Depression is quite a common disease that affects the minds of many people around the world, and it surely isn’t selective when it comes to age.
Though incontinence is a medical condition that affects the function of one’s bladder, it’s no secret that the effects it has–mentally–on patients can be very similar to ways in which depression does.
Additionally, incontinence impacts both men and women of all ages. Just battling one of these diseases is challenging enough, but unfortunately, this combination is not uncommon. More are more scientists are noticing that there is a strong link between clinical depression and bladder problems such as incontinence.
Treating your Depression and Incontinence Together
Dealing with both depression and incontinence at the same time can be extraordinarily taxing on one’s physical and mental health. That’s why is it so important to have a full understanding of both of these conditions (talking to a professional) in order to live your best life. Unfortunately, many of those who suffer from incontinence are too embarrassed to admit they are dealing with such a problem. Due to that discomfort, their condition goes untreated and undetected by doctors. Those who suffer from incontinence and don’t receive the treatment they need will find many different ways to hide their problem from their friends and family. As time goes on, they become more and more reclusive, disconnected, and disengaged. This, unfortunately, is where depression and anxiety rear their ugly heads.
When depression and anxiety set it from the awful side effects of incontinence, it’s easier for those who suffer from it to allow it control their lives; it’s an ugly disease that knows no limits or boundaries. It’s understandable that getting help from a doctor is easier said than done, but for the sake of your mental and physical health, it is extremely important; depression and incontinence can be managed. The first place to start would be with a urologist. Once you have seen them and they have given you a treatment plan for your incontinence, then make it a point to schedule a visit with a psychiatrist regarding your depression. Fortunately, many patients have found that once they were able to get their incontinence in control, their episodes of depression began to diminish.
In the meantime, here are some helpful tips on ways to treat both your incontinence and your depression simultaneously:
- Improve your diet: What you put into your body has a direct effect on both your mind and bladder. We know it sounds crazy, but trust us, it’s true. The first thing you should cut out of your diet are things like caffeine, alcohol, and sweeteners (drinks that have a negative impact on your bladder). Always remember to drink plenty of water and eat foods that contain fiber.
- Lose weight: Obesity is a major factor in the development of stress incontinence. By losing weight, your path to an incontinence-free life can be easily achieved. Start off by walking as much as possible–taking the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator. You should take part in 30 minutes of cardio per day.
- Take part in pelvic floor exercises: Pelvic floor exercises are the easiest way to build strength in your bladder muscles. Stronger bladder muscles will result in fewer incontinence leakages.
- Use incontinence products: There is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing incontinence products as a backup while on your road to recovery. Sometimes, it’s nice to have some peace of mind while going through a major lifestyle change.
- Talk to your doctor regularly: We cannot stress enough the importance of talking to a doctor on a regular basis. Your doctor is the best person to speak with regarding any advice you may need or questions you have about your incontinence and even your depression.
- Practice bladder training: This is an exercise that you can do from the comfort of your own home. When you have the urge to go to the bathroom, try to hold your bladder for a few seconds longer than you normally would. As time goes on, try to increase the amount of time you hold your bladder, little by little. For extra protection, always wear incontinence underwear.
- Manage stress: Stress plays a major role in the development of depression and it can also have a negative effect on your incontinence. Try to take time throughout the day to do the things you enjoy the most. Even deep breathing exercises can help!
If you find that these tips are not assisting you in the ways you need them to, talk to your doctor about a treatment plan that will work best for your specific needs. Remember incontinence is treatable, Depression is treatable and you should never be ashamed of having it.