Incontinence often induces feelings of shame and embarrassment, precisely because as a society we don’t talk about it. At yet, more people have continence issuesthan hay fever*.
Talking about problems has many benefits, including:
- Clarifying your thoughts and feelings through articulating them
- Gaining understanding from others
- Dispelling fears of rejection or other adverse responses
- Discovering others are in similar situations – feeling less alone
- Learning from other people’s experience
- Feeling understood and supported
Talking is how therapy works and getting things ‘off your chest’ is proven to have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing.
If you’re struggling – and there is a correlation between incontinence and depression – make sure you seek help.
The right person
Who you choose to talk to is entirely up to you. It may be your partner, a close friend or a counsellor. Your intuition should guide you in selecting someone you trust and believe won’t be judgemental or dismissive, but who will be interested and supportive.
Starting the conversation can be terrifying, but once you get going, and assuming you get a positive reception, it should become increasingly comfortable.
One person you must speak to is your doctor. Incontinence is a symptom of an underlying condition – some serious – so never ignore it and hope it’ll go away.
The right time and place
Make sure you have enough time to be relaxed and allow the conversation to evolve.
Difficult conversations are sometimes more comfortable if you’re doing something else, like driving. The lack of eye contact can make it easier – in fact, this tactic is often recommended for parents of teenagers. Playing golf, walking or even sitting in front of the TV are also opportune moments.
Getting started is often the hardest part. Rehearsing your opening in your mind or in front of a mirror can help as once you’ve leapt in, it’s automatic, and you won’t stumble or be lost for words.
Depending on your circumstances and your personal style, some starters with a partner could be:
- There’s something I’ve wanted to talk to you about, but I’m finding it difficult because I feel embarrassed
- I think I need to make an appointment with the doctor. I’ve been having continence issues, and I’m quite upset by it
- I’m having some plumbing issues and need to see the doctor
- I’ve been to the doctor because I’m having continence issues
For a close friend, you might start with a question:
- Did you know one in ten men have continence issues? I think I might be one of them
- Do you know much about male continence issues
Talking to your doctor
You must see your doctor. Being completely frank and truthful about your condition will allow them to determine the underlying cause and the best treatment
Asaleo Care makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information. This information should be used only as a guide and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional, medical or other health professional advice.
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