It's pretty difficult to sum up several sessions into one post, but I guess the best thing for me to do is to try and start off with how my psychologist started off with me. it was really difficult for her as she had never dealt with anyone with UC before, and it was hard work getting the appointments on the NHS here in the UK as no one thought it would be beneficial, but it definitely was.
The first process i went through was trying to identify exactly what was absolutely necessary toilet trips, and what was anxiety toilet trips. Which sounds easy in principle, but was incredibly hard for someone who no longer wanted to gamble. There were a couple of simple things first of all. First was trying to test my bodies reaction in a very safe environment. After my bad spell if I even had a slight urge to go to the loo I just went, as it was an accident waiting to happen as far as I was concerned, however having not had proper bad symptoms i.e. no blood for some time, i was definitely suffering from anxiety stomach pains rather than actually needed to use the toilet all the time, and identifying these two different sensations was the key to it in the end.
So going back a step, the first thing I did was in a safe environment (i.e. at home with easy access to a toilet), when I knew for sure that I could use the loo if I needed to I started to test my holding on time. At first it was pathetic, couple of minutes then i would give in and rushed to the loo. However, after I started to employ some breathing techniques to calm myself down, and some distraction techniques to try and take my mind of things, i found that the anxiety feeling of needing to go to the loo would pass (apparently according to the doc, your body can only sustain high anxiety feelings for about
30 minutes continuously) so if you can get through that then the feelings should suppress or something.
Anyway, I'm trying to cram a lot in here. If was to start dealing with it again, my top tips for starters would be, try and learn how long you can actually hang on for in a safe environment, and while you are trying to do that, use deep breathing techniques to calm yourself down, and distraction techniques to try and divert your mind from needed the loo.
The next step of course is then trying to do this out and about
. But I'd spend a week or two trying the first step before you start dicing with public toilets.
Essentially, once you have an idea from being at home what your bodies pattern is, and starting to have a bit of control over the anxiety feeling by taking deep breaths then it becomes a lot easy to tackle this out and about
Just to elaborate, the breathing pattern she taught me was breathing in for 7 seconds, and out for 11 seconds. Mentally counting them out also helps with the distraction.
I often found sitting at traffic lights or in traffic jams to be one of the worst places for me, now when the lights go red, I get breathing and counting.
Post Edited (Bewdy) : 1/6/2009 9:43:57 AM (GMT-7)