Andrew Tan, 9, arrived at most early childhood milestones at a young age, and with ease. He walked at 9 months old. He was stringing sentences together and was potty trained when he was 2 years old. But when it came to being dry at night, Andrew had a different story. “We just thought that he'd come to it sooner or later,” says Joanna Tan, Andrew's mum. “But at 6, he was still wetting the bed at night.”
According to the NHS, bedwetting when asleep, also known as nocturnal enuresis, is very common in children, especially those under 7. About one five-year-old in seven, and one child in 20 children aged 10 wet the bed, and it is more common in boys than girls. It can be caused by medical conditions such as cystitis or diabetes, or by some children's inability to produce enough of the antidiuretic hormone, ADH, which controls the production of urine at night, or just by the fact that some children develop bladder control later than others. It may also have a psychological cause, because of problems at school or at home, for example.
Andrew overcame his bedwetting by means of hypnotherapy, which involves using hypnosis to treat medical and psychological problems. “He was approaching his seventh birthday and desperately wanted to go to Cub camp and sleepovers,” says Joanna. “He was still wetting the bed, though, and felt embarrassed, ashamed and even angry with himself. I've always wanted my son to believe he can accomplish anything he set his mind to, but with his bedwetting, his confidence levels were low. He was a bright chap, with a reading age of 9 or 10 when he was only 7, yet because of his bed-wetting, he felt like a failure. Then I read an article on hypnotherapy, which ended up being Andrew's route to feeling good about himself again.”
According to the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis, being hypnotised feels like being in a trance state, similar to daydreaming, or like the moment before we fall asleep, in which there's a deep sense of relaxation. During hypnosis, beneficial corrections may be given directly to the unconscious mind, which is a reservoir of unrecognised potential and knowledge, and the unwitting source of many of our problems.
Source - Times