A number of people claim that if you use diapers for bed-wetting there's no incentive to become dry-that the child,adolescent,or teenager become so accustomed to using the diapers they'll eventually become a crutch or security blanket. The reasoning behind this is that people will become complacent about seeking a cure for their bed-wetting. While I suppose this is a possibility for a small number of individuals(although I believe it is highly unlikely) I can think of a number of reasons why this probably wouldn't be the case. This article addresses this concern. First of all I believe that the premise behind this thinking is flawed. It assumes that the reason the youngster or adult wets the bed is purely psychological. The cause of the bed-wetting could be physical in which case no amount of motivation will get them to achieve night control. The bed-wetter might be motivated to experiment with different treatments so from that standpoint they're "motivated" but this is a completely different issue than what is normally meant by most people who talk about bed-wetting and the concept of motivation. To say that a person who wears diapers for bed-wetting will be less likely to have the motivation to cure their bed-wetting is like saying that a diabetic who has to use insulin for their diabetes or a person who uses an inhaler to manage their asthma won't be motivated to seek cures for their diseases. In fact in could be argued that the people who wear diapers for their bed-wetting have more of an incentive to cure their enuresis than those who don't because of the stigma associated with diapers.
Right now I'd like to talk about the reasons why I feel that diapers won't have any effect on a person's desire and motivation to achieve nighttime control. In the first place wearing diapers to bed does not preclude the person from trying to find out information about new treatments that might become available for the bed-wetting. Second, most children and teens want to fit in and be like everybody else and they realize most people their age are out of diapers.
Third,although the diapers might make the bed wetter feel more secure and comfortable it is still a hassle using diapers. Shelling out money for disposable diapers can be expensive; washing diapers and plastic pants is time consuming;it can be inconvenient traveling with diapers because plastic pants,diapers,plastic sheets,and the skincare products required take up more room in the suitcase; and since many people are reluctant to divulge the fact that they have to wear overnight diapers to friends they have to decline things such as sleepovers,going camping,etc. Adolescents,teenagers,and adults are especially vulnerable in this area. Most of them are reluctant to get involved in a relationship because they are afraid to tell the opposite sex they have to sleep in diapers every night.
Also if you're an adult bed wetter who has to travel frequently for business it's difficult to be discreet about your diaper use. There is always the risk your colleagues will find out. In fact I read about a case where that happened. Fortunately her colleague had the same problem and was real understanding but most people aren't that lucky. These are just some of the reasons why most people are more than willing to give up their diapers if a cure is eventually found for their bed-wetting.
On a related note I would like to touch on the following point. As mentioned in my article " Bed-Wetting:When Cures Are Worse Than the Disease", with some individuals the cures and treatments available for the bed-wetting might cause more harm than good. In cases like this if it's shown that there's no serious underlying medical problem causing the bed-wetting that needs to be treated,if it's determined that the youngster will eventually outgrow the bed-wetting,and if the bed-wetting is not causing the child or teen distress then it's advisable to wait for the individual to outgrow it and make him or her feel as comfortable as possible in the meantime. Sometimes we just need to follow the child's natural growth process without interference. And while this might not be advisable in all circumstances,with some individuals and in some cases this is the most prudent course of action to follow.
Some people might criticize this tack because they feel it causes the child or teen unnecessary suffering .As with everything else in life we must take each situation on an individual basis. As I have repeatedly stressed throughout many of my writings there are instances in which people have tried many different methods to cure their bed-wetting without success. That's not to say they should give up-medical science is continually coming up with new treatments for various illnesses on virtually a daily basis. I'm just suggesting that due to the stigma surrounding nocturnal enuresis(and other forms of incontinence) people feel compelled to cure it and many times that pressure can have a negative effect . It makes them feel they have to turn their life upside down to cure it.
With some individuals it can be more stressful going to countless doctors,having endless tests and procedures done, and trying many different treatments without success-imagine what it would be like to continually get your hopes up only to have them dashed? That's when the person has to consider the quality of life issue I discussed earlier. If the youngster is more distressed about being shuttled around to different specialists and trying multiple cures without success and if they'll will eventually outgrow the bed-wetting, then it might be prudent to not put any more pressure on them and just follow their natural growth process.
I would tell the child something along these lines: "We'll do everything we can to support you with this problem. With some people it's difficult finding a cure for their bed-wetting but that's okay. Also with some people it takes a little while longer for them to be able to stay dry at night. You shouldn't feel pressured to become dry at night-everyone's body is different. We know you're frustrated about going to countless doctors and trying different cures without success and that's okay also. We'll see how things go and if we find out about anything new that can help resolve the bed-wetting we'll all sit down together and discuss it. I think it's important for you to not feel discouraged about this. In the meantime we think it would make you feel more comfortable to wear diapers to bed."
To me wearing diapers for bed-wetting should be viewed as more of an inconvenience as I suggested in another article not as something a person should be ashamed of. I wear glasses to manage my eyesight and while I might prefer not to wear them(like most people probably do) I certainly don't feel ashamed about wearing them. If the inconvenience of using diapers is something the person can tolerate and if they enable the user to feel more secure and have a better night's sleep then they should use them.