Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is generally associated with nervousness, anxiety, and possibly even nightmares. It may seem common to cause sweating or breathing, but what about urinary accidents? Those are actually quite common too, as there is a link between PTSD and incontinence for both children and adults.
PTSD and Incontinence
PTSD is defined as a mental health condition triggered by a traumatic event that the patient was either involved in or witnessed. Oftentimes the patient has difficulty recovering after the terrifying experience and can feel stressed or frightened even when they’re not in danger.
Just like with incontinence, the severity and type of PTSD may vary due to a variety of contributing factors. A person may have short term (acute) PTSD that lasts for about six months, but others may develop ongoing (chronic) PTSD that lasts for years.
PTSD symptoms generally include re-experiencing symptoms through flashbacks or nightmares, avoiding reminders of the event such as riding in a car after a wreck, angry outbursts, insomnia, feeling on edge, guilt, memory issues, depression, and more. Wetting the bed and urinary incontinence are also symptoms, especially in children, even if they’ve already been potty trained.
How Does PTSD Contribute To Incontinence?
The experience of reliving the trauma and the anxiety it puts on the body can activate the fight or flight response. As adrenaline fills the body nerves in the body are affected, making it easier to react to things. During this process, the kidneys often fill with more urine and the bladder muscles tense up and contract. This can increase the amount of pressure on the bladder and signal the release of urine, causing an accident.
This can cause urge incontinence, the most common type. When the sudden urge to urinate strikes without warning, causing people to possibly not make it to the restroom in time.
The types of incontinence among patients may vary. For example, some people may only struggle with stress incontinence which causes leaks when pressure is placed on the bladder due to activities such as laughing, coughing or working out. Others may completely void their bladder while some patients experience enuresis or wetting the bed during the night.
Caring For Someone With PTSD And Incontinence
There are a variety of PTSD treatments available, but make sure to have incontinence treated to. Take your loved one or child to the doctor to rule out severe contributing factors such as urinary tract infections or bladder abnormalities.
Be sure to be positive and supportive. Be an open listener to someone suffering from PTSD and encourage the fact that everything will be alright. Do not become frustrated with accidents. Incontinence is a source of anxiety and embarrassment itself, so frustration could make symptoms worse.
Have your loved one or child meet with a therapist to have their symptoms evaluated. They may need medication for PSTD symptoms such as depression or anxiety. Plus, there are medications for incontinence as well. Local support groups are another way for patients with PTSD to talk through symptoms.
Relaxation techniques are incredibly beneficial to help your loved one relax if they find themselves struggling with an episode. Taking a few deep breaths can relax the mind and bladder.
Be prepared with the right incontinence supplies through insurance. Whether your child or loved one needs briefs, underpads, wipes, and more for six months or years, they may qualify to have monthly shipments shipped directly to their home.
This will give them the ability to confidently manage their incontinence symptoms by being able to stop leaks and by making cleanups easier. Plus, relieving the financial stress of purchasing the items can take a major load off. Qualify now!