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A Link Between Depression and Urinary Incontinence

Bladder problems can affect your emotional health, no matter what their cause. But treatment for urinary incontinence can help ease depression symptoms.

Many people live with or occasionally experience depression and which can be exacerbated by incontinence. Study after study shows that bladder problems affect more than physical health, upsetting emotional health, too. Women and men can experience incontinence throughout their lives, whether after surgery, menopause, prostate issues or after child birth.

One in four men will experience incontinence in their lives. As in women, depression is one of several factors linked to moderate to severe urinary incontinence. One study of more than 5,000 men found men 1 in 5 men with incontince can also experience depression. This can make an already stressful condition more intense.

What matters for your physical and emotional health is understanding how these conditions may be affecting you. When people start having trouble getting to the bathroom in time, they, too, become more reclusive. Put an end to the embarrassment and the depression you feel by addressing both your emotions and your bladder problems:

  • Use exercise disciplines that help both depression and incontinence. A physical therapist trained in urology can screen for back or hip problems that could be causing or exacerbating the incontinence problem.
  • Try biofeedback therapy. If you're having trouble with Kegels, biofeedback therapy can help you “tune into” pelvic muscles and learn to control them.
  • Use incontinence products. You might struggle with embarrassment over using incontinence pads until other long-term measures take effect, but the embarrassment is less than if you were to have an accident.

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