Sometimes I can't tell the difference between being nervous and having to go to the bathroom.

When I get nervous, I sometimes get GI distress. And when I have to go to the bathroom, I sometimes get GI distress. And sometimes, I get this feeling like I’m stressed out, but I think it’s because I feel GI distress… and I can’t tell if it’s because I gotta poo or because something is freaking me out. I end up having to poo whether it’s nerves or just diarrhea, so it’s not like the outcome is any hint. I end up getting more stressed out wondering why I’m so stressed out and nervous… and then I have to go to the bathroom more because of my nerves. It’s really frustrating!

I also sometimes can’t tell the difference between nerves and being cold.

Is this just me?

(Why yes, this is completely mundane and pointless, why do you ask?)

A friend of mine has this problem. He gets nervous and he has to go, which means he has to find a bathroom quick. If there isn’t one close, he gets more nervous and it just makes things worse. He has anxiety/panic attacks as well, so getting nervous is a pretty common but random thing for him. I always thought of it as a pretty cruel pairing of disorders, the anxiety makes the urge to go worse, which makes the anxiety even worse, and so on. He was best man at his brother’s wedding and that was a nightmare for him, the guy was almost to tears at the thought that he’d be forced to bolt for the restroom (or worse, not make it to the restroom) in the middle of the ceremony.

It’s gotta suck. There’s so much stuff that he just can’t do, roller coaster rides, flying in a plane, long trips on roads without plenty of rest stops, because he always needs to know that he’s within a few minutes of a restroom. If he doesn’t know then he’ll worry, and then panic, and then he’s got a real problem.

No, it isn’t just you. The number of performers who feel the need to pee just before they go out on stage is limitless. That’s why stage managers call ‘5 minutes’ and then ‘Places’.

I think it was Georg Solti, speaking about Das Rheingold - a Wagner opera which is in one act and is performed without (intentional) interruption for its 2 3/4 entirety - who said "When the bassoons come in in bar 16, I always think ‘Did I go to the bathroom before I came out here? Oh, well, it’s too late now!’

One of the body’s instinctive reactions to fear is to void the bowels and bladder, to allow you to run away faster. So when you’re afraid, you want to pee and poo. It’s normal, although the cases above might be a little extreme.

Oh yeah. I’ll usually visit 2-3 times before a performance. Probably 50% nerves, 50% just not wanting to get hung up.

In a different situation, talked to my brother before his wedding and asked him how he was doing. He says, “Swear I’ve taken a S**T more times in the last 24 hours…”

Lots of people experience this…it can be diagnosed as “irritable bowel” or “spastic colon” or just be something undiagnosed that you deal with.

I have a history of this (as well as a history of panic attacks). It can really SUCK. :frowning:

The 2 go together like…hell, insert whatever analogy that makes sense for you.

Same for peeing…big test or performance or interview? I go to the bathroom several times, a ridiculous amount of times, beforehand and often STILL feel like, oh crap, please, don’t let me lose it during! :eek:

When I am stressed or anxious, I often get bowel issues (frequency, nature, sudden urges, etc…)

You may not be “normal” but you are in good company. :slight_smile:

Lord, the things I have shared in this forum in the spirit of fighting ignorance/offering support…:o

Happens to me on a regular basis. I have certain activities I do at work that cause me a lot of anxiety (although I am working it out, and can handle it much better now). The typical scenario is that I get everything all set up, and then suddenly must run to the bathroom before completing the final step. I’ve pretty much built that into my process now. Fortunately, I don’t seem to experience that type of anxiety in situations when I am not free to get to the bathroom quickly.

not just you, happens to me frequently to. sometimes it’s an early warning of an impending panic attack.

Well I’m glad it’s not me. The thing that is really annoying though is when I just have GI distress (because I ate the wrong thing or whatever) my body interprets it as nerves/stress/panic and then I get all stressed out when I totally didn’t need to.

I don’t have trouble telling the difference between nerves and GI distress because being nervous gives me the runs. So there’s nothing to be confused about because it’s an obvious cause/effect relationship. Butterflies are supposed to inhabit your stomach, but mine prefer the intestines.

I know what you mean. That used to be a symptom I had as well, and I assume it will be again. I actually remember back in 10th grade when I discovered that, if I didn’t eat, I was less nervous.

ETA: I mean that I skipped a meal when I was out socially, not that I went anorexic. I don’t think that would even be possible for me.

I get this too, and sometimes find that if I can’t find a bathroom right off, the “OMG gotta go!” feeling dissipates. It’s like, well where did that explosive BM go?" I know, from experience, that if I respond to the urge by going, then I get the BM. So why is it that if I don’t respond, the urge goes away?

where is my poo going? Am I reabsorbing it? Firming it up for later emission?

Your bowels decided they just didn’t give a shit anymore, and quit working.

I’ve had that before too; it’s disconcerting.