5 Psychological Reasons For Daytime Wetting (Definition, causes, symptoms, Treatment according to psychology)

By: Sarah Grace

Psychological reasons for daytime wetting include stress, anxiety, attention-seeking behavior, poor toilet training, or developmental issues.

Have you ever encountered live cases of daytime wetting? Did you wonder about the reason behind diurnal enuresis? You might also have noticed these children struggling with their emotional health.

According to research, children facing toilet challenges also show anger, rage and stubbornness. In this article, we are going to talk about what diurnal enuresis is, symptoms, treatment, and psychological reasons for daytime wetting.

What is Daytime wetting (diurnal enuresis)? 

Diurnal enuresis, simply put, refers to daytime wetting. This is beyond the expected age for achieving bladder control. Daytime wetting is involuntary and is perplexing for both children and parents. 

What is Bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis)?

Nocturnal enuresis, referred to as bedwetting, is the uncontrolled release of urine while asleep.. This is especially when age-appropriate bladder control is expected. Understanding these terms sets the stage for exploring the psychological aspects of daytime wetting.

Psychological Reasons For Daytime Wetting 

There are various psychological reasons for diurnal enuresis like stress, anxiety, attention-seeking behavior, poor toilet training, or developmental issues. Let’s discuss them all in detail.

1. Attention-seeking behaviour 

Have you ever noticed the actions of any children? You will analyze one common thing among all. They used to repeat those actions from which they thought to grab others’ attention. We as human beings love to grab the attention of others. It is our natural desire to become the center of every gathering. 

This reason is particular for the neglected children. When parents are too busy managing their tasks. They can’t pay the focus needed to their child. It negatively impacts the psychology of children. 

Ultimately they may resort to some unethical and immoral ways. Daytime wetting can be a reason for grabbing the attention of parents. Researchers have found a link between daytime wetting and attention-seeking behavior.

They use this behavior to fulfill their emotional needs. Their unconscious perception is that wetting can divert their parents’ attention towards them. 1

Note: Wetting is not involuntary in this situation. Rather a child may elicit this behavior knowingly.

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2. Poor toilet Training 

Toilet training usually refers to the understanding of when and when a child needs to go to the toilet. This is an example of learned behavior (adapted w.r.t external circumstances). It is the job of parents and caregivers to educate their children.

According to developmental psychologists, toilet training occurs in the early stages of a person’s life. When children don’t learn enough about using and going to the toilet. They do not have the required abilities or habits to manage their bladder.

Inconsistent training, lack of routine and not recognizing signals lead to daytime wetting accidents. Poor toilet training also affects the overall personality and traits of a person.

3. Developmental issue 

Abnormal growth or developmental issues can be a possibility of daytime wetting. These include low cognition, and delayed psychological and physiological development. These all affect a child’s ability to control bladder functions during waking hours. 

Children also experience difficulty in recognizing bladder signals. In addition to the above-mentioned reasons, sensory-motor development also influences toilet behavior. 

4. Fear or phobias

Once upon a time, I visited one of my aunt’s homes. She has a six years old cutie daughter. She was suffering from diurnal enuresis. The reason was fear and phobia associated with bathrooms.

The fears or phobias may be the psychological reason for daytime wetting. Many children have phobias associated with using public toilets and bathrooms. As a result, bladder control is effective and leads to diurnal enuresis.

The fear of closed spaces ( claustrophobia) may also contribute to daytime wetting. These people have serious anxiety. A child with claustrophobia avoids using the toilet. Which leads to holding urine for a long time and can increase the chance of daytime wetting.

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5. Laziness and forgetting 

Memory issues, executive dysfunction(facing difficulty in managing tasks), and laziness can contribute to diurnal enuresis. Children like to spend their time as much as possible while playing and enjoying themselves.

They can play for hours with their buddies and toys. There are chances that they avoid other life activities. Some people need to remember to use the toilet or delay bathroom visits. They don’t pay attention to the need to go to the toilet thus resorting to daytime wetting.

6. Stress anxiety and trauma

Children experience diurnal enuresis due to stress, anxiety, or trauma. Emotional challenges disrupt the balance, impacting bladder control during waking hours. Anxiety, whether generalized or specific, heightens vulnerability to diurnal enuresis.

