The Effect of Your Mental Health on Your Bladder

overactive bladder and mental healthAn overactive bladder can cause stress and anxiety and it can be harmful to your overall mental health.

Overactive bladder syndrome is a condition that affects the storage function of your bladder and it leads to sudden, frequent and uncontrollable urges to urinate. In contrast to a healthy bladder, this condition can cause the urge to urinate when your bladder is not even close to full.    If you have an overactive bladder, you may find it hard to suppress the urge to urinate and experience incontinence, which is an involuntary loss of urine.  It is a rather common condition that affects approximately 15% of the overall population and 33% of the elderly population.  Despite the fact that it is common, you may feel embarrassed by it and it can harm your mental health and wellbeing in a variety of ways if you do not actively seek treatment for it.

Overactive Bladder, Stress and Anxiety


The condition can cause both stress and anxiety for a for a variety of reasons. You may worry about not having a bathroom accessible when the urge hits and the consequent pain of trying to hold it in. You may also worry that you will experiencing leakage or wetting accidents in public.  In addition, you may have ongoing anxiety when away from home because of the inconvenience and preoccupation of constantly looking for a bathroom.

Overactive Bladder and Sleep Problems

This condition can not only harm your mental health by causing you undue stress and anxiety it can also make it difficult for you to get a good night’s sleep, which is essential for mental health.  If you have an overactive bladder you may have to wake up multiple times throughout the night to empty your bladder. The more you wake up the more your sleep patterns get disrupted and this can result in daytime grogginess and escalating fatigue.  To make matters worse, you may begin to leak urine on the way to the bathroom at night, which only adds to your already heavy stress load.

Overactive Bladder and Depression

An overactive bladder can lead to a loss of self-esteem and social withdrawal.  You may fear leaving the security of your own home and avoid social situations at all costs. You may also limit you work life in order to avoid interaction with your workmates and questions about your frequent bathroom trips.  The anxiety, distress and exhaustion that an overactive bladder may cause you, in combination with social isolation, can all lead to feelings of depression.

Overactive Bladder and Sex

The impact that an overactive bladder can have on your sex life may also be harmful to your mental health. If you are a female, an overactive bladder can cause leakage during penetration because penetration moves your bladder and adds pressure to it.  Sex may also cause discomfort and the orgasm itself can cause leakage, all of which can make sex an uncomfortable and anxiety ridden experience.


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