Women might be embarrassed to admit it, but many of us have had occasional issues with controlling our bladders. Perhaps after hearing a hilarious joke or while being tickled you let a few drops go on accident.
But some women have to deal with a condition called urinary incontinence (UI), where leakage is not always just a rare occurrence. In fact, some women might not be able to keep urine from leaking out at all, which obviously has a major impact on day-to-day living.
The condition impacts around 35 percent of women, according to an article on Medical Xpress. And the condition is not only limited to elderly women.
In fact, a new study from the University of Adelaide sheds light on urinary incontinence and its mental health impact on younger women. Researchers found that middle-aged women (43-65 years old) with UI were more likely to suffer from depression than older women.
Researchers believe this is because the UI condition can lower self-esteem due to the constraints it may put on activities, sexual relationships and general family life.
Dr. Dion Metzger, a board-certified adult psychiatrist, is not surprised by the study results, and has personally had patients who suffer from both depression and urinary incontinence.
“I have found that the lowered self-esteem, social limitations and anxiety associated with the fear of embarrassment all contribute to the development of depression,” Metzger said in an email.
She said the following symptoms could be signs of depression:
1) “Feelings of hopelessness”
2) “Less enjoyment of social activities”
3) “Problems concentrating”
“Younger women may become more depressed because they may experience more of the social limiting factors,” Metzger said. “Younger women are more likely to be active in sports and leisure activities such as dancing, going out shopping or simply taking a walk.”
“Another reason younger women may become more depressed is due to seeing their UI symptoms as a sign of premature aging,” she added. “They may feel that they're at too young of an age to be experiencing these symptoms, and have feelings of melancholy about their best years being behind them.”