Incontinence is never an easy thing to deal with. There’s always that niggling fear in the back of your mind that you will leak at the most inconvenient times, taunting you and picking at your insecurities.

 

It’s okay to be stressed. It’s okay to be upset. Incontinence isn’t just about wetting your bed or a little bit of embarrassment at a party; it can bring about real emotional distress that isn’t something to sneeze at.

 

Thankfully, there are ways to cope -- or at least make things a little easier.

Find People who Support You

This is probably the most obvious. As humans, we’re social animals, and those who suffer from a long-term condition tend to get more lonely than others, which only makes these negative feelings even worse.

 

Surround yourself with friends who see you as who you are, perhaps those who can empathize and understand where you are coming from. Maybe you just need someone to talk to about your concerns.

 

In any case, don’t isolate yourself because your body is going through a tough time.

 

Don’t be Ashamed

 

This may be easier said than done. Culturally, we’ve long associated incontinence with frailty, aging, and personal failing, but it’s anything but.

 

Remind yourself: your body’s just going through a tough time. You’re no less of a person just because you might need some throws in case of an emergency or you need to go to the bathroom more than usual.

Be Prepared, but Don’t Beat Yourself Up if you Slip

 

It’s always important to keep things nearby in case something goes wrong. Think you’re going to wet the bed at night? Get some bed-wetting alarms. Notice your underpad supply getting low? Get some more.

 

Be vigilant, but if things go wrong -- and they will, and that’s okay -- don’t blame yourself. If you need to call someone, give a supportive friend or family member a call. Take a deep breath and take things one day at a time.

Remember that it’s Treatable.

Incontinence isn’t something that just comes with age, or is just “part of life”. It’s a medical condition that’s usually related to other conditions, and is 100 percent treatable.

 

If you find yourself losing hope, keep this in mind and hold on. With time, patience, and treatment, things will get better. It may not be perfect, but things will become bearable.

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