'A' to 'Z' of Mental Health
Children who have enuresis may repeatedly wet, either their clothing or bed, and this can occur during the day or during the night. Typically when the child urinates in inappropriate places this is in accident, not a purposeful behaviour. For many children with enuresis they don’t recognise the body cues of when they need to go to the toilet. While other children may recognise the cues, but get too distracted and forget. Children who wet at night time are often very heavy sleepers and are not woken by the bodily urge.
Encopresis is a disorder where a child over the age of four will experience difficulty with soiling themselves, that is they will repeatedly poo in places other than the toilet (e.g. in their clothing or on the floor). Encopresis can occur for a range of reasons such as a child may experience constipation, have anxiety about passing a poo and then try to hold it, or may be a sign of another psychological disorder. Constipation is the most common cause for encopresis. This condition may also occur if a child has had a negative toileting experience, or recently had an upsetting or traumatic event take place which may lead to constipated and then encopresis.
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