7. HopethereisHope

    HopethereisHope New Member

    Yes not my regular pain. But I've had a lot of eczema and insomnia for like a year and I'm starting to wonder if that was all tms as well, cause the anxiety started again when those issues got better. And those issues created a lot of the same bad emotions and obsessions like the anxiety and pain do as well. Anyways, by performance anxiety is a lot better now and things are going back to normal in that department. Now I just need to keep working on my mindset to slowly get totally released from this tms habit. Again, thanks a lot for your help and taking your time to help me. It means a lot.
  8. Booble

    Booble Well known member

    Good news! You don't need to manage your bowel movements. Your body does that automatically and only gets f-d up when we get in the way by giving it any attention. It's 100% normal to not go poop for 7-10 days at a time. It's 100% normal to not get out all the poop on each visit to the toilet. It's 100% normal to occasionally ignore the feeling of having to poop (yes, I have read those online scary things about that),
    and it's 100% normal to eat as much as you'd like without worry of how it will impact your pooping.

    Stop massaging, stop thinking about if you are eating too much, stop paying attention to the volume of how much or little you poop, and stop giving any attention whatsoever to if it feels if there is poop still inside. (It's ok, poop is supposed to be there!)

    Instead grab your favorite notebook, piece of paper and pen and write down -- "Why am I obsessing on my pooping? Did I have any incidents around poop that scared me? What am I really angry about that I'm avoiding?" And let your unconscious answer the questions on your piece of paper. You can toss the paper once you get it all out or put it aside if you prefer.
    Either way, the idea is instead of obsessing on your poop process, use that thought, energy and time on your emotions.
    I promise you are going to poop 1000 times better when you let your body handle it itself. Sometimes (most of the time!) we need to stop micro managing our internal project managers. :)
  9. HopethereisHope

    HopethereisHope New Member

    Thanks a lot for your very uplifting post. Yes I think journaling is the key. I'm luckily back to normal when it comes to pooping now haha, but my anxiety has jumped to other areas so I guess there may be some surpressed feelings that are driving this symptome imperative pattern. Luckily the anxiety level isn't as high as it was so its managable. Anyways, I will keep journaling to see if there's anything hiding in my subconscious. Again thanks a bunch.
    Booble likes this.
  10. Booble

    Booble Well known member

    You're welcome. Glad to hear it. It's funny and very impressive of our brains to keep moving our anxiety obsessions onto different things. Sneaky buggah, that brain of ours! Enjoy the journaling.
    HopethereisHope likes this.
  11. rantsata

    rantsata Newcomer

    Regularly observing these things can help us remember our feelings and reduce our dread when we experience additional symptoms.

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