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Hey kxkxkx, if that is your real name. Haha, just kidding.
I know exactly how you feel!!!! I have experienced this myself and it is actually quite common, its just that everyone who has it is too embarrassed to talk about it, so they think no one else has it... I know, because that is EXACTLY how I felt.
I will share my story with you, I can't belive I'm going to write this because I have never told anyone else this before! It all started in high school, I was watching a movie in science class when all of a sudden I had this overwhelming urge to go to the toilet even though I had just gone!? I went then came back, and about ten minutes later I had to go again! This time I just told the teacher I had to get a drink... and so the excuses began... I went home from school and felt fine but on the bus the next day the overwhelming urge came back, but this time I started to freak out because the bus trip was an hour long and I didn't know if I could last that long and all the kids were around me playing and I could just imagine how absolutely horribly embarrassing it would be if I wet my pants in front of them all! This is when it went from fear to almost a feeling of terror! The next year of my life was the worst. I never told anyone and just kept trying to hold it in all the time and went to the toilet as much as possible, but it only ever effected me when I was around other people!? Among the worst things that happened over that year was that I had to get the bus driver to stop the bus halfway to school and get my grandmother to pick me up from the middle of nowhere, kids at school used to laugh at me and I was 'that kid who always went to the toilet', and I suffered depression because I couldn't live a normal life. I saw a doctor but he couldn't help me because he didn't know what it was. Eventually (and this is the most embarrassing part) I ended up getting a large novelty balloon which I wore over the end of my you know what, just as a back up incase I ever actually did wet myself! I can't believe I've just told you all that! I hope your still reading, it was a bit long... :)
I hope you are still reading for another reason - this will help you!
If someone had told me what I'm about to tell you, at the time it would have saved me so much pain.

THIS PROBLEM IS PURELY PSYCHOLOGICAL!!! There is nothing medically wrong with you! Your bladder is fine! So the first thing you have to do is get yourself to a psychologist, they can help soooo much!
It is all based on fear, the more you fear you are going to wet yourself the more it feels like you will. And when you're around other people you become worried that you will wet yourself in front of them and the fear grows stronger making you think more and more that you are really going to wet yourself. Have you noticed how its not really a problem when you're by yourself? Thats because it's all in your head, if it were medical then it would be happening all the time! This is a good thing because it means that like most fears it is easily treated through counseling, I never got counseling myself but wish I had because it wouldn't have gone on anywhere near as long as it did.
If you want to try something yourself (and I know this is embarrassing but no one else needs to know), you can get some of those adult diapers that are really thin and can't be seen through clothing. This is just as a reassurance so when you are out you have a backup plan - like my umm... balloon. This will help you to gradually get used to social situations again without the fear. The more the fear goes away, the more it feels like you WONT wet your pants. It is a slow process but it will go away, trust me. I don't even think about it now and it used to consume my life!
I think the most important thing you want to hear though is - NO, I NEVER DID WET MYSELF!!! Not even a little drop. As strong as that fear got (and believe me, it did get strong) I never did wet my pants!
I really hope this has helped you and anyone else who may read this because it is such a common problem that can really screw your life up if you don't seek help or at least talk to someone about it.

Ooh, all this talk about pee has made me really need to go now (for real!)
thaks very much for your reply, i realise that it is all in my head but i dont want to go and see anyone about it i just feel too embarrassed and i wouldnt want to do counciling or anything like that. i think i just need to be more strong minded and try to get it out of my head it been going on for 3 years now and it does take over my life i wont go out and do certain things its worse for me in stuations like going to friends houses where its embarrasing to keep asking to go to there toilet i feel ok when im outside in public its just when i know i cant leave to go to the toilet if i need to for example like meetings at work or like you said on the bus esspacialy if someone sits next to me.
i no ive got to get over this and try and help myself or its just going to stop me doing things that i want to do but i really darent speek to anyone about it. i didnt realise it was a common problem i did some searching on the internet but this is the only site i came accross where i could find anything unless ive searched for the wrong thing, it would be easyer if it had some sort of medical name.

can i as how long did it take you to get over the fear?

i dont no why i suffer with this, i cant remember the exact moment it started or why but i was a quite confident person before this happened and even though i never have wet myself i just cant stop thinking i will. like you said as well im fine when im on my own and sometimes ok when im really relaxed around my friends but sometimes i even feel like it infront of my family.

