Do you have a loved one dealing with incontinence? We get calls daily from men, women and youth who are doing the best they can to cope with incontinence on a daily basis. Some are dealing with it internally and not reaching out to somebody for support. Many are angry, sad and even depressed. We thought we would write a post about what you can do to help your loved one who is living with incontinence and experiencing some of these feelings.
First, don't try to fix or talk them out of their feelings. If somebody feels depressed it's important to validate those feelings rather than tell them not to feel how they feel.
Be empathetic. Another words, allow your loved one to hear you express understanding about how they feel. Saying something like, "I can't imagine I would feel much different if I had this problem... I can understand how this would make you feel miserable..." It's natural to use that word "but" when we communicate. Avoid doing so since following up with "but" will un-do the empathy and support you just offered.
Offer your loved one more support by talking about steps they can take to do something about their incontinence. Be sincere and gentle in letting them know that their feelings make a lot of sense and that it worries you that the depression may worsen or limit important life activities you don't want to see them miss.
Lastly, let them know how serious you are about your concerns by ensuring them that you will be there whenever they want to talk about their feelings. Offer this support with a promise to keep what you discuss with them in confidence.