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We may all be familiar with the physical impact of urge incontinence, but the emotional and physiological impact isn't talked about as much. 

Extensive research has revealed that individuals dealing with incontinence of any kind experience heightened levels of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. The consequences are far-reaching, leading individuals to withdraw from activities they love, such as trips and tours with their family and friends, participation in sports, or even spending quality time with their grandchildren – all because of an overwhelming self-consciousness about their bladder control.

Read this blog to understand the effects urge incontinence can have on your mental well-being and learn what you can do to manage both your mental health and incontinence.



What is urge incontinence?

Urge incontinence, also known as overactive bladder, is a common type of urinary incontinence. A person dealing with urge incontinence experiences a sudden and strong urge to urinate, often followed by an involuntary loss of urine before they could reach the restroom.

Urge incontinence occurs when the muscles of the bladder – the organ that stores urine – contracts involuntarily, causing a sudden and strong urge to urinate even when the bladder isn't full. This can be highly disruptive as it leads to frequent bathroom visits, significantly impacting a person's daily activities and overall quality of life.

Psychological Impacts of Urge Incontinence

1. Anxiety

People dealing with urge incontinence experience constant anxiety due to the uncertainty of when the next urge will arise. Just like how sometimes we clench our jaw without even realizing it, people with urge incontinence clench their pelvic floor muscles all the time to prevent bladder leakage. 

The pelvic floor muscles support the organs in your pelvis, which includes the bladder, and aids in the process of urination. But the constant squeezing of these muscles wears them out. So much so that they lose control when the next urge arises. Just by working on the constant anxiety and the pelvic tension caused by it, you should see a big change in your urge incontinence symptoms. 

2. Shame and embarrassment

The incontinence episodes can trigger powerful emotions of shame and embarrassment at oneself and their condition. Loss of control over your bladder can, in a way, make you feel helpless as it takes you back to wetting yourself and wearing diapers. But it’s time to realize that there’s nothing shameful about wearing diapers.

If you break a bone, you wear a cast. If your eyesight is poor, you wear eyeglasses. Now think about what makes wearing diapers any different? Exactly. When battling a condition like incontinence, shame at oneself is the last thing you need. 

3. Negative body image

Dealing with uncontrollable loss of urine can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction and disgust against one’s own body – a body that is already struggling. This negative body image can, in turn, erode self-esteem and self-confidence, impacting various aspects of a person’s life. 

4. Social isolation and withdrawal

Leaking urine in the middle of a conversation with your grandchildren is very much a reality for those suffering from urge incontinence. And this repeats every day in every situation. On top of that, the fear of being unable to reach the restroom in time can make them feel anxious and self-conscious in social situations. They might also feel like nobody else really understands the weight of what they’re going through, like they’re fighting a lonely battle. Over time, this can result in isolation and withdrawal.   

5. Sexual dysfunction

Some people suffering from urge incontinence avoid sexual intimacy altogether in fear of leaks. This can lead to relationship issues in the long run; especially, if your partner doesn’t know about your condition. To avoid this, open up to your partner and trust them to be supportive.

6. Depression

One of the most significant psychological effects of urge incontinence is depression. With one negative impact of urge incontinence piling up over another, it becomes really easy to slip into depression. 

Getting help with urge incontinence and mental health

If you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, know that you’re not alone. Shame can be a major hurdle in asking for help and opening up about your condition; But if you don’t open up, you will spend your days thinking you’re alone in your struggle with urge incontinence. 

Here are some things you can do at home or with the guidance of a mental health professional to manage your psychological symptoms:

Join support groups or counselling: Joining a support group or seeking counselling can be immensely helpful. Participating in a support group allows you to share experiences with others who face similar challenges, reducing feelings of isolation and providing valuable emotional support. In the same way, a therapist can lend you an ear and provide coping strategies and treatment plans to manage your depression, anxiety, or feelings of self-worth.

Practice relaxation techniques: Studies show that relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation can help reduce anxiety and depression, which can help decrease incontinence episodes by reducing pelvic floor muscle tension. 

Journaling: Journaling the happenings of your day might seem trivial, but it can help you organize your thoughts and manage your complicated feelings a lot better. It can also help you keep track of your symptoms and improvements as you go through treatment for urge incontinence, set goals, and adjust the treatment plan if necessary. 

Try medications: Your doctor or therapist may prescribe you certain medications to deal with depression and anxiety. 

Exercise: Exercising is one of the best ways to decrease anxiety and depression, while also helping build a positive self-image and maintaining good health. Did you know that there are exercises specifically designed to help improve bladder control? It's true! Check out this blog about exercises to manage urine leakage. 

Friends Adult Diapers for managing urge incontinence

When you are ready to seek help, there are your loved ones, support groups, therapists, and us from Friends, ready to get you back on your feet and start living. Friends has been in the Indian diaper manufacturing business for more than two decades, and this two decades of experience has helped us understand our customers better than everyone else. Friends Premium Adult Diapers give you:

  • Over 10 hours of protection from wetness and leakage, so you can go about your day worry-free. 

  • Optimal absorbency with ADL that quickly and evenly spreads leaks to prevent pooling or spillage.  

  • Reliable leak protection with standing leak guards to prevent any side trickles and leaks. 

  • Superior softness and cloth-like material for long-lasting comfort. 

  • Protection from any harmful bacteria with the anti-bacterial core. 

  • A wetness indicator to let you when’s the perfect time for a change. 

With so many things, and so many people ready to help you, you just need to take the first step. 😊 See you in another blog. 

FAQs on Urge Incontinence:

1. What is the psychological cause of incontinence? 

While incontinence is primarily a physical condition, psychological factors can contribute to incontinence episodes in people already diagnosed with urinary incontinence. Stress and anxiety, for example, can worsen incontinence symptoms and in turn also lead to it.

2. How does urge incontinence affect quality of life? 

Urge incontinence, meaning, overactive bladder that occurs when you have a sudden and strong urge to urinate, can significantly impact one's quality of life. The unpredictable nature of the condition and the urgent and frequent urge to urinate can lead to constant anxiety, embarrassment, and social isolation. People with urge incontinence often face challenges in engaging in social activities, traveling, and maintaining personal relationships due to the fear of leakage or the need to constantly find restrooms.

3. Is urge incontinence more common in men or women? 

Urge incontinence affects both men and women, but it’s more common in women. This is due to factors such as pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause, which can weaken the pelvic floor muscles supporting the bladder and contribute to bladder control issues.

4. What are psychological reasons for wetting?

Psychological reasons for wetting, particularly in adults, can be varied. In some cases, emotional distress, such as extreme fear, anxiety, or trauma, can trigger involuntary urination. In other cases, individuals with certain psychological disorders, such as developmental disorders or neurological conditions, may experience difficulties with bladder control due to the impact on cognitive and physical functioning.

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