i would be ded gratefull if you could give me some more advise about how youve helped yourself im only 21 and i dont want this to go on for the rest of my life.

thank you
It is pretty common but everyone who has it is just like we are and too embarrassed to talk about it. I don't know of anything that has been published about it, [COLOR="Red"]{REMOVED}[/COLOR]

I had it myself for about a year and the only thing that helped me was a back-up like the balloon, it enabled me to actually go into those situations in which I felt I couldn't have access to a toilet and gradually I worked my way up to harder and harder situations. It is a fear, like a phobia almost, and the only way to get rid of a fear is to condition yourself to the situation you are so afraid of. It's like someone with a fear of spiders, to get rid of that fear they can start looking at a picture of a spider, then play with a toy one, then look at a real one up close until finally they can touch one, even though at the start they never imagined in their wildest dreams they could ever touch a spider. You need some sort of back-up, even if that does mean wearing adult diapers or maybe something like a heavy flow pad. With that you can start going to places that make you slightly uncomfortable, and if you do wet yourself (which I promise you will NEVER do, as much as you feel like you will, if you really don't want to pee then nothing will make you no matter how much it feels like you will) no one will ever know. Then you can gradually build up to situations you are most uncomfortable in. This may take a while but you have to be patient. I too once thought it was a problem i would have for the rest of my life but now I'm fine and you will be too if you talk to someone about it.

I urge you to go see a psychologist, PLEASE!!! It will make everything so much easier! The hardest part is just thinking about talking to someone about it but when you actually do it you'll wonder what the hell you were so afraid of! Just by writing to someone about it like you are now, is it getting easier to talk about? It's because I don't judge you, it's the same with a psychologist. They have heard absolutely everything imaginable before and to them this problem wouldn't even come close to the weirdest thing they've heard. I used to see a psychologist for anxiety and in a session one time I was so tense and freaking out that I had to lie down on the floor and he didn't even care! He also told me some things about what other people experienced. One day he mentioned a client who had this fear of peeing their pants and he was helping them to get over it. I was shocked! Because this was about 3 years after I had got over my problem and I thought I was such a freak and the only one who had ever had it! He also told me about someone who had a fear that they would fly off the planet into space, their reasoning behind this was that because the earth rotates, the spinning effect would fling her off the planet! How crazy is that! Though in fact this person was not in the least bit crazy, they just convinced them self that this would happen even though it never ever would. This problem is just like that. People can convince themselves of anything if there is fear attached to it, it doesn't mean it is going to happen though. I have had so many similar problems over the years that I have only just started getting over because nothing ever happened. I was so afraid of all these things going wrong but after so long of nothing going wrong I just started to think 'well, screw this, I don't want to be afraid any more because nothing ever happens!'

You WILL be ok and eventually you will get over it, but just remember, things are so much worse when you try to go through them yourself (I learnt that the hard way!), there is always someone there to help :)
These posts make me feel so much better about all my fears.

I had the opposite problem when I first had a boyfriend and spent the weekend with him - I couldn't go - I think it's called stage fright. I spent the night at my friend's house and every time I tried to do a wee that night I couldn't. When I finally went home I was in agony.

Maybe you should wait until you're alone some time and actually try to wet yourself. You'll realise it's not that easy - like trying to do a wee in the sea. It doesn't just happen. But there's no point saying that because it won't help. Because our fears aren't rational are they? I wet the bed once (after the age of about 3) when I was 19. Don't know why. I was sharing a flat with a friend. Luckily my boyfriend wasn't sleeping over!! I was horrified and didn't tell my friend at the time, but I've told people since and they think it's funny.

I have a fear of fainting in public too - actually, having a heart attack - but I get very frightened and have a panic attack if I feel in any way faint.
for the person above I'd recomend you put yourself through a stressful situation, but don't drink anything for atleast an hour before you put yourself through it. This way there would be no possible way to wet yourself. I would do that a couple of times until your mind realises that just because your in a stressful situatuon it dosen't mean you need to go to the toilet.
I'm so happy you found this board. I was completely alone too until i found this board...

