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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes increased urge to go to the bathroom during exams?

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Dr. Sunil Gupta

Psychiatrist

Practicing since :2005

Answered : 637 Questions

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Posted on Sat, 23 Aug 2014 in Anxiety and Stress
Question: Hi doc
My problem is whenever i have to sit through an exam i feel the urge to go to the bathroom even though i went to the bathroom right before the and also didn't consume much of liquids. This does not happen on a normal day but does make my exam time a night mare. What should i do
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Answered by Dr. Sunil Gupta 17 minutes later
Brief Answer:
It can be due to anxiety.

Detailed Answer:
Dear XXXXXXX

I can understand your concern regarding your symptom of increased urge to go to the bathroom during exams.

Your symptoms can be explained on the basis of anxiety and stress. Anxiety can lead to multitude of symptoms and increasing the urge to urinate is just one of them. A person can manifest with only a single symptom or he can have all the symptoms like palpitations, tremors, sweating, restlessness, etc.

I would suggest that you discuss your symptoms with your parents and get a psychiatric consultation for complete evaluation of your problem. Had I been your psychiatrist, I would have like to have investigations in form of complete blood counts and thyroid profile to rule out any underlying cause for anxiety.

Since, your symptom does happen only during exam time, and if there are no other anxiety symptoms otherwise, I would just suggest relaxation exercises like deep breathing and progressive muscular relaxation to control your anxiety. In addition, you should consider doing some physical exercise like jogging daily. It will also help you relax. Medications like propranolol only during exams will also help combat the symptoms and get over that difficult period.

In case, there are anxiety symptoms at other times too, treatment for the anxiety disorder with medications like paroxetine can be considered. In addition, you can also opt for psychotherapy with cognitive behavior therapy which will help you combat anxiety and relax.

I do hope that I was able to answer your query. Please feel free to ask any further query that you might have.

Best wishes,

Dr. Sunil Gupta

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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