TDW Hypnotherapy Harrogate - Fears and phobias around body waste elimination can make life difficult. It can keep you from leaving the house, stop you drinking enough fluid (leading to health problems later), cause terror if no bathroom is readily available, make sleepovers a nightmare, cause constipation or anal retention and other issues.
Firstly, possible physical causes need to be investigated by your doctor to ensure there are no underlying medical issues. Even if you feel the problem is embarrassing, your doctor will be understanding and should be the first port of call.
But anxiety is still the main cause of toilet issues and that can be helped with hypnotherapy.
The toilet training years can be fraught with fear, embarrassment, angry parents and caretakers, unpleasant situations, feelings of shame and bewilderment (especially if this training is started too soon) also being made to feel inadequate, slow, unacceptable and like it is your fault. During this stage fears and phobias are easily learned at deep levels, setting up anxieties for the future. The situation and subsequent storage of memories happens during a time the brain is like a sponge absorbing information. A less sophisticated stage than when older.
How can hypnotherapy help? regression therapy has been shown to release trapped emotion attached to traumatic memories. This emotion is usually fear because our minds are predisposed to remember anything that makes us frightened or uneasy. All part of our 'fight or flight' system that endeavours to keep us safe.
Early experiences form the basis of our later approach to life. Our responses are learned but then become internalised as part of our thinking and behaviour. Anxious parents or caregivers can amplify the reaction.
Just one significant event can develop a phobia. Based on reality but creates an overreaction. It can defy logic and be very irrational. Further focus on the issue can create an unhealthy obsession.
A baby is born and it's early life is centred on being fed and changed. As it develops, expectations increase from the adults around it. These adults may have their own fears and anxieties surrounding the progress of their child. Toilet accidents are considered stressful, even changing a dirty nappy may elicit disgust, this is communicated to the child non-verbally and sometimes verbally.
Here is a real life example:
This had happened during early development. Before the age of 18 months the child was no longer in nappies during the day. To prevent accidents the little child was taken to the toilet regularly throughout the day, especially before leaving the house and to public toilets when out and about. The adult memories of this are of it being unpleasant. Forced to go and try even when they didn't feel the urge to urinate. Having to sit on strange toilets that were less than clean, full of unflushed contents that they were told not to look at, experiencing wet underwear if there was no toilet paper to wipe, no positive memories as even if they did manage to urinate, the panic was still there about the next toilet visit.
They soon got the message. Wetting or soiling themselves was 'not allowed', seen as shameful and embarrassing, met with anger and anxiety if any accidents did happen, met with negative reactions if they expressed the need to go and a toilet wasn't readily available when out and about.
Not surprisingly this person developed toilet anxiety all of their own.
Starting school made it worse. (children get easily distracted and absorbed in tasks so don't always realise they need the toilet until it's too late). Being too scared to put up their hand to ask, they held on until they only had minutes to get to the toilet, it was a panicky situation. Watching others get reprimanded or humiliated if they had accidents. All led to anxiety and feeling out of control if they weren't at home. They also would not defecate anywhere but home (unless on holiday etc). This led to constipation, something they said happened often.
As they got older, the anxiety became stronger and led to them avoiding activities, turning down jobs, being reluctant to leave the house for certain periods of time. They realised that worry about needing to go to the toilet resulted in them being constantly anxious. This focus on when to go and how long it had been since the last trip to the toilet had taught their bladder to be over sensitive. Now they had to go often, much to their embarrassment.
What should have been a perfectly natural cycle of vital waste elimination had become a limiting, highly stressful state with the potential to cause bodily health issues.
A strong case of anxious mind over matter.
Hypnotherapy can help in various ways. Relaxation techniques help to lower the overall anxiety level. Regression sessions can access and release the emotion trapped to certain memories, thereby reducing their reactivity and the ease of being triggered. Hypnotic audios can encourage the development of good habits whilst reducing the not so good ones. Gentle exposure to triggers shows the mind that the fear was irrational and can be ignored.
Re-visiting significant events during hypnosis allows them to be experienced as an adult with a very different perspective than a child and be re-integrated into a different area of memory.
A person can learn to change their approach to the problem so it becomes less stressful and more manageable.
Hypnotherapy coupled with an alarm was found to be the most effective treatment for nocturnal bedwetting in a study of children who wet the bed over the age of 6.
TDW Hypnotherapy Harrogate can provide Hypnosis from a registered hypnotherapist could be the solution you or your child are looking for.
Get in touch if you would like to book a session or know more.
Disclaimer: this article is for information purposes only. I am not a doctor so any personal health issues should be discussed with your GP or health specialist.