If your child experiences both ADHD and bedwetting symptoms, you’re not alone. Studies show that 20-30% of children that experience bedwetting also experience disorders such as ADHD. Daytime incontinence is also relatively common in children with externalizing disorders.
How Are They Linked?
It’s still not entirely clear why so many children with ADHD deal with bedwetting. It may be because both conditions are associated with a delay in the development of the central nervous system, or possibly because children with ADHD have a more difficult time paying attention to their bodily cues.
What Can I Do?
The treatment for bedwetting in children with ADHD is largely the same as any other, with some minor adjustments. Seeing their doctor is important when ADHD and bedwetting exist together, especially before prescribing medication, as some medications may clash.
Since children with ADHD often have problems with organization and concentration, you may find yourself needing to prioritize symptoms in order to accommodate your child’s shorter attention span. If your child has a variety of behavioral difficulties, it can be impossible to address them all at once. Whenever you decide to treat your child’s nocturnal enuresis, you may have to back off with some other behavioral goals to avoid being overwhelmed.
There is some suggestion that children with ADHD are more resistant to treatment, so don’t be too frustrated if things are going slowly. Bedwetting is a phase that many children go through and recover from.
Your Own Health
Caring for a child with ADHD is no small feat. Combining that responsibility with symptoms of nocturnal enuresis often results in increased challenges and upsetting circumstances for children and parents alike. How you respond to these challenges can have a big impact on your child, who may already feel bad. It’s worth considering that looking after yourself is often one of the best ways to look after others.Reach out to family and friends for support when you need it. Take breaks whenever you can, like when your child is at day-care, at school or on a trip. Talk to other parents with children that have ADHD, and find out what works for them. Whatever you can do to maintain good mental health, go for it.