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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: 9 year old son still having "accidents"

 Nschmidt - Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:23 pm

My son has struggled ever since I can remember with having "accidents." We have addressed it each time with the pediatrician, and I just thought he would grow out of it. I have taken him to a urologist to eliminate physiological reasons, and there are none. He is completely capable of emptying his bladder. We have tried rewarding good behavior, having him do his own laundry, giving him a watch with a timer - to no avail. I'm concerned now about the social consequences of this because...he stinks! He's a good kid, we have a very normal family. Do I need to seek psychological help? My cousin runs a daycare and says that kids that wet their beds typically have been sexually mistreated. Hayden is dry through the night, his is more of a laziness thing when he's too busy playing football, etc. Is there an underlying psychological reason for his dis-interest in stopping this behavior? I'm just tired - he's going to be 10 in a couple of months and in the 5th grade. What do I do?
 Tim W Latsko - Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:45 am

Welcome to the forum Nschmidt:

It sounds like you have a good understanding of behavior, the consequences, and potential physiological and psychological causes of Enuresis. Additonally, it appears you have addressed his voiding of urine in a most logical manner while employing customary methods of behavioral change. That said now is probably a good time to seek psychological/psychiatric assistance. The mere thought of this maybe concerning but I believe that you are heading in the right direction and will find resolution.

Based on your presentation, it appears that your son is suffering from Diurnal Enuresis, (I can not make a diagnosis without a face to face clinical inteview) which is nothing more than the psychiatric term for the voiding of urine during waking hours. It is more common in females than males and research shows that coexisting mental health disorders are not commonly found in those suffering from this condition.

There is some truth in your cousin's statement that children who 'wet their bed' have been sexually abused. Children who have been repeatedly sexually abused discover that by wetting or deficating in their bed deters the perpetrator. However, please be mindful that just because a child wets their bed does not make them a vicitm of abuse. Given that your son's voiding is during the day it is likely that his behavior is not motivated by a desire to keep a perpetrator at bay. I have treated persons who were not sexually abused and experienced Nocturnal voiding through their teen years and were sucessfully treated with behavior modication and medication. If there is even the slightest concern that abuse is occurring have him evaluated by a medical professional.

I agree with you that a psych~ consultation is appropriate at this time.

Warm Regards,

Timothy W. Latsko
 Nschmidt - Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:50 pm

Thank you very much.


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