Bathroom problems in childhood (TMI)

The thread about parents being involved in their children’s bathroom habits reminded me of something. Myself and my brother took an embarassingly long time to get toilet trained. I wish I could give a timeline, but it felt like longer than normal. (when I say ‘longer than normal’ I mean we knew how to use the toilet, but still had accidents alarmingly frequently in spite of being in normal control of our bodily functions).

When talking to friends/SOs about gross, taboo things about ourselves (menstruation, inappropriate places to masturbate, disturbing dreams, etc) it always seemed like everybody else’s bladders were this watertight dam the second they got toilet trained. I learned how to use the toilet, then I would have these ‘phases’ where I’d start wetting the bed. In 4th grade, I had another horribly embarassing ‘phase’. I had a teacher who was really strict about going to the bathroom- she wasn’t sympathetic if you had to go 5 minutes after lunch. I probably wet my pants 20 times in that class, it was horrible. :smack:

I was fortunate at the time to have a really, really sympathetic friend which helped out a lot. Later, learning more about my family, I found out my dad was having an affair around that time, and I wondered if some of the bedwetting/loss of urinary control had anything to do with it.

As horribly embarassing as this is to admit, I do still wet the bed extremely rarely (like once every 3-4 years) with no idea why; one time it was while I was sleeping with my ex (plenty embarassing). Maybe I’m having a dream my father is cheating on my mom or something :confused:

I can remember wetting the bed occasionally as late as age 7 or 8 or so. Usually the incident involved dreaming that I had actually gotten up and gone to the bathroom. There weren’t any traumas going on in my life that I recall.

My son is also 8 now and has accident from time to time. I might bring it up to his doctor next time we see her, but I don’t really think there’s anything wrong. It usually happens when he’s had a tiring week or if he sleeps in too late.

Ditto for me (as late as 7 or 8 and involving the “getting up” dream) and ditto for my 8 year old son. If from time-to-time you mean 3 or 4 times a year.

Ditto for me, too, but make that 11 or 12. Mostly stopped when I had a sudden lucid moment during one of those dreams “Wait. … I’m DREAMING this again, aren’t I? God damn it!” I was generally easily traumatized by lots of things, though.
I have a dim sense that I’ve done it a couple of times in adulthood, but no details spring to mind.

My son is 14 and still wets rather more than occasionally at night. We’ve done the sticker charts, the rewards, the alarms, the waking him at night to make him go, herbs, aromatherapy - everything. The only thing that made any difference is a prescription drug called Desmopressin, a hormone (?) that helps for a while. It’s $100 a month and our insurance won’t cover it, but luckily if he takes it every day for a month, it seems to help for the next 4-6 months. Weird, I know.

Part of it is just that he’s a very hard sleeper and it’s taken him a long time to learn to wake up when his bladder signals it’s full. That’s not the only thing, though. Reducing liquids before bed doesn’t help much, and his urinary output overnight is about the same as that during the day, so that tells his doctor that his body isn’t always sending out the hormonal signals to stop producing so much urine while he’s sleeping. Hence the Desmopressin.

I’ve had really embarrassing incontinence and urgency since I had the second baby. While it’s common, I don’t quite understand it in my case. I only carried her for 4 months, so she never (and I never) got very big. It was a c-section, so I didn’t pull any ligaments out of whack pushing or stretch anything all that far. It just doesn’t make sense. Now when I have to go, I sometimes have to go RIGHT FREAKING NOW, and there may only be a 1/4 cup of urine or so. Other times I don’t have the urgency, and I pee out 16 ounces or more - so I know the bladder can hold it, it just sometimes decides not to.

But no, whatever the reason, you’re not alone.

I wet my bed until I was twelve or so. It was not only occasional. My parents tried very hard and could not modify the behavior(My father with none too kind techniques). Eventually my pediatrician found my bladder size was abnormally large and had me taken to a specialist at Children’s Hospital Boston. After much research and endless tests the discovered an abnormal growth in my urethra. After surgical removal of the growth I continued to have bed wetting problems do to the enlarged bladder and muscles to weak to completely empty it. I was then(with much resistance) taught how and nightly had to catheter myself to empty my bladder completely before bed. This went on for a year.

The whole ordeal makes my list of childhood traumatic occurrences.

I was a chronic bed/pants pisser and pants shitter until around the age of 7 or 8. For whatever reason, I just tried to hold it when I had to go. Then, I occasionally wet the bed up until about 10 or 11 before I got the hang of it. I think it was somewhat of a psychological thing with me, because I was an insecure kid then and my parents attempted humiliation to get me to break the habit. I don’t want to make excuses for it, because I knew I needed to go and just wouldn’t until “oops I crapped my pants”. I outgrew it, thankfully.

Last summer, my brother and his family was visiting. I was stunned when he came to me and asked if I had plastic sheets to put on the bed & couch the kids were sleeping on because they still occasionally wet the bed. His sons were 14 and 18 at the time. Just the other day my mom was telling me that they were worried about their oldest (now 19) heading off to college soon and still pissing the bed.

I had bed wetting/incontinence problems as a kid, but I fully grew out of it when I was about 10 (I think that was the age). I was sexually molested by a neighbor as a very young child, so I assume that correlates. It is my guess that, if the problem isn’t physical, it is likely a product of some sort of psychological trauma.

Fortunately for me, its not a problem now that I’m an adult. I drink lots of water, and sometimes wake up 2 times a night to pee. But I don’t wet the bed anymore.

Is there any *evidence *that bed-wetting is caused by psychological trauma or emotional immaturity? It seems to be one of those things that “everyone knows”, but I’ve never actually seen a study that supports that. And, as you can probably guess, I’ve spent a *lot *of time researching bed wetting over the last 10 years or so. Most informational sites are instead quick to reassure the reader that bedwetting is NOT caused by psychological trauma or immaturity, but a physiological reason like small bladder for body size, hormonal insufficiency or too-deep sleep.

Anyone have the straight dope?

I work at a research center that focuses on evidence-based programs related to child welfare issues. I know that wetting/soiling clothes is one of the items on the survey used to assess behavior problems in children who are referred to the system for one reason or another, including trauma of some kind. However, I’m pretty sure it refers to changes in behavior, rather than to patterns the child has always had.