I don't know if this is the kind of thing I should post or write in my journal, but I really need some feedback from likeminded individuals. I grew up in Alabama, went to school in Chicago and moved to NYC a year ago. I lived a totally normal life until about 6 months ago. I'm in fashion and I was doing an internship working out of this designer's apartment with 8 other people. It was a chaotic environment because the designer was manic and we were stressed out because we were preparing for the fashion show. Anyhow, the bathroom was always occupied because his roommates would be taking a shower or someone would just decide to sit in there for 15 - 30 minutes to get away from everyone else. That was fine until one day I had to pee really, really bad and someone was in there and they'd been in there for a while. I started panicking and imagining myself peeing my pants. I didn't pee my pants, but I think I did have my first panic attack. And it's gradually gotten worse since then. I don't go out with my friends anymore because there may not be a bathroom around, and I always have the urge to pee - usually once an hour, sometimes more. I don't take the subway anymore because I get very anxious on it, especially if it gets held up unexpectedly. I don't drink coffee or much caffeine anymore or anything that's citrus based, and I generally don't drink that much fluid anymore. When I do go out or have to take the subway for some reason, I always wear a pad in case I have an accident, which I never have. Basically, my worst fear at this point is that I'm going to have an accident because I can't find a restroom. Usually, when I have these urges and I pee, it's not very much so I know I didn't really have to go that bad. But other times I'll have these urges and I'll end up peeing a lot. So it's driving me nuts because I can't distinguish whether or not I really have to pee because the sensation feels the same and the anxiety rising in my chest feels the same. The thing is, is that I'm better when I'm alone because if I need to run home or find a bathroom somewhere, I'm not embarassing myself in front of someone else. And when I'm alone, I'm not as anxious. I'm also not as anxious when I'm with my boyfriend. My mom thinks this may be some form of claustrophobia. Maybe. NY does drive me crazy that way. And I have always been a little claustrophobic, but not so much that it affected my everyday life. I don't have health insurance so I can't see a doctor to see if maybe I really do have an overactive bladder, and I can't see a therapist to see if this is all mental. Any input here would be so appreciated! I'm really torn about what to do. I can't go on living this way.
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