Bed-wetting is involuntary urination while asleep after the age at which bladder control would normally be anticipated. Doctors call this condition, “Nocturnal Enuresis.”
It causes trauma, pain and disturbance to all concerned. It is the parents who normally wake up each night to check on the child, maybe even to disturb sleep to check on whether he/she wants to go to urinate. It is the parents and the maid who have to change and wash the sheets and air the room if the child urinates. But what about the childâ€™s mental state?
Can you imagine the pain and shame the child has to go through? A feeling of inadequacy surges, especially when the child is aware of the trouble that is caused to the other members of the family.
Sometimes, when the doctors are not able to pinpoint a physical, neurological or genetic cause for this problem, the psychological causes must be looked into, as it is quite possible that the child could be mentally deficient. In such cases, as a rule, most of the developmental milestones are generally delayed and toilet training could start much later than usual.
The child guidance clinic is a good place to start investigations as the enuresis could be a case of serious maladjustment. Some children do not want to accept basic responsibilities like tying their own shoelaces or going to the toilet. They want to prolong their infancy and total dependency much longer than is normal. This could even be the result of sibling rivalry or jealousy. Because when a younger child is born, most of the attention gets diverted and the older one does everything possible to get it back, on a conscious or even subconscious level.
Bed-wetting is common in both timid and weak as well as in strong aggressive children. The child has a basically weak emotional foundation and could come from a broken home or any kind of disruptive, unstable atmosphere. Either one of the parents could be physically or psychologically missing and the child could be feeling insecure for some reason. In highly aggravated cases, sometimes the child cannot even control the urge during the day and could embarrass himself in public leading to a further complex. Then it would be difficult to ever send him anywhere, even to school.
In some cases placebo drugs are given to the child to make him feel that he is being physically treated for the problem. But much, much more important is his mental welfare and sense of belonging as most of the time; enuresis has a deep psychological foundation. Therefore it is important that both the parents accompany the child for counseling.
Diapers can reduce the embarrassment and mess of wetting incidents. Diaper sizes for enuresis cover individuals from 38 lb (17 kg) through adult sizes. Some research, however, indicates that extended use of diapers can interfere with learning to stay dry.
In most cases, a simple change of attitude on the part of the parents is all that is required to solve the problem. If your child feels safe and secure in a home filled with love, most personality disorders get sorted out on their own, if at all they were to arise.