Prostate health is no laughing matter. The male prostate is a common source of health concerns and can represent a serious problem for men over the age of 50, or those with a family history of prostate issues.
Prostate health concerns are also a common cause of anxiety, both when you have been diagnosed with a prostate issue and when you have symptoms that mimic prostate related dysfunction. In this article, we'll explore some of the links between anxiety and the prostate.
The Anxiety of Health
Health anxiety is a very serious problem, and one that can result in numerous unnecessary doctor visits and a lower quality of life. Learn how to control your anxiety with my free 7 minute anxiety test.
Avoiding the Self Diagnosis
Perhaps the most important issue is the idea of self-diagnosis. Make sure that you've visited a doctor. There are many symptoms of anxiety can cause prostate related fears. Take my anxiety test also to see if you may qualify for anxiety.
Many people worry about prostate problems not because anything is wrong with their prostate health, but because they have symptoms that resemble prostate issues and they convince themselves in must be a prostate issue. Symptoms like:
- Frequent urination.
- Waking up to urinate.
- Pain in the lower back.
- Low urine amount.
These can actually happen with anxiety. Anxiety can actually affect urination, because when you experience anxiety resources in your brain are sent to the areas that "need" them, and the part of your brain that controls urination starts to slow down. That causes you to urinate far more often than you normally would. In some cases that can also lead to less urine (since you've urinated already).
Anxiety can also lead to various aches and pains, as well as unrestful sleeps which may cause you to need to urinate when you do wake. Prostate problems are a very real concern, so always see a doctor if you're worried about your prostate health. If your prostate is healthy, there is a very good chance that you are simply experiencing anxiety.
When You've Been Diagnosed
Being diagnosed with a possible prostate health issue can obviously cause a considerable amount of stress. What makes the stress worse is that some doctors don't even recommend treatment right away. Instead they recommend "self-monitoring," which is when you simply regularly pay attention to the way you feel and contact a doctor if anything changes.
These behaviors are likely very important for your prostate, but they can be extremely negative for your anxiety. Indeed, not only can living with a chronic health problem cause extreme anxiety – many people find that self-monitoring increases anxiety as well, because every single sensation you feel creates distress over the idea that something may be wrong with your physical health.
Even if you do have a prostate health issue, that doesn't mean that you should be forced to live with anxiety. No health issue should control your life, because your happiness should always be in your control.
Learn to Control Your Anxiety Over Prostate Health
You shouldn't be suffering from this type of anxiety, even if there is a good reason to be anxious. Anxiety doesn't make your prostate any healthier – all it does is make it harder to enjoy life.
It starts by talking to your doctor. Always listen to your doctor's recommendations. This is important for anxiety as well, because avoiding the doctor or their advice only will keep a voice in the back of your mind telling you you're in danger, and that voice will cause more anxiety. If you haven't been diagnosed with any prostate health issues, talking to your doctor is exceedingly important. Self-diagnosis is an extremely common and extremely damaging anxiety condition.
You should also take my free 7 minute anxiety test now. The test will give you information on what your anxiety is like and how you can rid yourself of it.
Berghuis, James P., et al. Psychological and physical factors involved in chronic idiopathic prostatitis. Journal of psychosomatic research 41.4 (1996): 313-325.
Dale, William, et al. The role of anxiety in prostate carcinoma. Cancer 104.3 (2005): 467-478.
Roth, Andrew J., et al. The memorial anxiety scale for prostate cancer. Cancer 97.11 (2003): 2910-2918.
Author: Micah Abraham, BSc Psychology, last updated Sep 28, 2017.