Stories & News Stories Teens' stories Connor's story I've struggled with bedwetting for pretty much all of my life, and although thankfully things are improving now, there have been many challenges and difficult times. When I was a young kid, I didn’t see that it was anything out of the ordinary – I suppose I just assumed that everyone wet the bed, but obviously as I got older I realised that wasn’t the case and for a while I was very angry about still wetting the bed. For much of my childhood I wore nappies to bed which may seem a trivial thing to get upset about, but I became very worried that somehow all my friends would know, even though there was no way they could find out. By the time I started high school I was feeling very low about it all – I was convinced that I was the only teenager in the world still wetting the bed. When I stopped wearing nappies it was good in the longer term, but hard to get into a new routine. Dealing with a wet bed is no fun, and I had many disrupted nights. It was especially worse on school nights of course – if I woke up wet in the middle of the night, there was no way I could go back to sleep without getting up and changing, which meant I had less sleep, but if I slept through until morning, it was always a rush to get changed and clean in time. One of the biggest issues is the stigma surrounding bedwetting, which doesn’t exist with other conditions – for example I knew people at school with things like asthma and diabetes and they quite happily talked about it. But I would never even consider talking about bedwetting, and up until recently only people within my family knew. Getting rid of this sort of stigma would be such a huge improvement – if it was easier to talk about it and know that people wouldn’t make any sort of fuss then I wouldn’t have missed out on so many things: sleepovers, school trips and the like. Although the 'statistics' show that there are a lot of teenagers who do wet the bed it is hard when you don't actually know anybody else who does, so you have nobody to relate to. Even though I washed myself every morning, I was still convinced that the smell would give it away and that people at school would find out. I missed out on lots of sleepovers and school trips and had to come up with lots of excuses. I was doing a lot of the suggested things like cutting back on certain drinks and making sure I went to the toilet twice before bed and by the time I turned 16 I was having more dry nights than before but was still wetting at least three times a week, often more. I had looked around online and found the ERIC website and emailed the helpline for information about medicines as I thought it might be time to try that again because it had been several years since I'd last seen the doctor. I knew my parents weren't so keen for me to be on medication, but the reply from the ERIC Helpline also mentioned a bedwetting alarm which I had never tried before. I looked into this further with my dad and he ordered one to try out. When I first started using it I had no problems waking up when the alarm went off but I found it really, really hard to stop the flow and hold on long enough to get to the toilet. The ERIC helpline said it might take a while for the alarm to work so I was determined to persevere and I have been getting gradually better at holding on. I have definitely started having more dry nights and I actually had nine dry nights in a row not that long ago!!! It has been a bit up and down since then, but I have been keeping track and most weeks I am having more dry nights than wet ones. And because I am getting much better at holding on when the alarm goes off, if I do start to wet I usually only end up with a small wet patch in my pyjamas and hardly ever have to change sheets. When I was having wet nights all the time and not getting anywhere I felt really down, but I'm much more positive now and I'm determined that I'll be completely dry before I turn 18. I think it is important to try and see some of the positive sides. I have always had a lot of support from my parents and my younger brother. Also recently I was staying with a friend for a few days and had the courage for the first time to tell him about my problem and that I would be wearing incontinence pants as a safeguard whilst staying there – I was very relieved that he was not disgusted in any way and was happy that I had told him. I just want to let others suffering with bedwetting know that it isn't something to be ashamed of, and although it might take a lot of time and patience, things will definitely get better. Read other teens' stories.