Humor and Incontinence: Elaine Miller... - The Simon Foundat...

The Simon Foundation for Continence

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Humor and Incontinence

incon1982 profile image
8 Replies

Elaine Miller is helping break the stigma associated with incontinence and seeking medical help by helping us laugh. Ms Miller is a physiotherapist and after have three children, she found herself incontinent. She found help, but realized that many people don't seek help for their symptoms. "The only place I knew where nothing was taboo was on a comedy stage, so, I wrote Gusset Grippers, a show about pelvic floors. My hope was the audience would leave knowing what a pelvic floor is and where to take theirs if they wanted to laugh, but not leak.

Making socially cohesive groups guffaw about awkward topics makes them talk, share experiences, gain empathy and, hopefully, encourage each other to seek help."

My family members who have incontinence have also used humor to help get past the embarrassment, and to talk to their doctors and friends about it. While this may not help everyone, being able to find ways to talk about difficult topics by using some humor may help some.

You may want to read more about Ms Miller and where she will be performing in Scotland, how to follow her on Twitter and about her website.

8 Replies
Ben44 profile image

Nice post. It's actually the best approach you can do, well I don't mean to laugh only, but enjoy life more and look for the bright sides as well. It's not the end of the world because you are incontinence. You gotta take from life the most you can, because nobody else will do it for you.

lluvia profile image

Incontinence is difficult to manage emotionally and physically, however the bright side of it could be find in humor as Mrs. Miller does if not all the time just to scape a little laugh of whats going on helps the body and mind to relax and enjoy life.

incon1982 profile image
incon1982Partner in reply to lluvia

I have just seen an article where it says, "Don’t talk about incontinence with embarrassment or as a joke, even if you have a friendly relationship with your grandparents. Laughing about it doesn’t normalise it. It only reinforces the stigma." There is a delicate balance needed to not joke or make fun of people with incontinence, but to be able to laugh about the stuff that life throws at us in order to not get seriously depressed about it.

I think we need to not hide from the topic and discussion of incontinence. We need to confront it head-on, be open about it, and then seek medical assistance and support from our friends, family, and groups like this.

If we can continue to keep laughter in our lives, keep our sense of humor about what life throws at us - including incontinence, not get seriously depressed and isolate ourselves, that this will help us out and keep us living our lives to the fullest.

Ben44 profile image
Ben44 in reply to incon1982

Exactly, the best thing possible is to take it head-on and actually don't worry about opinions of other people. Other people are mostly ignorant and stereotype based and you won't change it, so the best thing you can do is laugh about it and feel "confident". Feeling confident is the most important thing both when being IT and in life overall. Whenever somebody tries to make fun of you, just turn it into a joke and continue your discussion with a poker face and steady hands. Don't let other people get to you, be it about IT or with other things in life as well. It is hard to achieve this confidence though and you need some other areas that will make for those that you lack at socially.

incon1982 profile image

I life your thoughts on feeling confident. I think that is absolutely critical. I think this community can help everyone feel more confident in their lives, how they manage incontinence, and how to charge ahead!

There is a guy from USA? that does stage shows about it he has bowel issues cant remember his name though

incon1982 profile image

I think you might be thinking of a speaker from Canada. He is a TV morning talk show host - he doesn't do shows about incontinence, but is a very engaging speaker, and speaks with humor and can also move you to tears with his story. I posted one of his videos on here back in April or May. His name is Mr. Derick Fage. You can watch his video from a presentation he did in Rome here:

Angelicscripts6 profile image

True....I've found humour a great way of dealing with my wayward insides & daughter & granddaughter are very amused when I've wet myself ...daughter makes me laugh on purpose & thats it.... granddaughter is in fits of laughter mmmmm So yes humour does break many a taboo ...

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