I have just joined these boards and and doing so in the hope of gaining some help/advice , and to learn of others stories.
I apologise for the probable length of this post.
I think I have developed some form of OCD about going to the bathroom , that is causing me to have severe insomnia, and is really impacting on my life and daily wellbeing quite a lot.
It all started about five or five and a half years ago, when I had two severe urine\ary tract infections.On both occasions I was peeing a lot of blood and had to rush to hospital , thankfully it got treated and I was fine.
However, the second time it happened was a week before I was going backpacking alone in southeast Asia. I had never been to this part of the world before, and was terrified that the infection would happen again and I wouldn't have a clue where/how to get treatment. I then became very conscious of emptying my bladder all the time, I was always thinking if I needed the toilet, day and night. and I was convinced that I needed it, but I didn't.
Anyway I didn't get sick, but this had already planted a seed in my mind. For about a year or so I was convinced that I actually did have something wrong with my bladder etc,....I went to the doctors a few times, and they did tests a\for various things and nothing was wrong.
After this time I realised that I did not have anything physically wrong, and the feeling in the day time/waking hours that I needed the toilet all the time went away, and in this time I carried on like before any of this happened.
However, getting to sleep became a whole new problem. I still felt like a needed the toilet as soon as I got into bed (I did have further checks for any kidney problems etc but I was fine)
Anyway, to try and stop this post getting into essay lengths, in the four or so years since then its become somewhat of an obsession.
In the few hours up until bed time I will try not to drink too much so that I won't need the toilet. Going to the toilet is the last thing I do before I go to sleep, I mean like literally like the last thing, all lights turned off, ear plugs in , I have to make sure I go to the toilet after my partner. etc. But that is not enough,
some nights I have to go to the toilet up to 15 or 20 times before it feels "right" about falling to sleep. Even if I'm peeing a tiny amount, it doesn't feel right untill I do it. Sometimes I will go through this for up to 3 or 4 hours. Before I lived with my partner , I used to pee in cups in my bedroom for fear that my housemates would think I was so strange for going to the toilet so many times.
The thing is, it's not like I'm lying wide awake, I start to drop off in the normal time, and then something inside my brain fires and I have to get up to pee.
I don't even think that I will get sick anymore, I know I won't, and I know if I do need to pee my body will wake me up in the night to go. It seems to have become this ingrained pattern.
I will admit, it varies and it's not like there is a specific amount of times that I have to go for it to be ok (which leads me to think it may not be OCD), sometimes it can happen just once or twice, and sometimes it goes on for hours.
It never never happens. The very very best I can hope for is that I will drop of to sleep almost, in about 20mins, my body will wake me up, I will go to the toilet once or twice, and then I will be asleep.
Furthermore, I do not think this problem stands alone, I believe it is coupled with anxiety about getting up early, if it is the weekend, I feel relaxed about going to bed and it happens maybe for less than an hour. I used to work a l ate schedule, and it didn't effect my life so much as I could sleep later and still got 7 or 8 hours. It is also worse in difficult situations, for example, sometimes my partner comes in from work at 12:00am, if I've gone to bed at 10:00 or 10:30. I may just been finishing the cycle so to speak, but then he disturbs me, and I have to start all over again, these are the nights that I often get like 2 or 3 hours sleep. He does his best to be quiet, but y'know, the world doesn't revolve around me and my problem,I can't live in the perfect environment.
However, for the last year or so , I wake up at 6:30, which is early, but the time that 90% of the world wakes up. And the problem is just ridiculous. I end up getting 3 or 4 hours sleep a night.
I live and work in Tokyo as a kindergarten teacher, and my insanely busy hourly commute and work as a kindergarten teacher would be stressful under any situation, but this really makes my life a real real drag.
I never wake up feeling refreshed, and I start each day on a bad note, I've been trying to ignore it up to now, as I function prety much "normally" in all other areas. But I'm really just sick and tired of being so exhausted all the time. I'm 25 but feel so worn down. I have puffy baggy eyes, and feel really fed up.
I have been to the doctor about it, and first he gave me paxil, which i hated, and it also made me pee loads. Next he prescribed me sleeping pills, which did mean that I got some sleep, but didn't really help the underlying problem.I found the doctor pretty unhelpful on both occasions and he kept looking at the clock whilst I was explaining. I'm limited with the doctors I can see, as I do not have the Japanese to explain this problem in detail.
But to be honest, I'm pretty dead set against meds if possible.