I get a constant warm sensation in my legs especially when i'm nervous that my pants are damp, so of course when i start freaking out, my legs get hotter, and that DOES NOT help at all.

buuut it's getting better. I love school and I love all my friends and it's actually starting to diminish. It depends hugely on where you are and who are with. I find when I'm out with friends that i'm comfortable with it will only sometimes happen....

and especially even the other day i was with people i didn't really know -and surprise surprise it started happening- but i just ignored it. i keep telling myself that no one else knows, and no matter HOW wet it feels it's not AND eventually it went away! and i had a great time!

sometimes when i think i've actually peed i TRY peeing and realize that i can't even do that so it's silly to think i peed without noticing and now my pants are wet...

but it's not gone all together. when i'm in public and i know i won't be able to run to a bathroom to check it happens really bad, and then there's school. pretty much any class is hard to get through but i'm getting is especially hard because the people (the humiliation) and as well you're constantly sitting which creates warmth which makes it sooo much worse!

start slowly! it's purely psychological and a comfort thing. try convincing yourself that you love work, it's somewhere you like to be and are comfortable around all those people.... it might help :)
Firstly, well done for being brave enough to talk about this.
Secondly, I have the same problem (almost better after nearly 6 years) as you and know EXACTLY how you feel.
Thirdly, I can tell you that there are many ways to overcome this, and you will find the right one for you soon enough. My advice is to see a counsellor, they are excellent in assisting with you finding what works. CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is your best bet for long-term results and it's important to understand that, although it takes hard work and dedication, you will see positive results.
Lastly, although it seems so very real during a panic attack, you will eventually understand that you won't actually wet yourself, the sensations are extremely powerful, but are not 'real'.
I wish you all success in overcoming your problems, will post again soon.
This message is mainly for iman2206, but all may benefit.

Ok, the physical sensation is caused by your hypothalamus producing higher levels of adrenaline and cortisol, which triggers the body's 'fight or flight' physical response. When you're anxious, this is what's happening in your body.
You do physically feel pressure caused by this, however, it does NOT mean that the other muscles used to control the flow of urine are going to suddenly react too. They wont.
Counselling can help you to understand the mental trigger (low self esteem, fear of being judged, fear of people laughing at you) which causes the stress in the first place and it is here where you may start to regain control of your life.

What you need to understand iman2206, is that every time you avoid drinking, or use the toilet forcibly, you're subconciously convincing yourself that your fear of wetting yourself is genuine. The anxiety causes behaviours (such as avoiding drinking) which reinforces your belief that you will wet yourself, so naturally you take action to avoid them. This in turn adds credibility to your belief that you will wet yourself and so the cycle continues.
I don't say this lightly, as I mentioned in my first post I have suffered this too for a very long time and you should be extremely proud of yourself for having the guts to want to address this problem.
Find a counselling service through your doctor
Read about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Take as much exercise as possible (cut out junk food if possible/necessary)
Most importantly. YOU WILL NOT BE LAUGHED AT.
Medical professionals deal with bodies and minds of all varieties.
I know from personal experience.

Good luck to you all.
Wow I'm really glad I came across this thread!

Get ready for an epic tale:

I too have this problem, an acute fear of wetting myself while on a long journey or in some other situation where toilet access is unavailable to me or is deemed socially unacceptable (ie when in class/meetings/the cinema after you've just been etc.).

It's a sometimes unbearable feeling of anxiety mixed with the overwhelming desire to use the loo and is nearly always brought on for me by a trip into the unknown or some other traditional nervy activity (public presenting, driving test/lessons and so on).

The first time I recall it happening was while sitting an exam around 3 and a half yrs ago. It was my final exam at the end of college (i'm in the UK so I had just turned 18) and I knew that I had to achieve a certain mark on this one exam in order to get into the University that I had selected as my number one choice. Not having any previous history of anxiety or nervousness I remember feeling pretty good about it, almost indifferent, but as soon as I sat down at my desk and the tutor said "and you can begin.." a sudden wave of dread washed over me, as it dawned on me that I had to sit this exam and try and write down everything I had learnt, or mess up in some way and not get to the Uni (that everyone expected me to get into) the following September. As I was thinking this I was aware that I hadn't been to the loo in a while, and I had just downed a fair bit of water from a bottle I had brought in with me, I wasn't bursting for the loo, but it was a feeling that I couldn't shift and it came at the same time as my mini panic attack, which lasted a full five minutes and resulted in me using all of my willpower to stick the pen to paper and start writing (I was fine after this and stayed in the exam the full two hours).

Suffice to say I did do well enough on that exam, and I did go to the Uni that I wanted (it was awesome ).

