The Voices Of Incontinence
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Statistics may be great for communicating things like size and scale, but it’s hard to relate to a number on a personal level.
Take incontinence as an example. When you hear that more than 33 million Americans experience bladder leakage, or that we spend more than $12 billion dollars on incontinence products each year, those are impressive figures, but they’re hard to relate to.
In the end, nothing touches us more closely than real stories from real patients fighting for relief from bladder leaks. That’s why we’ve created the Voices of Incontinence video series, to present the struggles, victories, challenges and hopes of actual incontinence sufferers in their own words.
Last year, NAFC conducted our first ever State of Incontinence survey, and while many of the results were expected, they were still troubling. 90% of those surveyed stated they were frustrated with their symptoms. and 90% said they felt isolated, alone, depressed or hopeless.
But like we said earlier, numbers can’t really convey the human side of the story. Beyond the figures, it was the heartfelt written responses to our questions that showed us that no matter how far we’ve come in the way of treatment, we still have a long way to go.
Incontinence is not just leakage. It’s missing your favorite workout after years of exercise because you’re afraid of an accident. It’s not venturing outside of your home because you need to be close to a bathroom. It’s never spending a night away because you don’t want to wet the bed. It’s thinking that you may never get married because of an embarrassing condition.
With The Voices Of Incontinence, you’ll see what it’s like for people who just can’t hold it in. Using their own words, we hope to portray the heartache, humiliation and isolation that this condition can cause for so many. But we also want to convey the optimism that’s shared by many, too – the sense that it is possible to overcome the challenges of incontinence and that life can be normal again. After all, there’s no shame in being human.
We’ll be presenting new videos and stories every few weeks that touch on the different aspects of living with incontinence, and will also be posting tools to help you manage the condition physically and emotionally. Check back often to see what’s new.
Incontinence and relationships
There’s no denying it: Incontinence can be embarrassing, and the shame it creates can keep us far from those we love most of all. It can limit physical and emotional intimacy, driving distance between couples and preventing others from creating new relationships. But that’s not the case for everyone – there are some who have been able to overcome the challenges, building rich interpersonal lives despite the burden that incontinence can sometimes place on them.
Click on the buttons below to read stories about incontinence and relationships.
Quality Of Life
Incontinence can really place limits on your life, preventing you from doing the things you love, keeping you from activities that you’ve always enjoyed and putting distance between yourself and those you care for. While many who face it struggle with the challenges from day-to-day, there are others who find that it’s a burden they can manage.
Incontinence is more than just bladder leaks. A recent survey from the National Association For Continence showed that nearly 90% of respondents felt either isolated, alone, depressed or hopeless. Learn more about the emotional impact of incontinence in our newest video, then read the personal stories below.
The Social Impact
So many people with incontinence limit their time with family and friends because they’re scared others will find out. The social impact can expand far beyond that. Working out, attending public events, and outings with co-workers can all be impacted by bladder leaks. But they don’t have to be. Learn more about the social impact of incontinence and draw inspiration to take action from these stories.
Understanding Your Condition
As with many health conditions, the more you know about your condition and the treatment options available to you, the better able you are to manage it. Watch our newest video and read the blogs at the links below to learn more about how you can take a more active role in managing your bladder leaks. Then get busy researching about the different treatments and the many treatment options out there.
Talking With Your Doctor
Talking with your doctor about incontinence doesn’t have to be an embarrassing event. In fact, it’s a vital step in your path to treatment. Learn more about how to talk about bladder leaks with your doctor in our final video from the Voices Of Incontinence campaign and then check out the resources on our site to help you start your own discussion.