1. Home
  2. /
  3. News
  4. /
  5. Breaking the Cycle: How to Manage Health Anxiety Amid Incontinence

Breaking the Cycle: How to Manage Health Anxiety Amid Incontinence

In this article, we’ll share how individuals dealing with incontinence can manage any associated anxiety to improve their mental health and quality of life.

5 min read
Share:
Breaking the Cycle: How to Manage Health Anxiety Amid Incontinence
Table of contents

Breaking the Cycle: How to Manage Health Anxiety Amid Incontinence

In this article, we’ll share how individuals dealing with incontinence can manage any associated anxiety to improve their mental health and quality of life.

Breaking the Cycle: How to Manage Health Anxiety Amid Incontinence

In this article, we’ll share how individuals dealing with incontinence can manage any associated anxiety to improve their mental health and quality of life.

Experiencing health anxiety can be a daunting experience, both mentally and physically. It can be further amplified when combined with managing a physical health condition like incontinence.

In this article, we’ll share how individuals dealing with incontinence can manage any associated anxiety to improve their mental health and quality of life.

Please note, if you are experiencing any mental health challenges and need support, don’t hesitate to reach out to your health professional, or call Samaritans on 116 123, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Health Anxiety and Incontinence

Health anxiety, often referred to as hypochondriasis, involves excessive worrying about having or acquiring a serious illness.

When combined with a condition like incontinence, where unexpected episodes can happen, this anxiety can become overwhelming.

Recognising the connection between anxiety and incontinence is the first step towards managing these challenges effectively.

Strategies to Manage Anxiety Associated with Incontinence

Managing incontinence-related anxiety involves a holistic approach that addresses both mental health and physical symptoms.

Here are some strategies that can help you:

1. Educate Yourself About Your Condition

Understanding incontinence can alleviate fears and misconceptions that fuel health anxiety. Research reliable sources to learn about the causes, treatments, and management techniques for incontinence. Knowledge is power and knowing the facts can help reduce unnecessary worry about your condition [1].

Bladder and Bowel UK is a charity whose mission is to ‘improve awareness and find solutions to bladder and bowel problems across the nation. They offer many resources when it comes to understanding incontinence, how it can affect you and ways to manage the condition.

2. Develop a Management Plan

Feeling in control of your incontinence can help reduce the amount of anxiety you may be feeling. By working with your doctor, you’ll be able to create an in-depth management plan that is suitable for your lifestyle!

This could look like:

3. Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Mindfulness and relaxation exercises can help in reducing overall anxiety levels and improve your response to stressful situations. Specific techniques such as deep breathing, guided imagery, and meditation can be practised daily to maintain a calm mind [2].

4. Seek Professional Help

Anxiety can become overwhelming, and in those cases, it can be good to consider seeking help from a mental health professional.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is particularly effective in treating health anxiety as it helps challenge and change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours, providing practical ways to manage day-to-day anxiety [3]. If this is something you are in need of, have a talk with your general practitioner and they can help you find someone suitable to match your needs.

5. Join Support Groups

Connecting with others who are also managing incontinence can provide emotional support and practical advice. Support groups offer a space to share experiences and coping strategies, reducing feelings of isolation and stigma associated with incontinence [4].

The Bladder & Bowel Community offers a support group for those experiencing incontinence. Within their community, they are able to share stories and chat with others who are also going through similar situations [5].

6. Incorporate Routine and Structure

Having a routine can provide a sense of control and normalcy that is often disrupted by health anxiety.

Structure your day to include time for activities that improve your incontinence and mental health, such as exercise, relaxation practices like yoga and meditation, timed voiding and social interactions.

7. Focus on What You Can Control

Focusing on aspects of your life that you can control, such as your attitude and how you respond to challenges, can empower you. While you may not be able to control incontinence entirely, you can manage how you deal with it and how much it affects your mental wellbeing.

Another way to help lessen the anxiety of a potential episode is using quality incontinence aids. Our Dailee range offers options for all absorption needs! From pads and guards to pull-up pants and all-in-one slips, have all directly delivered to your door in our discrete packaging.

Unsure which product is best for you? Get in contact with one of our friendly product specialists today!

Dealing with incontinence doesn't have to mean living in a constant state of anxiety. By educating yourself, creating a tailored management plan, and using effective coping strategies, it can help reduce your health anxiety. Remember, it's okay to seek help and connect with others who understand what you're going through.

By breaking the cycle of anxiety, you pave the way for a more confident and fulfilling life, despite the challenges posed by incontinence. Embrace these strategies, visit the suggested resources, and start your journey toward better mental health and incontinence management today.

If you are in need of further support, or are unsure of where to begin, Bowel and Bladder UK can help you with locating resources.

They have the you can reach them by filling out their enquiry form on their website or calling them on 0161 214 4591.

Citations

  1. National Association for Continence. (n.d.). "Comprehensive Guide to Incontinence." https://www.continence.org.au/about-us/who-we-are

  2. American Psychological Association. (n.d.). "Understanding and Treating Health Anxiety." https://www.apa.org/

  3. Incontinence Support Center. (n.d.). "Online Support Groups for Incontinence." https://www.incontinencesupport.info/

  4. Bladder and Bowel Community. (n.d.). "New Bladder & Bowel Community Facebook Support Group." https://www.bladderandbowel.org/news/new-bladder-bowel-community-facebook-support-group/