In spite of my achievement there, it was this single event that I believe created the irrational fear. Having a relatively straightforward (and very fun) 1st yr at Uni did not create another situation like this and so the problem did not arise again for well over a year, when I began learning to drive. The first few lessons were perfectly normal, however as I came closer to my test I started putting more and more pressure on myself to do well, as I badly wanted to drive (so I could impress women obviously). It got to the point where I could no longer book 2hr lessons because I was afraid of acting 'weird' and wanting to stop to use the loo, on the eve of my final lesson and the test, I was so terrified I had to go for a 45 min walk prior to the lesson starting, to try and take my mind off it. Around the same time I was beginning to become more anxious about everyday activities, like going to lectures, and even to the pub, it started to take over, and it was only while my mind was active and thinking about a task in hand that I could forget about it, when I was in a situation where I was alone or had to be somewhere unfamiliar, it was a real problem. Bus journeys were particularly difficult (before I passed my test and got a car, yay!) and I found myself skipping lots of lectures simply because I could not bear getting on a bus and running the 'risk' of wetting myself on a journey that took just 40mins.

After going through a few ideas in my head (I've never told anyone about this ) I settled on the fact that it was an irrational fear and was all to do with a chemical reaction triggered by my own strange thought patterns, after all, I've NEVER wet myself before (except while in nappies of course), and I can go for hours and hours on end sometimes, even with a full bladder, while I was busy and if I wasn't thinking about the fear.

I have spent a long time trying to train myself not to be consumed by the thoughts, those that spiral off into outright panic attacks (sweating, being unable to think straight etc.) and I feel now that I am starting to get on top of it as I retrain myself (finding this thread has helped loads as well, reading other people's stories).

I try to compare myself with people that have conditioned themselves to do pretty much anything, like not to be as afraid of spiders, to become used to cold weather, to understand a different language, hell, even learning to play an instrument or something, this has helped me reinforce the idea that everything is still completely under my control, and that it is entirely irrational and can be stopped by positive thinking and reflection on the things I have already done.

I still get the occasional pang, normally in cars, however I have always successfully overcome the fear, even when it gets quite intense.

Just remember, your bladder will not release anything unless YOU tell it to, and you know exactly what you have to do for that to happen, this is NOTHING like the feeling that you are having when you are anxious, and it does not matter how much you THINK you will wet yourself, you won't, because YOU are controlling the muscle. That's a really confusing paragraph probably, but you might get the gist of what I mean.

Anyway thanks for reading, it's cool to get that all down and I will keep checking back to this thread in future for more stories/comments!
Hi all,
I've read many posts where it seems that we all have the same kind of anxiety attacks. I wanted to just say a few words which might help people, as I know it's helped me.
I'm sure we can all understand if I say that we tend to carry out certain 'safety seeking' behaviours (drinking less fluid, wearing protective pads/clothing, avoiding situations which make us anxious etc...) which help us avoid those terrible feelings of "what if I wet myself???".
It's important to understand that these things are actually helping to keep the anxiety going. It's a vicious circle which is very hard to recognise. For example:

"I avoid drinking fluid, so I'm less likely to wet myself"

In this situation, believing that if we drink less fluid means we're less likely to wet ourselves actually gives credibility to the belief that we will wet ourselves in the first place. Our thoughts and behaviours affect each other in both ways to keep the cycle of anxiety going.

In fact, the likelihood of ACTUALLY wetting yourself is very low. Try thinking about all the things which you do to 'avoid' wetting yourself:
[*]Take medication
[*]Avoid drinking fluids
[*]Avoid certain situations
[*]Wear protective clothing/pads

