Teens Wearing Diapers: Why and What to Do

If you find your teen wearing diapers, you may be very confused. But it’s important to stay calm so you can react in a manner that helps your child instead of traumatizing him/her. Wonder the causes of teens wearing diapers? Here are a few things to consider:

Why Do Some Teens Wear Diapers?

1. Paraphilic Infantilism

There is a rare sexual disorder called paraphilic infantilism. It is when the person finds being treated like an infant sexually pleasing. If your teen says or implies this is why he/she has the diapers, try to learn about and understand the disorder.

People with this fetish may like being fed from a bottle, wet nursing, babbling like a baby, playing with baby toys, getting spanked, wearing diapers and role playing an infant.

There aren’t any current studies on any known risks from this. Many people have the condition but have a normal day-to-day life. They have steady jobs and healthy relationships. Even though it may seem an odd practice, it tends to be quite harmless.

In some cases, there are other disorders associated with paraphilic infantilism such as depression and anxiety. It should be noted that suicidal thoughts and even attempts have been known to occur with paraphilic infantilism.

2. Bedwetting

You should also consider that your teen may be wearing diapers because he/she has been bedwetting and is embarrassed to talk to you about it. Teens wearing diapers can happen when they have bladder controls issues during the night.

It could be a medical problem or your teen could be dealing with depression and anxiety or other psychiatric troubles. Be sensitive when you talk to your teen about the possible bedwetting. Something like, "This can be tough to talk about, but I need to ask you if you're having bathroom trouble. Can you talk to me about this?"

3. Depression and Anxiety

Anxiety and depression can be part of the issue. They can also be the underlying causes of both bed wetting and paraphilic infantilism. These can manifest in several ways such as:

  • Feeling helpless, worthless, or sad
  • New sleeping and eating disorders
  • Little interest in normal activities
  • Irritability
  • Low energy

How Can Teens Be Helped with the Problem?

1. Paraphilic Infantilism

Generally, most teenagers won’t need medical treatment because of the disorder. It won’t cause distress to them or others and won’t cause impairment. For those that seek treatment, some options include:


  • Psychotherapy for individuals that is expressive-supportive
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Orgasmic reconditioning


  • Mood stabilizers
  • Phenothiazine
  • Antiandrogens
  • Antidepressants
  • Medical castration with GnRH

Group therapy and hypnosis can also help with the problem of paraphilic infantilism and teens wearing diapers.

2. Bedwetting

If you find that your teenager is wetting the bed, you should start with consulting the doctor. Most often, bed wetting is from a medical problem. With teenagers, this can be related to hormones. Genetic disorders and small bladders can be to blame for incontinence in teenagers. Make sure to talk to your doctor as soon as you can. You will be surprised at the help available. Here are other ways to help deal with the problem.

Be Cautions with Food and Drink Before Bed

Teens who have nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting) need to be careful with what they eat or drink before bed. Try to keep the bladder from being overly full by reducing the amount of liquids drank just before bed. There are even some foods that can irritate the bladder, such as chocolate, coffee, soda and other carbonated drinks.

Try Positive Visualization

You can tell your teen to use his/her mind to visualize being dry when waking in the morning. You can also reward him/her for waking up dry in the morning.

Consider an Alarm

There are many cases where nurses and doctors suggest using an alarm to help treat enuresis in teens. In fact, it is found that in 50-70 percent of cases this will help cure bedwetting. The alarm is set off when the bed begins to get wet, allowing teens to shut the alarm off and head to the restroom. Don’t be upset if there are no immediate results.

If this doesn’t work or isn’t an option, a parent can set the alarm for several times during the night. When it goes off, wake your teen to use the restroom. This will also help cure their bedwetting.


There are some doctors who will recommend medication for those with enuresis. Though there isn’t a medicine that has been proven to cure bedwetting permanently, there are several that can help. A lab created ADH can help decrease the amount of urine that builds during the night, and there are other medications that can help the bladder to relax, allowing it to hold more urine overnight.

3. Depression and Anxiety

If either anxiety or depression is the cause of bedwetting and teens wearing diapers, you need to speak with them thoroughly so you can help them overcome the issues before they get even bigger. Try these things at home:

  • Give your full attention to your teen's feelings.
  • Be calm if your teen is anxious about something.
  • Praise even the small accomplishments.
  • Back off on punishments.
  • Lower your expectations during stressful times.
  • Try to be flexible while still keeping a routine.
  • Plan for extra time during stressful periods such as getting ready for school.
  • Get support from friends and family.

Being an adolescent can be stressful enough. If you suspect your child is struggling with anxiety or depression, it is better to get professional help early before it can become severe.

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