Teen frets taking her antidepressants
By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar
November 30, 2009 12:00 AM
Dear Annie: I am a 16-year-old girl who still wets the bed. I have tried everything from wearing an alarm to taking medication.
I am now on a prescription that works by telling my kidneys to stop producing urine, although it doesn't work all the time. A urologist prescribed an antidepressant that prevents me from sleeping too deeply. With the combination of these two medicines, I no longer wet the bed. However, the antidepressant causes me to be uncontrollably angry all the time. I also don't sleep well when I take it, which just adds to my irritability. It has gotten so bad that it has started to affect my relationships with friends and family.
My mom wants me to keep taking it because it works. But, Annie, I don't like being angry all the time, and I don't want to be on medication for the rest of my life. What can I do?
At a Loss
Dear At a Loss: Most teens with enuresis are exceedingly deep sleepers, and many also have a small bladder, exacerbating the problem. We assume you have been screened for diabetes and a genetic link, and that you don't drink alcohol. Many sufferers do well with a moisture-sensor alarm, and we're sorry that doesn't work for you. The other common treatment is the medication you currently are using. However, since you are having unpleasant side effects, please discuss this with your doctor. It's possible your dosage can be altered so you can still get the benefits without such a big emotional swing. Also discuss exercises to strengthen and enlarge your bladder. For more information and to keep abreast of new developments, contact the National Kidney Foundation (kidney.org) at 1-888-WAKE-DRY (1-888-925-3379).