Panic disorder and bladder and bowel anxieties
Panic disorder refers to the recurring experience of panic attacks. A panic attack is a brief episode of sudden and intense anxiety that is associated with sweating, increased heart rate, chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, trembling, and fear of dying. Individuals with panic disorder may avoid certain situations out of fear of experiencing a panic attack. Panic disorder can be diagnosed with or without agoraphobia (the fear of being in places from which escape may be difficult. Individuals with agoraphobia may be afraid to leave environments that they feel safe in, for concerns of triggering anxiety or a panic attack.).
- Paruresis: Some individuals with paruresis have been noted to experience panic attack symptoms in anxiety provoking situations (e.g., very busy restroom). Research by Vythilingum, Stein, and Soifer (2002) noted paruresis sufferers to experience symptoms of panic attack such as trembling (44.4%), shortness of breath (34.9%), sweating (38.0%), blushing (34.9%), and nausea (17.5%).
- Parcopresis: While research has not been conducted on the relationship between parcopresis and panic disorder, it is likely that parcopresis shares the same psychological symptoms with paruresis due to similarities between the conditions.
- Incontinence anxiety: According to a 2015 study by Kamboj, individuals living with incontinence anxiety have been noted to experience panic attacks and intrusive mental imagery, with panic and intrusive imagery symptoms being particularly prominent for those with bowel incontinence anxiety. Furthermore, research into the thematic responses of individuals with incontinence anxiety revealed sufferers to experience visceral urgency and panic (i.e., panic related to feelings of intense visceral urgency), along with an absence-of-control (i.e., a feeling of helplessness regarding lack of bodily, emotional, and situational control).