Secondary enuresis or secondary nocturnal enuresis (SNE) is when an individual has maintained proper control over their bladder during the night time hours for a consecutive period of six months and then the bed wetting problem starts again.
Secondary enuresis is very common in young children but can affect teenagers and adults as well. Very rarely is the cause of secondary enuresis (or secondary bed wetting) a physical problem, more often then not it is related to a psychological stressor. Once the period of stress or the stressful situation or event has come and gone usually the bed wetting disappears as well.
The three most common psychological stress triggers for children include beginning school, the birth of a new baby in the family and needing to spend a few days in the hospital without mommy and daddy in the next room. While the first two events can also be exciting to the child, many find them frightening prospects and worry about how their life will change as a result.
Many other types of circumstances in a childs life can also bring on secondary enuresis. These include problems with schoolwork, problems with a teacher or a bullying situation, abuse or neglect at home (or seeing the abuse of another family member or a pet), divorce, financial pressures, alcoholism, constant fighting between spouses or between a parent and a child, fear over an upcoming test, school project, field trip, etc.
Regardless of whether this happens to a child or an adult if there is complete nighttime bladder control for a six-month period and then bed wetting begins, whether it be every night or even once or twice a week, it should not be ignored or brushed aside. If left unchecked and if it becomes ongoing, bed wetting can lead to sleep patterns that are disrupted which can then lead to serious sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation in turn ushers in a host of both physical and psychological concerns for an individual. Not to mention the fact that bed wetting can become a social oriented problem if you live with other people. As well bed wetting on a fairly regular basis necessitates the washing machine being used a great deal to keep up with the soiled bedding and pajamas.
Rule Out Other Problems
It is a good idea to schedule a visit to the doctor and have a thorough medical exam to rule out any physical problems for the cause of secondary enuresis such as a urinary tract infection. If that is not the problem then ask yourself if you are getting enough sleep every night.
If you go to sleep at approximately the same hour every night and you always get seven to eight hours sleep a night then it is much easier to keep your bladder in check at night. When it comes to adults in particular, altering sleep patterns can bring on secondary enuresis.
Stress is a very common trigger as well. If you have recently suffered the death of a loved one, lost a job or are experiencing financial worries this could cause unwanted stress and your body chooses to express the anxiety by a lack of bladder control at night. For children the stress could result from worries about schoolwork, an argument with a friend and family problems such as divorce, alcoholism or abuse.