Incontinence. Just the word alone evokes feelings of anxiety. Those who suffer and their friends and family can attest to the mental stress associated with this uncomfortable and often embarrassing condition.
That said, can anxiety be the cause of your incontinence? Or, does urinary incontinence simply cause stress? Honestly, this question is kind of like “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” At best, it’s confusing.
First, it is important to point out that incontinence is often a symptom of another issue. Its causes are broad-based and can include, but are not limited to, obesity, smoking, weak muscles, and a variety of illnesses including prostate cancer, infections, and diabetes. It can also be the result of aging - sometimes those who are elderly simply cannot move quickly enough to reach a restroom in a timely manner. If you suffer from incontinence, your first step should be a visit to your physician to help identify the underlying cause of your issue.
Understanding this, anxiety and incontinence often go hand in hand. And, they aggravate each other. In some cases, anxiety can be the cause of your incontinence. In fact, some people actually suffer from uncontrollable urination and leaks when they become stressed. It’s like their bodies lose the ability to control themselves.
Can incontinence be psychological?
While this physical reaction is very real, those who suffer from this type of incontinence situation should still speak with their doctor to rule out any physical issues. Then, they may want to work with a therapist to help identify how to manage their anxiety.
The percentage of people who suffer from incontinence that is solely related to anxiety is small. More common, however, is that anxiety regarding your incontinence aggravates it. This is true for many who are affected.
Thankfully, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce your anxiety and help break, or at least relieve, this vicious circle. These include:
Eating and drinking appropriately: Avoid foods like caffeine, citrus, and alcohol that can irritate your bladder.
Identify Rest Rooms: When you are not at home, make sure you know where restrooms are located so you can access them quickly when needed.
Use Protection: There are high-quality products (like seat and car covers) on the market today that can alleviate the fear of ruining property.
Pack Extra Clothes: It’s so easy to throw a change of clothes in a ziplock into your bag or car. Then, if you do experience leakage, you can relax knowing a quick change is available to you
For those whose anxiety affects their incontinence, life can be incredibly frustrating. Anxiety is powerful, doing what you can to reduce it can help your incontinence and help you feel better. Take some time and incorporate the suggestions above. And, as always, share your concerns regarding your mental health with your physician. Perhaps talking to a trained professional can help you feel better.
AT LIQUAGUARD® WE UNDERSTAND THAT INCONTINENCE CAN BE FRUSTRATING AND EMBARRASSING. WE RECOGNIZE HOW DIFFICULT IT CAN BE TO MANAGE, BOTH PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY. WE ARE PROUD TO SUPPLY A BROAD RANGE OF PRODUCTS TO MAKE LIVING WITH INCONTINENCE A LITTLE BIT EASIER.
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