Should my child see a psychiatrist for her bedwetting?

Many parents assume their child’s bedwetting is do to a psychological problem, and start blaming themselves or their partner for their child’s bedwetting. In some cases, these feelings cause parents to jump to even more conclusions such as their child has been abused or the bedwetting is due to a deeply-rooted psychological disorder.

The reality is that most bedwetters do outgrow the problem, and taking your child to a psychiatrist may not be the solution. If your child has primary enuresis, in other words, if they have never been dry at night, then seeing a psychiatrist probably won’t do much to cure the main issue of their wetting the bed.  Seeing a psychiatrist may help your child open up about their bedwetting and may help to ease their anxiety about what they are experiencing, but it will not do anything to actually help them remain dry at night.

However, children who are experiencing secondary enuresis, or children who have been dry at night and start wetting the bed again, may find talking to a psychiatrist helpful as secondary enuresis is usually the indication of mental anxiety in children. This anxiety can be caused by such things as a death in the family, moving and changing schools, parental fighting or divorce, and even abuse.

Before taking a child to a psychiatrist, however, have a good medical check up to determine if there are any medical issues causing their bedwetting.  Bottom line: if a child has never been dry, skip the psychiatrist.  If they have been dry and started wetting again, first get a medical check-up, and then ask your doctor if they think seeing a psychiatrist or therapist will help them not wet the bed.