If late-night talk shows hosts were making a list of the top ten medical conditions with embarrassing results, overactive bladder (OAB) would surely find its way on the list and for good reason.
OAB leads to its fair share of awkward, uncomfortable and humiliating situations. Trying to deny that would be lying to yourself. On good days, OAB is a minor inconvenience. On bad days, it seems like a never-ending battle against your bladder. This is a battle you cannot win.
In a surprising way, feeling embarrassed by your OAB will add stress and worsen your symptoms. To improve your OAB, you have to find new ways to shrink your embarrassments. Here are 9 of the best strategies to drain your shame.
1. Accept Yourself with OAB
People with OAB live in denial because admitting their condition to others is just too scary and painful. Admitting it to themselves can be even harder.
Of course you realize you have OAB, but have you really come to terms with the implications of this? Do you think you should be able to control your symptoms all of the time? Do you think you can avoid every episode if you only work hard enough? Having unrealistic expectations maintains denial.
Accepting your status means that you can begin to accept yourself – all of you. Stress instantly becomes reduced with self-acceptance. Less stress means less risk of incontinence, which translates to less embarrassment.
Did you know that OAB and constipation can be related? While they are different conditions, they can play off each other to worsen symptoms.