The Gut Honest Truth About Living With Depression and IBS
Depression is not an easy thing for me to personally write or talk about. I have battled depression and anxiety since my high school years. I have often been in denial and refused help, and have been on and off medications for years. Most medications cause awful side effects, and I tend to give up on them easily.
Now let’s throw in the Irritable Bowel Syndrome and all of its dreaded symptoms. I’ve shared a few times before that I’ve suffered with IBS since childhood. I was also overweight as a child, well into my pre-teen and teen years, which I believe was a giant cause of my depression. I was embarrassed and ashamed of myself and my IBS condition. Looking back, it saddens my adult heart thinking how much I was hurting then! Thankfully, I had very supportive parents who got me the weight-loss help I needed.
Depression and IBS
The pain and difficulties of IBS can really put a damper on your activities of daily living. It can control what you eat, where you eat, how you eat it. It is often times very mentally and physically time-consuming. I also need to mention the PAIN that comes along with IBS. Whether you suffer with IBS-D or IBS C, or both, the pain and discomfort is more than enough. For me, personally, unless I am having a bout of diverticulitis, I have IBS-C. When my depression hits, I shamefully admit I do not eat well -- as in not much at all. In return, it causes lots of stomach pain and worsening constipation.
I never wanted anyone to know about my depression, in fear of being judged or thought of differently. I used to think seeing a counselor was "silly", until I depended on mine to get me through some really hard times. I guess what opened my eyes to how prevalent depression really is, was when I became a nurse and starting working more with the general public. It has been very eye-opening, even to situations much, much worse than I could ever fathom. It really puts things into perspective.
In this together
Truth is, there’s nothing to be ashamed of, whether you deal with IBS, depression, or any other medical condition. We’re all in this together, and I’ve made it my life mission to make a conscious effort in “being the light”, especially with others who are struggling. I encourage you all to do the same! What a difference we could make!
Do you have a good understanding of what triggers your flares?