When I began working with bed wetting I also began to see certain common threads among my patients that I identified strongly with. I was in the dark about these things, just like so many of you. I knew that bed wetting was caused by a deep and unhealthy sleep disorder but never put together that the sleep disorder was creating other obstacles. What I was seeing and a little bit of common sense enlightened me. How do you function the next day when you’ve had a bad night?
In grade school, I was told that I had a very high IQ. I did well in school with ease. However, when I reached the 5th grade level, I began to have problems. My grades fell, my self-esteem fell, and I began acting out in school. Fortunately, I was funny so I acted in a way that made the kids laugh but my teachers were not happy. The class clown!! This became my defense mechanism. But, once the school work became more challenging, I got lost.
My parents were told that I just didn’t apply myself. To this day, I don’t know what that means. I couldn’t focus and concentrate and spent a good part of my life just feeling stupid. My Mom used to ask how I knew every word to every song but not my school work. I hear that from the parents of my patients, except it’s about being able to focus on video games but not the school work. It’s about being unable to focus when you’re reading, especially when it’s not as much fun as Rock N Roll and video games.
I was told I didn’t comprehend, yet as a child I knew I did comprehend but couldn’t focus. I would read the same sentence over and over. It took forever to study. It still takes forever for me to even read a good novel. If reading is so difficult, how can you learn anything like math, history, science etc.?
In my day there was no such thing as ADD/ADHD. No harmful ADD medications (thank heavens).
The point is that when one “outgrows” bed wetting, it does not mean that they’ve outgrown the sleep disorder. Thus, if the sleep disorder doesn’t go away, the ADD/ADHD symptoms won’t go away either. Once the bed wetting goes away, if it does, there is no way of curing the sleep. So your stuck with it like I am.
I am aware that some of you are saying, “My child doesn’t have problems in school, so this doesn’t apply to me”. Not every bed wetter has problems in school or with focus and concentration, but the majorities do. Regardless of whether they do well in school or not, if they are beyond 7 years old, the possibilities of the sleep disorder living on become greater with each year.
One of the other common threads of ADD/ADHD and bed wetting is that we see a huge number of older family members that struggle with sleep apnea. Many undiagnosed, but with heavy snoring and often low energy. Apnea often leads to heart disease.
As I read over this, I want to tell you that I am not trying to scare anyone. It’s just that the only way to fix this sleep disorder is to use the bed wetting episodes to recondition the sleep and teach the brain to “trigger” out of that deep sleep and learn how to cycle normally.
When we cure the sleep disorder, the bed wetting goes away and the former bed wetter will achieve a lifetime of healthy sleep. Everyone deserves that!