Struggling to see the positive side

This is my first post here and I haven't been told I have IBS however I have been diagnosed with anxiety and mild agoraphobia (only leaving the house to go to work, even that is a struggle some days). My anxiety is triggered by a fear of not getting to a toilet in time for a bowel movement as this has happened to me before when I've been out in public, I have made it everytime but the pain, cold sweat and uncomfortable feeling I get is one I don't want to have again. I start stressing that when I'm out I'll feel like that and i end up making myself ill due to worrying. I occasionally get stomach cramps accompanied with increased flatulence .I'm at a stage where I can't cope and just want it to end someway or another.

25 Replies

  • Don't you hate it when Doctors say well I can't see anything wrong

  • Get yourself an 'I can't wait card' from the IBS Society and a RADAR key which will open any disabled toiket in the UK

    Use supermarkets, shops and cafes

  • I signed up for a membership with the IBS society to see if it'll help. I presume the card comes with the membership? Don't know about the key though

  • I haven't been able to post links on this site for sometime but put RADAR key into your search engine and use the RADAR key site as it is a charity

  • Thank you

  • Have you been offered anything by the doctor to help your anxiety? IBS is largely caused by stress and you seem to be in a vicious circle here. If you are not keen to take medication you could ask to be referred for councilling concerning your anxiety issues. Cognitive therapy my also help you here. It sounds drastic but really isn't. You would just be talking about your irrational fears and helping to get them into perspective. If your agoraphobia would prevent you getting to such an appointment, tell the doctor this as this is a concern in its own right and you may be able to get someone to come and talk to you at home. If not do you have a friend who would go with you as moral support to get you going?

    Keep trying - little and often is the key. Good luck.

  • I don't want medication at this stage. I've finally been referred to get cbt just recently so waiting on a letter

  • hi see doctor again.I take amyttipline which reduces IBS attacks.ladies in here will know more about feminine aids for sudden d attacks. Don't give up.there is a way forward just have to keep trying different things.maybe some walking,gentle exercise will halp..

    it helps many to relax n relax the colon.

  • I'll speak to my doctor about this. My job consists of a lot of walking so I guess I'll get that from my job? Or do you mean outwith my work

  • sounds job walking just fine.have you tried fodmap diet.helped me.i take normacol as fibre substitute for low fibre diet as amytipline can cause constipation.



  • I will look into these. Thank you

  • there's a really good link here for a short training game that may help you. It helps train your unconscious brain to seek out the positive. Do it everyday and hopefully you may see a difference, best of luck.

  • I'll try this when I get in from work. Many thanks

  • Hi! I've got anxiety and panic attacks, mine is set off by also needing the toilet when out, not sure where the fear comes from but it's there. I had to give up my job because of this. I have been diagnosed with IBS. Have you tried cutting out certain foods to see what triggers the IBS? Also are you on any medication for it?

  • I'm slowly making myself a food diary to check out what foods affect me?

  • Im the exact same i get myself in a right state when need to leave house. I dint make plans to see friends or with my kids incase i have to cancel and tbey are 4 and 2 years old so i feel like a failure of a mum . And it so much harder finding a toilet big enough for us all😣. Im now on pills to help with my anxiety . Hope you feel better soon

  • That sounds awful. I hope everything gets sorted

  • Hi, Lhendrie. You are not a failure - just having kids of 4 and 2 is hard enough to manage, let alone IBS problems as well! I hope the anxiety pills start working for you soon. When you're a bit more relaxed, going out and about should become easier.

    I suffered similarly when my kids were small (except mine was depression) and I found that getting everything prepared for an outing ages in advance, even the night before, made it easier to leave the house. Kids need so much paraphernalia wherever they go, it's easy to forget your own needs, so packing extre wet wipes, plastic bags, spare knickers, just in case (for myself!) etc got added to the list. I know mum's are tired at the end of the day but my 'ready bag' was always good to go. My kids are grown up now, but I still get anxious about going out and I still use this method to help myself prepare. And if you get caught and need to 'go', don't be ashamed to ask to use a shop's personal toilet - most people are more understanding than you think. They would rather let you use their facilities than what ever else may happen! Trust me, I used to work in a shop and was often escorting mum's and children to the loo! :)

    Hope things get better for you.

    (Apologies bigdanny for hi-jacking your post!)

  • Thank you karis . Got hospital appointment at end of month to see if its coltis . Im hoping to be back to my old self soon .x

  • Best wishes, fingers crossed for you xx

  • You need some kind of anxiety pills to get you through bigdanny because its the stress that makes us scared!! Hence more i b s symptoms. I try a relaxation c d everyday & some mild stress speak to doctor about it cos heard it all before!! Goid luck.x

  • A food diary is a good way forward, I have colitis and find that certain foods trigger flare ups, mainly wheat and corn best of luck

  • I suffer the same can not go out because not being able to find toilet in time. Have had IBSD for 16 years and it gradually got worse. On tablets for anxiety but do not really help with the D. Had CPD but that does not solve the problem for getting to the toilet in time. Have tried most diets including FODMAP but this was not satisfactory as I cannot eat any vegetables or fruit as they really go through me very quickly. Have just had to get on with life and try to go out when I feel that I might have a good day. I am also on a dairy free diet and gluten free.

  • Hi, I have a very similar situation to yours I was diagnosed with IBS when I was 13 now going on 16 in two weeks and mine seems to get better then have a massive relaps into not being able to go out. I have the same problem about the toilet situation in school which contributes to my anxiety and agoriaphobia (docs are starting to think this is giving me panic attacks too) I worry so much that I make my self ill.

    I have some tips that have helped me and hopefully u may find some of them useful:

    Please go to the doctors about the sudden need to run to the toilet it maybe IBS and sounds like it to me

    Do u bring a big bag around with u? If so put spare underwear, trousers, even sanitary towels just in case (I wear them all the time)

    Do u have a car? I find that when someone else is driving I tend to panic more if I feel ill when I start to drive I think it will ease my anxiety knowing I can stop and go back anytime I like

    The more u stress about having an attack (panic or stomach) the worse u will make it I have found that if I think it's bad I will try to avoid that situation and one of those situations are sitting in class…

    Panic attack/anxiety attack will not kill u, u will be fine it's your body telling u to take a time out and be by yourself or even with a close friend (I'm being up panic attacks cause it can happen to anyone)

    I take rescue remedy everytime I go out along with one Imodium and I also keep Imodium and my Mebevrine (prescribed by the docs) on me at all times.

    I find being with people who understand (and won't mock me for my problem) are the best to be around when u feel an attack coming on

    I really hoped this helped and I hope u get the help u need in the future

    Kizz, 16

  • Thats how mine started out when I was 35. Im 60 now. I bugged my Dr relentlessly till he put me on lomotil and xanax. It help but never got rid of the uneasy feeling of being in public. Twice I didnt make it to the restroom and from then on I struggled with anxiety just thinking about it. Its very crippling to feel that way and Im sorry for anyone who has that. Try doing things that give you a little confidence, such as wearing a pad and keeping meds close by or in your pocket. I have a change of clothes in my car, though I havent had to use them but knowing they are there makes me feel less stressed. It is very very frustrating but in time you start figuring out what helps you. Talking to someone also helps. Hang in there, we are here for support and help.

You may also like...