Can anxiety cause tingling in the groin area, like being aroused?
Behaving in an apprehensive manner activates the body's stress response mechanism. The stress response is designed to bring about specific physiological, psychological, and emotional changes that enhance the body’s ability to deal with a threat - to either fight with or flee from it - which is the reason the stress response is often referred to as the fight or flight response.
A part of the stress response changes cause the body to immediately eliminate waste so that you don't have to do that in the midst of fighting or fleeing. The stress response also causes the body’s muscles to tighten so that they are more resilient to damage, including the muscles in the groin and abdominal floor areas. The stress response also stimulates the body, the body’s nervous system, and nerve endings. Any one, or all of these changes can cause a tingling sensation in the groin area similar to feeling aroused.
So, yes, behaving in an anxious manner can cause the sensation you described. Moreover, when the body becomes overly stressed, such as when stress-response hyperstimulated, you can experience these tingling sensations erratically and involuntarily, and not necessarily associated with behaving apprehensively. This is similar to all anxiety-and stress-caused sensations and symptoms when the body becomes overly stressed.
The reason you experience these tingling sensations when you see something disgusting and/or inappropriate is because of your emotional reaction to the things you believe are inappropriate and/or disgusting. Reacting negatively, as in being repulsed or disgusted, can cause a similar reaction in the body as behaving apprehensively. This reaction is more pronounced when the body is overly stressed.
Nevertheless, this tingling sensation in the groin area is common for anxious and overly stressed people. Member's can read more about this under the symptom ”Tingling” in the Symptoms section (Chapter 9) in the Recovery Support area.
The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to address anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - we call these core causes the underlying factors of anxiety - a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to address problematic anxiety.
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Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated July 2016.