We do all these things in the hope that it will prevent us suffering anxiety, when in fact all they do is support the belief that we will. Recognising these thoughts and behaviours and then CHALLENGING them is the most important we can do. The physical feelings caused by anxiety are NOT real, even when you KNOW your bladder is empty anxious thoughts still trigger the physical feelings.
I once got stuck in traffic on a busy bus on a long bridge. There was simply no way I could get off this bus and I was BURSTING for the toilet. I must have been sat there for nearly 40 minutes, but eventually my anxiety (the need to go to the toilet) began to fade. I knew I'd been to the toilet just before leaving the house, so physically there was nothing there. I knew the physical feelings I had were caused by anxiety and NOT a full bladder and I had no choice but to confront this. By the time I got off the bus I felt almost normal.
I'd always recommend anyone to see a counsellor to help them through this.
I understand what each and every one of you is going through as I have been (and still go) through it too. The main thing to realise is that avoidance behaviors of all kinds only serve to make the problem continue, and although it is VERY difficult at first, you must start to challenge your cycle of thoughts and behaviours.
It's been almost 6 years since I first experienced this horrible problem, and truthfully, for years I just didn't understand it. I just adapted my behaviour to a sort of 'damage limitation' exercise until I realised how much it was affecting me and those closest to me.
I won't lie to any of you, it's really REALLY [COLOR="Red"]{REMOVED}[/COLOR]hard work to get through this, but you CAN get over this. Staying focused and keeping the right attitude is the best way to fight this.
You will not wet yourself. No matter how much it feels like it, it is just anxiety. The panic DOES eventually subside, then each time you challenge it, it lasts less and less. This doesn't happen overnight though guys, so keep challenging it.
I carried out an experiment to test whether my belief that I would wet myself had any credibility. I travel by bus to work. These journeys often caused me great distress, wriggling in my seat, dreading the moment when I lost control, feeling like my bladder was holding an ocean of pee just about to spill out, you all know what I mean.
So, my experiment was to test just how valid these thoughts and feelings were. The bus I get goes in a loop lasting approx 45 minutes before returning to its original place, so I bought a ticket and sat there. Every 10 minutes or so I'd ask myself "Do I believe I will ACTUALLY wet myself right now?" Thinking rationally, do I ACTUALLY believe that I, a 28 year old healthy bloke, is actually going to sit there and wet myself? I stayed on the bus for almost 2 hours. About half way through my anxiety was at a peak, strong physical sensations like I needed the toilet, but I just sat there and asked myself again "Do I ACTUALLY, RATIONALLY believe that I'm going to wet myself?" After 20-30 minutes the anxiety began to fade, I didn't need the toilet. So I sat there and asked myself AGAIN "Am I going to wet myself". The answer of course was "no".


Because the physical symptoms of anxiety were not a true reflection of how much pressure my bladder was under. Years of believing I will wet myself have conditioned me into thinking that it was possible. What I'd done was taken a significant step towards "un-learning" this belief.
It's not an easy ride guys, you'll be exhausted after a day like that. But then the next day you do something else to challenge it.

My advice is to set yourself a challenge like this. You may find it easier to begin with to have a close friend you can trust with you.
If you want to try something yourself (and I know this is embarrassing but no one else needs to know), you can get some of those adult diapers that are really thin and can't be seen through clothing. This is just as a reassurance so when you are out you have a backup plan - like my umm... balloon. This will help you to gradually get used to social situations again without the fear. The more the fear goes away, the more it feels like you WONT wet your pants.


Stumbled onto this thread this evening. I promise you this is a good idea. I don't have this fear except in ONE circumstance. On airplanes. I have had to take several really long flights and I've read one too many stories about people being forced to stay in their seats or not allowed to the bathrooms for various reasons. So before the first trip I tested an adult diaper and the large pads made for this purpose. I don't care if it seems goofy or not. It was a problem and I decided to figure out a way to not be bothered by it. I wore the diaper on the flight and took a bunch of the pads with me. I've noticed some of the responses here are from Europe. In the US it's very easy to find public restrooms. But I was told it was more difficult in Europe and I found that to be true. So I wore a pad every day just to be careful.

Test this out. And if it will help you, wear one for a while. They are cheap and well worth the confidence. If you know they will work at home and be a safety net, it might help you to relax out in the world.

I've never needed them yet on the flight. But it certainly eases the anxiety knowing that if I have an accident, I'll just be a little damp until I can get to a restroom.

Good luck all. It's not fun to have these bothersome things in our lives.
Hi there Jo Jo,

I would advise wearing padded pants intially. The reason behind this is that you can say to yourself that if the worst did happen then it would not be seen as it would be absorbed into the pants (short term solution allowing you to get out more , live somewhere near a normal life and not being in constant fear). This will reduce your anxiety.

Next you have to see a Cognitive Behavourial Therapist , so once the constant anxiety has more or less subsided you can then deal with the real problem head on.

I have the same problem as you and many others on this message board but compared to how I was 6 months ago I am a lot better. I do recognise what you are going through and it is horrendous. The worst thing is you don't understand why your mind is suddenly doing this to you.

Trust me on this one, I have been there...

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