Childcare and You

Childcare and You

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Teenage Bedwetting – What Causes it and How to Deal with it

Mahesh sleeps deeply, he could sleep through a bomb blast...well, maybe that is an exaggeration, let us say, he could sleep through a fire alarm and not turn a hair and even going to pee would not stir him up, with the result, he wet his bed. Next morning, he is ashamed and upset. But he is not the only one with this problem. Every 1 teenage out of 100 suffer from bedwetting. Though children usually wet the bed at night until the age of six, if it continues until your child is a teenager, then it is termed in medical terms, as enuresis or involuntary urination and should not be ignored. Teenage bedwetting is very common and not a case to be despaired at all. It usually resolves on its own when your child turns 16 and can be easily cured as long as you are able to diagnose the root cause and deal with that.

Teenagers with enuresis may suffer isolation from his peers and the shame of not being able to fit in with their group on account of missing out on sleepovers, summer camps, night outs or any other overnight activities. Enuresis is of two kinds; primary and secondary.

The Causes

Hereditary Teenagers with primary enuresis are said to be genetically predisposed to this problem, especially if one of the parent had similar problems as a kid.

Delayed development of bladder control – Teenagers with smaller bladders may be unable to hold on for long.

Hormonal disturbancesSome teenagers may have inadequate production of ADH (anti-diuretic hormone), that regulates the body’s capacity to retain water.  

Emotional and mental issues Combative home atmosphere, death of family member or close friend, emotionally upset due to divorce, change in residence or schools due to relocation, may contribute to a teenager’s inability to hold his urine.

Deep-Sleep DisorderMost teenagers suffer from primary enuresis due to faulty sleeping patterns, which is why the teenager is unable to rouse himself in the night to go to the bathroom.

(ADD) Attention Deficit Disorder or (ADHD) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – ADD & ADHD are also known to be one of the major causes of teenage bedwetting, as the characteristics of this disorder are closely related to deep-sleep disorder.

Emotional stress & psychological issues cause secondary enuresis. It is the largest contributing factor to teenage bedwetting.

 Defective spinal cord – Misalignment of the spine on account of a fall or an injury can cause obstruct proper nerve function, creating health issues, even bedwetting.

Congenital abnormalities, infection in the urinary tract, juvenile diabetes mellitus are some other causes.                                                                                                                             

The Treatment

As long as you are able to locate the cause, treatment can be relatively simple. Of course, you will have to follow the usual guidelines of;

Not taking any fluids for at least a couple of hours before bedtime.

Use the bathroom just before going to bed

Use a loud alarm to wake your child up to use the bathroom. It will not do any good, if you are able to sleep through the alarm.

Have your teenage child to use a bedwetting alarm that is to be placed inside the underwear and will set off as soon as it gets wet, giving a tangible sensation to the user, inducing him to use the bathroom. Regular use of this alarm will attune your son’s body clock to that time he normally wants to go.

Review treatment options for ADD & ADHD, through a skilled medical practitioner and start on appropriate medication right away. Resolving your irregular and complicated sleeping pattern would definitely cure your bedwetting problem.

Do a medical check-up of your child's urine, in order to rule out the presence of diabetes or any urinary tract infection.

Resolve any mental or emotional issues at home like sexual abuse etc, with your family members, through counseling, interactive communication or hypnosis.

Treatment from a chiropractor to correct the misalignments in your spine will restore your nerves and get them to function normally again.

Make your teenage child responsible for washing and changing the wet sheets, so that it will motivate them to work out their issues to stop bedwetting.

Sometimes, teenage bedwetting can be resolved through a combination of several therapies like medication, counseling and behavioral modifications. In case of Mahesh, he was the youngest with two older sisters. His counselor noted that he was always being dominated by his parents and sisters, which stressed him totally, causing him to wet his bed. The counselor advised them to modify their behavior as well as motivate him to be responsible. The advice was duly carried out and within a year, Mahesh was as good as new.

Teenage bedwetting is not an insurmountable issue. There are treatments and behavioral approaches that are very effective in dealing with it.

Click on the video below for more information on bedwetting alarms

1 comment:

  1. I suffered from teenage bedwetting and I have buried the memory far away until now, when I decided to use the interent to find out why I may have suffered from that insufferable condition. I was a good looking, popular, talented, funny girl with no major issues in life other than my parents divorcing when I was four which I can honestly say didn't effect me in any detrimental way. I sometimes have wondered whether I was abused when I was little and have blacked it out and that was what caused it. But I think you know in your heart of hearts whether this was the case and I'm 99% sure it is not. I was a deep sleeper though. I once fell asleep standing up when I was 8. And several times with my head resting on speakers in disco's. And I also believe that I had undiagnosed ADHD or ADD. So to see the connection has been a huge 'ahaaaa' moment for me. My heart goes out to any teenager who is suffering from this now... I sadly did ruin my childhood and teenage years in a many ways but secretly and silently. The times that it happened when I slept over at a friends and had to somehow pour a bowl of cereal on the bed and say 'Oops! Better wash the sheet!'.... It was just hell!!! I felt disgusting, afraid of falling asleep, embarrassed beyond belief, nervous, ashamed and less than all of my school friends. No one really knew though, if it did ever happen at a friends I was either very clever at covering it up or they were understanding and didn't make a fuss, luckily for me. But there was always this constant fear of being found out. I would try and stay up all night at sleepovers, I didn't go to many.... Like I said, if I did I would just stuff my face with penny sweets and always fall asleep on the carpet, hoping to have a bad nights sleep. Even though the bedwetting stopped around the age of 16-17, I can see how those daily negative feelings impacted massively on my self-esteem and it is something which I am only able to see has been brought with me up until now. I have always wondered why I thought so little of myself during my twenties. I was pretty hot with a very successful career in my dream field! Why did I hate myself so much? I am thirty now, but I can see that by covering up and not dealing with the pain I felt for all those years, it has impacted my adult life and I have often been an unconfident nervous wreck, all the time feeling like this wasn't really who I was! I am still all the positive things I was as a teenager, and I think it's time to let the past go. I am writing this to let any teenager, or adult for that matter who is looking on this site like I was know that they are not alone. If we were brave enough to be more open an honest about it, I'm sure we could all laugh at our selves and share in some pretty similar terrible stories! It's just so hard as a teenager suffering from this because it really is prey to bullies if anyone found out. I'm still unsure as to what the best way to go about that is, and what I do differently could I go back. The thing is, I wanted to avoid talking it through with my Mum at all costs because the embarrassment was too much. A note to parents reading this site though - please, please, please don't force your son or daughter to wash their own sheets. I see this as a very cruel thing. Please know that they are desperate to get past this - they live it - and I believe making them do that would bring out more nerves and negative emotion in them that is likely to make the situation worse. They want love, support and to make the situation as normal as possible, whilst gently offering help of say a very loud alarm. They won't like you keeping an eye on their water intake before bed... just be easy about how you do this. I'm sure there will be a way to do this with kindness and without forcing shame and humiliation on your child. The good news is - it stops. I'm free and have been for a long time. I think I just need to shake it off and be proud of the teenager that I was. Bedwetting and all!! Ha.