ADD ADHD Bedwetting Causes and Treatment

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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, often referred to as just ADHD, is a condition that causes behaviors, such as over-activity, impulsivity, inattentiveness, or some combination thereof. Approximately three to five percent of children who are of school age are affected by this condition. It is considered the most common childhood behavioral disorder. Many parents ask whether or not there is a clear connection between ADD ADHD and bedwetting. While there is not an absolute link, there are reasons a child with this behavioral disorder is more prone to losing bladder control at night.

The Connection

As of today, no definitive link between ADD ADHD and bedwetting has been established. However, bedwetting and ADHD do often occur together. Some believe this connection is due to children with this disorder not paying attention to the signs telling them it is time to empty their bladder. It is also believed that an environmental cause or genetic link may be responsible for both, therefore, connecting the two. Though the general consensus is that ADHD does not directly cause bedwetting, it is certain that these two issues often go hand in hand.

Behavior Modification

Behavior modification is meant to work towards changing the child’s urinating behavior. This can be achieved by a simple action such as a parent praising the child for not wetting the bed. There are also devices that will wake up the child when it senses moisture so that the child can use the bathroom. Limiting the child’s fluid intake a few hours before bed can also be beneficial.


There are medications that can be prescribed for bedwetting. Desmopressin acetate is considered to be an effective and safe option, and Tofranil is also considered. Some children will take medication on a regular schedule while others will only take it under certain circumstances, such as when they are attending a sleep over or other overnight event. All medications can have side effects so be sure to speak to the child’s doctor before starting any course of treatment.

Emotional Support

ADHD can be tough on a child. They may feel that they don’t fit in, be shy, or feel there is something wrong with them. Be sure to encourage the child and support them. Make sure the child knows that he or she is loved and accepted and try to maintain a calm home. Let the child know you are going to do whatever you can to help them get through this and that you are not at all angry about their bedwetting.


Geary, D. (2010). ADHD and Bedwetting. Retrieved on November 17, 2010 from Children Today:

Watkins, C.E. MD. (2000). ADD ADHD and Bedwetting. Retrieved on November 17, 2010 from Northern County Psychiatric Associates: