The Psychological Impact of Incontinence

Author
Nobel Hygiene

"There’s much more to certain health issues than what appears to be on the surface, even if they are not life threatening."

Urinary incontinence is one of such conditions, which is basically the inability to control one’s bladder, which in turn, leads to the involuntary release of urine from the bladder. Whether the incontinence issue is treatable or not depends on the root cause; however, it can definitely be managed with incontinence products like adult diaper pants and tape diapers. If it is shrugged off as just an ageing problem or temporary health issue that passes with time, then it not only has physical effects like skin infections and rashes, but also leads to psychological consequences. A health condition that has an adverse psychological impact can turn into something much more disastrous, than what it actually is.

So, even if the incontinence issue is treatable, managing it with utmost care and patience is essential, irrespective of what type of incontinence one suffers from. Urinary incontinence can affect the patient mentally in several ways, which can bring the following behavioural changes in their daily life:

1. Social isolation

If the caretaker or the people around the patient are not understanding or considerate enough, he or she might fall into the trap of the accompanying embarrassment, as there is already a social stigma associated with incontinence. This can make it difficult for them to be openly and unabashedly vocal about the issue, which leads to feelings of abandonment and anxiety, thereby making them susceptible to social situations. Some patients experience a sudden shock that results from their inability to accept incontinence as a reality, thereby putting them in a state of constant denial. All of this turmoil going on in one’s head turns the possibility of social isolation into a reality, which can worsen the condition.

2. Degradation in the quality of life

Psychological effects like social withdrawal, isolation, and depression can ruin the patient’s quality of life. It gets degraded further by the impact that incontinence has on their everyday things, like the sleep cycle, inclination towards exercise and sports, and work or social life. At night, it is more difficult to manage incontinence as one cannot immediately react to sudden urges of urination. Moreover, in the case of an overactive bladder, the patient has to wake up several times to visit the toilet, which affects their sleep cycle immensely. It also subconsciously, yet slowly, starts affecting their flexibility, because of which it acts as a barrier to sports activities and exercise, thereby leaving them with restricted mobility. At work, it decreases their concentration power and leaves them in a state of constant paranoia related to urgent toilet visits. So, incontinence can lead to an immense degradation in the quality of life.

3. Constant morbidity

Some people are not good at dealing with things they do not expect to happen. The condition of being diseased and the accompanying psychological effects, like stress and depression, can take a toll on their psyche. This can lead to feelings of low self-esteem, frustration, anger, and psychiatric illnesses, turning them into someone who feels constantly diseased and destroys their will to overcome their issues of incontinence.

4. Relationship Issues

Incontinence can adversely affect one’s relationship with their partner, too. Due to the accompanying embarrassment and the constant fear of smelling bad, there is a significant decline in physical proximity. Often left undiscussed, this can lead to reduced sexual desire, thereby hampering the sexual equation they have with their partner. So, the partner and the patient should be thoughtful enough to support each other in such times, and resolve such issues with open communication.

5. Ruined travel and holiday plans

For people suffering from urinary incontinence, travelling or going on a holiday with their family or friends can turn into a disastrous experience, especially for women. If the journey en route to the destination does not have regular and hygienic bathroom facilities, it can get worse. Managing incontinence requires the patient to schedule their toilet visits, so the lack of decent toilets on the way, can ruin their trip to a vast extent.

Moreover, it is also advised that they carry adult diapers with them on the trip, in order to avoid unhygienic toilet situations.

Regardless of whether the incontinence issue is treatable or not, it is essential to manage incontinence in all possible ways, including adult incontinence diapers, bladder training, and avoiding spicy foods. We, at Friends Adult Diapers, have highly absorbent adult diapers for men as well as women. Moreover, to minimize the occurrence of these psychological effects and the impact they have on the patient’s everyday life, it is ideal for the family members and friends/ caretaker to be thoughtful enough to encourage open discussions, so that the patient can talk freely, without the fear of being judged. 

To get updated on the latest stories across categories choose