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ADHD and Bedwetting – Is There A Link?

Bedwetting and ADHD are two common conditions that can affect young people.

Statistics show that children who suffer from ADHD or ADD have a higher rate of enuresis (bedwetting). Most children with a history of bedwetting will no longer experience the problem by the time they are 18 years old, those who also have ADHD have a higher rate of enuresis after they are 18.

What is the relationship between these two conditions?

Experts don’t believe that one condition causes the other. More research is needed to find out just why there is an increase in clinicians reporting incidences of bedwetting in children with ADHD.

However, bedwetting could sometimes be a result of the stress and negative social effects that children with ADHD experience. Then, once bedwetting becomes a regular problem this can then cause the symptoms of ADHD to worsen due to the anxiety and embarassment surrounding the problem of wetting the bed.

This leads to a cycle of effects on the child whereby two different conditions are negatively contributing to each other.

Those with attention deficit disorder may have poor control of their impulses which can make some of the treatments for wetting the bed difficult to implement or maintain. Behavior modification and psychotherapy, for example, require the child to be able to participate and focus which can be difficult for those with ADHD.

An additional complication can relate to medication that ADHD sufferers may be taking, and whether these could be contributing to a worsening of the enuresis problem.

One of the medications that may be prescribed to children with a chronic bedwettign problem is DDAVP or Desmopressin Acetate. This medication requires the child to not overdo their fluid intake when using the medicine. For children with ADHD, controlling their often impulsive behavior can present some challenges when it comes to monitoring how much they are drinking.

Because serious effects can come about when intaking too much fluid when using DDAVP, such as seizures, extra care needs to be taken if a child with ADHD has been prescribed this medicine.

Your doctor will be able to explain any potential risks, and whether he or she believes that this medicine is suitable for bedwetting in the event that your child has also been diagnosed with ADHD.

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