Health professionals who treat bed wetting will sometimes have a patient who is a teenager, and it has been hoped by the family that one day they will just grow out of it. But it has not happened. While only around 2% of teenagers still wet the bed, that is no comfort to the teenager.
It is comforting to know is that it can be treated, but it is important not to delay treatment. This is especially if the time is approaching to leave home to go to college. There must be plenty of time to carry out the diagnosis and to allow treatment to work.
The first major obstacle with bed wetting teens is that the teenagers may be more ashamed and embarrassed than children are.
Bed wetting as a teenager can significantly damage self-esteem and disrupt their social lives. It can make matters worse if a teenager, quite understandably, may try to hide the fact that they are wetting the bed, this can make treatment even more difficult.
As a parent, broaching the subject with a distressed adolescent may be difficult, but most likely this has been an issue for a long time and so trying to address the issue will not be new. What is important is to help the teenager to understand that they do not have to deal with this alone, and that there is effective help.
Teenage Bed Wetting Needs Caring Attention
When dealing with teenage bed wetting, while it may be natural to become frustrated or angry, a parent must try to see it from a young person's perspective. This may take the form of:
"if I ignore it, then it will go away"
And so when a parent tries to talk about the matter the teenager may become angry, because they then have to think about it.
In that case, leave the teenager with the message, "when you are ready to talk about it I really want to work on this with you. "
Solutions To Teenage Bed Wetting
If bed wetting has been mostly constant over the years, then it is almost certainly the primary nocturnal enuresis type which responds well to using a bedwetting alarm.
This may have been tried before, but research shows that part of the problem is the maturity of certain areas of brain function (not those involved with learning or intelligence – almost all bedwetters are described as well-functioning and above average). The maturing of those parts continues and so treatment with an alarm can become more effective.
Therefore the first tool that should be used and which is essential to bed wetters, is a bed wetting alarm.
Some doctors will also suggest adding in bed wetting medication , and that can be useful in very resistent cases, but usually only for a few weeks or a month or two at the same time as using the bedwetting alarm.
Need for Medical Examination
If bed wetting is a problem that has started more recently, then other causes need to be investigated by a doctor, in fact there should always be a medical examination of the teenager before starting treatment.
Also in the category of helpful devices are the bed wetting diapers. They may make it easier for the teenager to be self managing as the bed wetting is being dealt with.
These are all small things that any teen can do to lower the number of uncontrolled urination episodes. One of these is to remove caffeine from the diet because this has a diuretic (urine producing) effect. Quitting drinking alcohol is also recommended, because alcohol can cause bed wetting as well, especially if drinking excessively.
Teenage bed wetting can be cured, and for that that there needs to be a good understanding of the cause, and then a consistent and supportive process that everyone understands, agrees with, and is committed to.