In a recent television episode of The Doctors, bedwetting was described as the result of a medical disorder such as diabetes or other neurological conditions. Despite the apparent expertise of the participants on the show, they again displayed their lack of knowledge about the disorder. Less than 1.5% of bedwetting is the result of an underlying medical problem.
Bedwetting is the result of an inherited deep sleep disorder that leads to the breakdown in the communication between the brain and the bladder during sleep. The deep sleeping brain does not arouse to the bladders signal to empty. Without the signal from the brain to keep the bladder muscle (sphincter) closed, it opens and a wet bed results. It is that simple and that powerful.
The six-year-old little girl who had daytime “accident” is highly likely suffering form bedwetting, which frequently produces weak bladder muscles, strong, intense, bladder urgencies and involuntary urination. The child was humiliated by school officials because they believe she behaved intentionally. Humiliating her on the bus was their way of “teaching her a lesson”. Instead, their actions represent an example of the psychological abuse that bedwetters suffer at the hands of people who do not understand the disorder.
Doctor Gail Gross’s explanation regarding “potty shaming” is well intended and compassionate. However, it again misses the mark regarding the cause and treatment of bedwetting.
Check out the video “Have You Ever Had a Bedwetting Dream Turn Real?”
Author: Dr Lyle Danuloff Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and past President of the Michigan Psychological Association. Dr. Danuloff is an international expert in the field of enuresis. He is a consulting psychologist at The Enuresis Treatment Center.