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Urinary Incontinence: Overcoming the Stigma

by Mary Sewell

Urinary incontinence (UI) can be challenging and embarrassing to those suffering from the condition. This bladder disorder can vary from an accidental burst of urine when you sneeze to the uncontrollable need to urinate but can’t reach the toilet. It is a common symptom in older people, particularly women, and can easily affect physical and mental health.

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t continue your life because you have incontinence. It is hard work, but it is not as debilitating compared to other diseases. Living with incontinence while doing what makes you happy is still achievable. You have to take ownership and develop a different perspective on life with a positive approach.

Your feelings are valid. 

Unsurprisingly, most people with incontinence suffer in silence because of the shame attached. This stigma makes them shy away from social interactions, often leading to depression and anxiety disorders. Having these emotions is normal, and it is perfectly okay to feel these things. However, it is hard to go through with this symptom that can directly affect your body, interactions, and relationships. It is also essential to hold on to your support system, especially during this time when you can’t accept the current situation you are in. Seek support from your family and friends. There are support groups for people with incontinence that you can count on, too. Help is always available. It would help to have more faith in yourself and the people surrounding you.

Urinary Incontinence

Acceptance and self-love

If there is one crucial point that you must realize, it is this: having urinary incontinence is not something to be ashamed of. Research shows that around five million people have incontinence in Australia, so you are not alone. It would help if you learned to accept this for you to be able to move on and live a normal life to the best of your ability. Once you have entirely accepted your condition, you can focus more on self-worth and self-love, which is the best gift you can give yourself. Just because you have incontinence does not make you less loveable.

Stop worrying about others.

Live for yourself and for the things that make you happy. Don’t mind what other people think about you and your condition. It is not their concern. This mental state is always a good practice, with or without incontinence. A positive mental state is essential, which you can achieve by proper health management with your physician and by staying involved with the things that matter to you while learning to adjust your lifestyle with UI. You can easily see the positive side of things once you are used to this routine.

Discovering that you have this condition might be difficult to swallow. Getting used to it is even harder. But to completely embrace this symptom is life-changing in so many ways. You will come out stronger and more resilient. Live your life to the fullest, even if you have to pack some extra pads.

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