There is no "Too Young" for Incontinence
I'm brand new to the forum, but I'm most certainly not brand new to the issues at hand here.
To start things off, I'm 26-years-old and I work a few different jobs in the music industry. I've always been a healthy, active guy my entire life, constantly trying to beat my 5k time and rushing off to the nearest surf swell, and I've even been fairly adamant about not overeating and not partying too too hard (it happens thought). Any way, I've always felt blessed that I was able to turn my skills and passion into a living. And not to mention, I live with my girlfriend whom I've been with for six years.
The parts of my resumé that aren't so blessed are my issues with Overactive Bladder Syndrome, constant drips, dribbles, and leaks, flares of I.B.S., and my history of both daytime and night time accidents. "Bathroom Anxiety" is what I've always called it; A constant prayer for a near by toilet, which create nerves and worries that only make matters far worse.
From the time I was twelve, I noticed that it was not normal to always be hurting for a pee. "Peein' Ian" was my family nickname, which I never took the wrong way, but it did worry me that I continued to live up to it as I grew. The whole road through my teenage years and college was cluttered with embarrassing events, but more importantly, my every day life began to wither with Bathroom anxiety. What will I do if I can't find a bathroom? How am I going to politely ask the driver to pull over? What will I do if I have a window seat on the flight? What if I need to go while being my brother's best man up at the alter for his wedding? What am I going to do? What if there isn't a bathroom? What if there isn't a bathroom?…... Every hour of every day.
Over the passed couple of years, I noticed that I started dripping, dribbling eve and more, causing a noticeable dampness in my underwear each day. This was when I finally realized I should see a doctor. It wasn't nearly as embarrassing of a visit as I had thought, and I was given a lot of options, but most of the tests seemed.. well scary. It became something that I just kept putting off treating, and became a whole different anxiety. A trial run of a medication turned out to be ineffective and lead to a few uncomfortable side effects. But while doing a little bit of research, I came across Depend's men's underwear.
Honestly, I guess I was always very black and white about Incontinence products and Adult Diapers. I know it was ignorant and immature, but I guess I still had a very grade school SNL "Oops I crapped my pants" type attitude about them. It never occurred to me that I fell under the category of having a "Bladder Problem' and those products in the incontinence isle would benefit my entire life. I guess I always just assumed that I couldn't have a problem like that because I was too young and protection was for people in their eighties. But really, I was the one scheduling my everyday around being near a toilet and staying in more and more. My girlfriend was in denial about it at first as well, but surprisingly she changed her tune quicker than i did.
A little over a year ago, it all finally came down to that I needed to make a change and answer my needs. I had a work trip coming up, and I finally ordered some Real Fit underwear. To cut the chase, it only took a few test runs to realize that literally no one can tell that they are there. In fact, it also dawned on me that even if someone were to stare you down, they wouldn't be looking for it any way. You would literally need to wear your pants around your ass like a rapper for anyone to notice. And even so, the material around the waist looks like a pair of boxer briefs, so there are many lines of defense to work with.
Over time of using the men's underwear for risky situations and such, I found that using protection everyday made the most sense for me. They were easy to manage, easy to keep private, easy to hide in my gym or work bag, and overall, just the thought of knowing that I had a 'just in case' kept me infinitely calmer and more confident doing whatever. The bathroom anxiety evaporated and to be honest, with calmer nerves, accidents are extremely few and for between. Besides the dribbles, I make it the bathroom just fine every time. And lastly (and I only say this because I have my heart on my sleeve and hope to give a little confidence to others), I'm not at all embarrassed to say that the paradigm shift of using products to manage my incontinence warmed me up enough to sometimes rely on Depend's maximum protection for certain situations.
While most people may feel afflicted and embarrassed about wearing protection, I feel just the opposite. My confidence has returned and I have gained a new control of my life that I've never experienced. An in the end, once you make it to the point where you decided to try using protection, you'll notice that it is a simple concept that probably would even make sense for most people out there. Don't be deterred by a bunch of playground level stigmas, get your life back like I did.