Traumatic events, like accidents or abuse, contribute to urinary control difficulties as a manifestation of psychological distress. 

Physical causes of Daytime wetting

Despite the psychological factors, there may be a lot of physical and medical causes of daytime wetting. We have listed a number of the physical factors.

1. Small bladder 

Some children experience diurnal enuresis due to having a small bladder.The smaller bladder may cause greater frequency and urgent desires to urinate. This leads them to daytime wetting incidents.

2. Constipation 

Constipation can be a physical factor leading to diurnal enuresis. The force of the bloated faeces on the bladder occurs in children who are constipated. So disruptions in urinary control during waking hours occur.

3. Urinary infections 

Urinary infections directly impact bladder function and exacerbate diurnal enuresis. Infections cause irritation and inflammation, leading to increased urgency and potential loss of bladder control.

4. Hydration issue

Issues related to hydration influence diurnal enuresis. Insufficient fluid intake or irregular drinking habits affect the bladder’s ability to function optimally.

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Symptoms of Daytime wetting (diurnal enuresis)

Frequent Daytime Wetting:

Children often wet during waking hours beyond age-appropriate bladder control.

Urgency and Inability to Delay Urination:

Kids may struggle with urgency to urinate and find it challenging to delay bathroom trips, leading to unexpected wetting.

Physical Discomfort: 

Some children express abdominal pain or discomfort during or after urination, signaling potential issues with diurnal enuresis.

Emotional Impact:

Emotional signs, including frustration, embarrassment, or activity avoidance, may accompany diurnal enuresis, affecting a child’s well-being.

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Consequences of daytime wetting

Social and Emotional Impact: 

Daytime wetting can lead to social challenges and emotional distress, impacting self-esteem and confidence.

Disruption of Daily Activities: 

Frequent changes and bathroom visits can disrupt a child’s routine, hindering normal development.

Parental Concerns and Stress: 

Parents experience stress when dealing with their child’s diurnal enuresis, seeking support solutions. 

Treatment for Daytime wetting (diurnal enuresis)

Treatment of daytime wetting may involve behavioral therapies. The following tips are only for treating minor issues. If the condition is compulsive then do visit your healthcare provider. 

Enuresis Behavioral Strategies: 

Implementing timed voiding and regular bathroom breaks helps manage diurnal enuresis with consistent toileting habits.

Fluid Management: 

Proper hydration practices, emphasizing regular fluid intake, contribute to bladder health and help control daytime wetting.

Medical Interventions: 

In certain cases, medical interventions, including prescribed medications or therapies, address underlying factors contributing to diurnal enuresis.

Emotional Support: 

Providing emotional support and open communication channels is crucial in helping a child cope with diurnal enuresis, fostering a supportive environment.

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In conclusion, it is significant understand the complex reasons of diurnal enuresis. It is required to address psychological and physical aspects through medical therapies, fluid management strategies, and behavioral tactics.

It is possible to create an atmosphere that is supportive of children’s well-being by acknowledging the emotional and social effects on them, giving them the support they need, and communicating openly.

Frequently Asked [Questions

What vitamins stop bedwetting?

No specific vitamins directly stop bedwetting, but a balanced diet with vitamin D and B complex may support overall health.

When should I be worried about daytime wetting?

If daytime wetting continues after the age of five or is accompanied by pain, urgency, or other worrying symptoms, see a doctor for additional assessment.

What are psychological reasons for daytime wetting in adults?

Psychological reasons for daytime wetting in adults can include stress, anxiety, trauma, or other emotional factors that impact bladder control.


  • Sarah Grace

    I'm a researcher with a deep passion for understanding the complexities of the mind. My background in psychology and years spent analyzing research have equipped me with the knowledge to translate complex concepts into practical tools for self-help and mental well-being. I'm driven by a desire to empower individuals to navigate life's challenges and cultivate emotional health.

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I'm a researcher with a deep passion for understanding the complexities of the mind. My background in psychology and years spent analyzing research have equipped me with the knowledge to translate complex concepts into practical tools for self-help and mental well-being. I'm driven by a desire to empower individuals to navigate life's challenges and cultivate emotional health.

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