While there is no clearly established link between ADHD and bedwetting, it has been found that children who suffer from the former show greater tendencies of suffering from the latter. Here’s a look into the relation between these two conditions and methods by which such occurrences may be reduced.
ADHD or the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one that is most often diagnosed in young children, and may continue into adulthood. Characterized by symptoms such as lack of the ability to stay focused at any one task for a long time period or a general restlessness, ADHD causes trouble to little ones in controlling their emotions as well as understanding and responding to their physical needs. Bedwetting or enuresis has often been related with ADHD. A child may be diagnosed as suffering from enuresis when she/he does so beyond the age of 5 and displays repeated occurrences of the same. It has been found that boys display such a habit more often than girls.
The Link Between ADHD and Bedwetting in Children
While researchers have not been able to find a solid link between the two conditions, studies have shown that the occurrence of the two together is greater than bedwetting on its own. This study, published in the Southern Medical Journal in 1997, showed that by the age of 6, children with ADHD were more likely to suffer from night-time enuresis three times more than those who did not have ADHD. This study however does not prove the fact that bedwetting may be a direct result of ADHD.
One of the prominent reasons for enuresis to occur as a result of ADHD, as pointed out by experts, is that children who suffer from ADHD have lesser control over their bodily signals as they are easily distracted. On the psychological level, children with ADHD are likely to feel ‘different’ from other kids who do not have this condition, and may find it difficult to fit in. As such, the stress or the pressure caused by such situations is likely to result in bedwetting. Finally, it is possible that either condition may just occur due to a genetic predisposition to the same.
In another approach to this debate, it has been found that bedwetting can often serve as a symptom of lack of intellectual growth and a condition such as ADHD. However, this cannot be held completely true as enuresis may also be caused by hormonal problems, stress, and urinary infections. Unless more symptoms of ADHD are noticed along with bedwetting, the fact that a child may be suffering from ADHD cannot be clearly established.
Reducing Instances of Bedwetting in Children with ADHD
Whenever such instances have been reported to physicians or psychiatrists, the two conditions, i.e. bedwetting and ADHD are treated separately. This is because there is no established link between the two. Measures are taken to involve parents in the treatment process, and some of the following methods are adopted to treat the condition.
- Some theories suggest that it may be a particular food that is consumed, that causes both symptoms of ADHD as well as bedwetting. As such, doctors prescribe a specific diet that reduces hyperactivity and allows children to focus on their needs.
- Establishing the habit of relieving the child at a set time every day before going to bed can help reduce the occurrence of such a problem. Further, if the parent is aware of the time this instance occurs, it is a good idea to wake the child up before the time and take her/him to the bathroom.
- It is important to evaluate all possible causes of bedwetting in the child. It could be an outcome of stress, or a bladder infection. If it is a psychological trigger, then treatment methods such as behavior modification techniques for ADHD may be utilized to reduce it.
- The instances of bedwetting wreak havoc on a child’s self-esteem. It can have her/him feel demoralized and left out. As such, be a supportive parent who understands the problem, rather than yelling at your child for not being able to control this situation.
In some cases, children may outgrow this problem by the time they reach puberty. However, this does not eradicate the necessity of appropriate treatment. Again, experts may work to treat both the conditions separately. Along with this treatment, the child who suffers from ADHD and has repeated occurrences of bedwetting should get a lot of support from her/his parents and family. Patience, medical treatment, and methods to improve her/his self-esteem will go a long way in treating this condition.