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For many parents, the potty training stage is spent constantly working to teach a child to go to the bathroom before having an accident. This is not an easy task, and parents are ecstatic when a child is able to refrain from any accidents during the day. Nighttime potty training on the other hand is much more difficult to teach children and accidents can occur until the age of 6 and sometimes even longer. If bedwetting happens beyond this stage of child development, it is often attributed to several psychological reasons. We will explore those reasons behind bed wetting in today’s article.

The Age of Bed Wetting

Unfortunately, there is no set age that a child stops wetting the bed. However, most experts state that by the age of 6, many children have stopped nighttime accidents due to the gaining of bladder control. When children (beyond the age of six), teenagers, and even adults begin to have nighttime mishaps, it is attributed to psychological factors and is often called secondary nocturnal enuresis.

Nocturnal Enuresis

Nocturnal Enuresis—the medical name for “bedwetting”—can be labeled “Primary” or “Secondary.”  Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis occurs when a person has involuntarily begun to wet the bed following a long period without any nighttime accidents. This caused by a number of factors that experts have determined to be one or several things including:

  • Life Stress (most common in those with performance disorders such as older teens or adults)
  • Trauma (can occur in humans of all ages, resulting in nighttime urinary incontinence)
  • New roles and responsibilities (This can happen in children who transition in school or have gained a new sibling while it happens to adults in new working roles or who have entered a relationship.)
  • Anxiety (Some adults and children are unaware of how to best handle stress and anxiety, the result is bedwetting.)

These psychological triggers can be the result of several regressive habits including bed wetting. When an adult, teen, or child wets the bed as a secondary nocturnal enuresis, it can sometimes create more mental problems due to embarrassment. Many adults will feel ashamed at their urinary incontinence and attempt to hide the problem until it goes away. Other will purchase waterproof mattress covers and pretend that there never was a problem. While this is a way of handling bedwetting for most adults, sweeping the psychological problems that may cause the nighttime mishaps under rug does not help solve the problem.

Getting Help for Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis

Depending on the cause of Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis, experts will suggest different ways of treatment. For bedwetting caused by role transitioning, anxiety or stress, experts discuss the option of children feeling they have a safe place to express their feelings while adults are encouraged to try meditation, exercise, or a good talk with a trusted friend.

When nighttime urinary incontinence happens due to trauma, experts suggest counseling as a good way to overcome the trauma and nighttime problems. For children, trauma could be a car accident or parents undergoing a divorce while for adults it could be a death of someone close, a rape, a natural disaster, or a war. In all cases, it is recommended that if Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis should continue for a time period of longer than 2 weeks, counseling should be sought.

Behind Bed Wetting

Bed wetting after the age of six is often attributed to several psychological reasons. Those reasons were briefly explored in this article, but we always recommend seeing a doctor to help find the reasons for and to solve Nocturnal Enuresis.

About the Author:

This article was written and provided to Who Needs Oxygen by one of our writing partners Chase Fisher. Chase is a writer, blogger, and marketing associate at Protect-a-Bed. Protect-a-Bed specializes in waterproof mattress covers and pillow protectors.

To learn more about guest posting for us, please visit our Write for Us page.

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