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Repetitive Peeing at Night as a Symptom of OCD in Adults and Children: Diagnosis, Information, and How ERP Therapy Can Help

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) has been known to affect people of all ages, including children. This disorder is characterized by the presence of obsessive thoughts that lead to compulsive behaviors that can significantly interfere with an individual’s daily life. One of the symptoms of OCD in children and adults is repetitive peeing at night. This symptom can be distressing for an individual and cause embarrassment and shame that can lead to other mental health problems.

How are repetitive bathroom trips a potential sign of OCD?

Emptying your bladder constantly before bed and striving for a “just right” feeling or “empty feeling” can be a sign of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This can manifest as multiple trips to the bathroom before going to sleep, even when the bladder is already empty. The individual may feel compelled to keep checking that they have emptied their bladder until they are sure, and this ritualistic behavior can take up much time and disrupt normal sleeping patterns.

It is important to note that worry about having an accident in bed during the night is not necessarily something associated with OCD. For those with OCD however, it goes beyond just worrying—it becomes an obsession, with an intense focus on ensuring an empty bladder before bed. People suffering from OCD may experience significant distress and disruption to their daily lives due to this behavior. This can occur not only before bed, but also before leaving the house, getting in the car, or being away from a bathroom for a short or extended period of time.

Who Does It Effect?

These symptoms of OCD can impact both children and adults, and often go misdiagnosed for an extended period of time. Other times, extensive medical testing and evaluation are performed with all medical issues being ruled out.

CBT & ERP Therapy for OCD

People experiencing these symptoms should seek help from a mental health professional to get proper diagnosis and treatment. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidenced-based treatment for OCD that can help people manage their symptoms. Exposure and Response prevention teaches people to confront their Obsessions and learn how to manage the anxiety and compulsive urges when they arise. With the right help and support, those suffering from OCD can take back control of their lives.

If you or your child is experiencing repetitive bathroom trips, you may be struggling with a lesser known symptom of OCD. At GroundWork, our therapists specialize in evidence-based OCD therapy for children and adults, helping you to take back control of your life.

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