I really don't know what to do. Behavioural therapy is way to expensive for me.It's not even an option. Unless I ask my parents if this problem becomes ridiculous enough.
I want to ask people's advice, does anybody know any thinking / mind strategies that could help me? any bedtime routines that could help? anyway that I could think myself out of this like I've thought myself into it?
or anybody who's in/has been in similar situations?
I want to be able to get up in the morning, for work, for leisure activies etc. I find this is really constricting my life and my way of thinking, for example. I never want to go to my friends house for dinner in an evening because it will mean that I've drank things close to bed time, and I haven't been alone so I haven't been able to concentrate on if I need the toilet or not.
I try to stop it every night, but I just can't do it.
sorry for the length of this post. I've never ever explained this in length to anybody.
I look forward to hearing from you.
The following user gives a hug of support to averagecabbage: Sweetpinklollyp (01-02-2011)
Firtstly,thanks so much for putting your post out there. When I read it,I felt like you were writing my thoughts exactly. I suffer from EXACTLY the same thing.At best,I go to the toilet three times before sleep but it's usually about 12 times and can be anything up to 30. It steals at least two hours of sleep from me on most nights and it is depressing. It has been many years since I enjoyed the feeling of falling asleep like a 'normal' person. Like yourself,this has not always been the case. I'm not really sure what caused it but I've now suffered from it for 7 years and it's getting worse if anything. My husband and I now sleep in separate rooms because of it and it's miserable.
Unfortunately,I have absolutely no advice to offer. My husband is a GP and although he is sympathetic,he doesn't understand and tells me just to retrain my bladder and be strict with myself. This is what the official line is when patients complain of a similar thing. Like yourself,however,my bladder is fine during the day so I know this is entirely psychological.
The only thing that I have found helps is playing silly games with myself. I lie down on my bed,tell myself that it's unlikely I will get any sleep at all and tell myself therefore that I am lying down for the purpose of relaxing only. This sometimes cons me enough to be able to relax better.it's the sleep thing which starts it off.it also seems to be quite situational because I can nod off on the sofa after a big lunch or sleep on a plane with only one toilet trip pre sleep. As you highlight,its far worse if I have to wake up early. I've often not slept for a second all night on these occasions.
Another thing I would suggest is self hypnosis CDs/apps. If you have an iPhone then I'd suggest searching for Glenn harrold's audio. You can at those and they also let you fall asleep (I.e they don't wake you up at the end). There is a good sleep one. I find that I occasionally fall asleep to it but more often than not,it just distracts me enough to not to be so anxious about the fact that it's 04.00,I'm still awake with a drop of urine my bladder that I can't seem to squeeze out and my alarm
is going off in 2 hours.
Lastly,have you ever tried taking melatonin? It's a natural sleep aid (the body produces it's own melatonin) that can be purchased over the counter in sone countries. This helps you fall asleep naturally without giving you hangover symptoms. It doesn't stop my nocturnal peeing but I'm more inclined to end up getting at least sone sleep when I take it and I wake less frequently to go overnight.
I really wish I could suggest more to you. I'd be really grateful if you have had any recieved any other suggestions?? Anyway,you're not alone and I fully sympathise. I really hope you make progress with this.
I have exactly the same problem as you seem to have. Although mine seems a little less extreme. Going to the loo needs to be the last thing i do before i go to sleep. If anything distracts me between coming out of the bathroom and getting into my bed, for example receiving a text, i have to start all over again. (ontop of that, everything in my bedroom has to be in place and if, after going to the toilet, i come in to find a corner of the rug lifted up, the whole thing starts over again)
However, for me, i normally have to go three times before i feel comfortable. Normally after going three times i'm tired enough to fall asleep. However, if its taking me longer to go to sleep, i go to the toilet more times. I normally can't lie in bed for more than twenty minutes before feeling like i need the toilet.
I also have this whilst watching films or DVDs. I simply can't relax and watch a film without having been to the toilet right before. And, again, if anything ditracts me, I have to start again. Usually i get up half way through a film to go to the toilet aswell.
I'm sorry i don't have any answers. But it's good to know someone is going through the same thing as me.
The Following User Says Thank You to bumblebeaful For This Useful Post: Sweetpinklollyp (02-09-2011)
Thanks for writing your post. As much as it must be very tough for you,it does help to know that you're not alone.
I'm still no closer to any answer and I discussed it with a urologist last week which was not particularly useful either. I will keep trying and will update you all if I discover anything useful.
The Following User Says Thank You to Sweetpinklollyp For This Useful Post: bumblebeaful (02-10-2011)