Fact: Incontinence is embarrassing to talk about.
Ironic corollary to that fact: talking about it helps!
Incontinence support groups help their members by providing important information to manage their condition. They also show that you are not alone.
Why Incontinence Support Groups May Be Right for You
See above: it’s embarrassing to talk about incontinence.
A lot of people avoid really personal conversations, even with their primary care physician. A lot of people alsoget squeamish talking about bodily functions.
Add to that the social stigma associated with incontinence.
Generally, support groups may seem like an alien way of communicating for people who like to keep their personal and physical problems private.
But joining a support group may actually help address the problem you are so unwilling to talk about. Medical expertspraise the benefits of talking with others in the same situation you’re in.
There are many ways to find a group that’s right for you. You can start by Googling “incontinence support group” or checking out Daily Strength or Health Central.
Sharing Critical Information
There are so many reasons why an adult may experience bedwetting and other forms of incontinence. It’s hard to know even where to begin to turn for help.
By joining an incontinence support group, you can get an idea why you may be suffering from this condition. Once you have an idea why it’s happening, it’s easier to know where to turn for help.
For example, frequent bedwetting may be the result of excessive alcohol intake. You may be worrying about your prostate when in fact you shouldtake a look at how much alcohol you are drinking before bedtime.
Talking to others about this in the safe confines of an internet support group will allow you to focus on getting help in this area of your life before rushing off to the urologist.
Incontinence support groups may also help you identify other factors which may be contributing to your condition, like prescription drugs. It’s empowering to know a little bit about what might be going on before you go in and speak to a medical professional.
It’s empowering to know a little bit about what might be going on before you speak to a medical professional.
Once you speak to your doctor, you will probablyhave more questions. He or shemay usemedical terms you don’t understand or talk about therapies, products, and treatments that you’ve never heard of.
Support groups allow you to ask these questions to other patients, who may have experience in these areas.
As with any group where you ask people’s opinions,you may receive a lot of input.
Not everything people share will be consistent. However, the more you communicate with other members, the more you can learn whom to trust.
You will also find people with whom you have things in common. You will be able to talk about things you can’t talk about with anyone else.
It’s a relief to be able to discuss the relative merits of things like ointments, pull ups and wipes without shame.
Helpful for Caregivers, Too
As we know all too well, we are not the only ones affected. Incontinence becomes an issue for partners, children, and caregivers, too.
Living with someone with a chronic condition creates stress and isolation. Your caregiver may be experiencing the same reluctance you have towards sharing with others.
Incontinence support groups offer an essential outlet to caregivers. These groups will give the people in your life access to important information about products and services.
Groups will also provide a connection toother caregivers. These connections are invaluable in helping caregivers cope.
You Are Not Alone
Ultimately, participating in a support group gives you the welcome understanding that you are not alone.
Joining an incontinence support group like those on Daily Strength or Health Centralbrings strength from numbers. It connects you to others who have gone through similar circumstances like surgery or an accident.
You will find that no question is too basic or personal. There is at least one person who has gone through exactly what you are going through.
Sometimes you might have a specific query. Sometimes you might simply need a reminder that there are others out there who understand.
Having a community of people who “get it” provides dignity and fellowship.
Support groups ideally show a path forward. You may receive helpful advice on behavioral or dietary changes you can make which affect incontinence.
For example, for some, it may be a matter of eliminating caffeine-based products like coffee, tea, and carbonated drinks or reducing alcohol intake.
Some people benefit from regular exercise. Others develop a strict schedule to go to the bathroom.
Some at home treatments include techniques like“double voiding:” going to the bathroom as much as possible, waiting a minute, then going again.
Discussions with others can spark ideas about which medicalavenues to pursue. You may realize you should talk to your doctor about the side effects of certain medications you are currently taking.
You may get suggestions for pharmaceutical solutions.
You may decide to ask your physician to run testsfor infections, cysts or cancer.
You may wish to look into the surgical procedures available, such as sling procedures orbladder neck suspension procedures. Some patients experience positive results from the implantation of a small electronic device which provides stimulus to the nerves which affect the bladder.
See, You’re Talking About it!
No matter what your diagnosis and your doctor’s recommendations, you don’t have to be isolated throughout this whole process.
Finding and joining an incontinence support group will provide you with a community of others who understand your issues, your questions, and even any embarrassment you may have.
There’s no cost for admission, and you don’t even have to participate at first: just read everyone else’s comments. Eventually, you may want to join in yourself.
Let us know if you have found great incontinence support groups that have helped, and also if you found our products useful.