3 MIN READ | Wellness

Tommy Williamson

The Impact of Living with a Catheter on a Person’s Mental Health

Cite This
Tommy Williamson, (2021, March 17). The Impact of Living with a Catheter on a Person’s Mental Health. Psychreg on Wellness. https://www.psychreg.org/catheter-mental-health/
Reading Time: 3 minutes

There are so many functions that we do every day without even realising it. We so often take things for granted and it’s only when there is an issue that we see how lucky we’ve been for so long. Life isn’t perfect and we should never try and make it so. Being able to adapt to what happens to us throughout our lives is the ultimate test of human beings and hopefully, if there are issues, we can come through them unscathed and still live our best lives.

Our bladders and urine habits are some of these exact examples that are taken for granted. Drinking liquids such as water is essential for human life and a physical act that we do so seamlessly and consistently without even thinking. Well, this liquid has to go somewhere after it has been filtered and due to the volume of liquids we drink, the bladder is used many times on a daily basis.

So there’s no wonder that many people suffer from issues with this area of the body. It’s tender and needs to be nurtured, with problems identified and addressed as soon as they appear. After seeking medical advice, it may become clear that a catheter is required, which can be a real-life adjustment and something that is not attractive whatsoever.

Given the advancements in technology and processes, the manufacturing of catheters is definitely a factor in promoting and improving general mental health. When you have people in your corner working on getting things better, you always feel good. The same goes for people with catheters, knowing there are constant manufacturing improvements and people are in your corner rooting for you to ensure the best experience for the user, will make them feel lots better.

The whole point of a catheter is to help the person manage their urine flow and maintain healthy levels of urine in their bladder, or not allow unhealthy levels to build up. 

Although a catheter may be seen as a solution to a pre-existing condition that is diagnosed by a professional, the person who actually has to use it may experience an impact on their mental health as they go through this transition process. It is always a struggle to deal with change, especially a physical one.

Adjustment phase

Beginning this transition will play a big part in raiding anxieties as they get used to new habits and new physical feelings. This person may have looked at machine solutions to ease their issues. At the start, this may be quite sore and uncomfortable, which would play a role in making anyone feel down or worried. Hopefully, the mood doesn’t stay low for too long and the adjustment phase is over fairly quickly.

Embarrassment 

No one likes feeling like they’re any less than other people or they somehow have a disability or drawback. It may be common that someone with a catheter may feel like this and that others might look at them differently if the catheter is obvious. If this happens for someone who suffers from social anxiety anyway, the effect on their mental health could be huge and they may begin questioning whether they want to go out in public.

Worry

It is most likely those who use a catheter suffer from general worrying anyway. The bladder is a tender area of the body and feels as such. When you have some alien piece of equipment in it you might be worried it will come out, harm your insides, not work properly or leave you urinating yourself. If there are a number of things that could go wrong with the functionality of the catheter, a lot of time may be spent worrying that they could happen. Constant worrying and fretting impacts long-term mental health in such a bad way and can leave a person in a constant state of fear.

Overthinking

Resting on negative thoughts surrounding the whole usage of a catheter can lead to a downturn in mental health. The goal is to become consistent with our positive thoughts and when someone spends too much thinking about the negatives, the long-term effects can be severe.

Feeling like a victim

It’s perfectly natural to ask why this thing had to happen to me. Any physical ailment is draining and mentally it can be hard to come to terms with. Just remember that everyone has a different experience in life and others are also suffering from awful afflictions. 

Takeaway

Having to live with a catheter is always going to cause issues as it’s not a natural thing for the body to be engaged in. If you are dealing with someone who has to use a catheter, use these things we’ve discussed as a guide to be more mindful and aware of how this person may truly be feeling. No one wants to be in pain or discomfort, and if it’s over a long period of time it can be massively detrimental to mental health and general wellness.


Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.


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