A woman looks in fear at maps signaling a toilet and exclamation points for urgency worry

The Mental Struggle of Dealing With IBS Urgency In Your 20s

The main thing that I struggle with when it comes to irritable bowel syndrome is the urgency. Urgency for me is the most frustrating symptom. It completely dictates your day, what you can do, when you can do it and it seems to always creep up in the worst times.

Urgency in my 20s

I struggled with urgency badly in my 20s. It used to be so bad that I never wanted to leave the house. The idea of being away from a bathroom was tough for me. No matter what, I had to wear a feminine pad to help offer me a barrier of protection in case the urgency hit. I had to pack 6-8 pads in my purse if I left the house, along with wipes and fresh underwear.

It was maddening. The fact that I had to deal with this in my 20s was so hard on my mental health.  It was embarrassing, shameful and a total nuisance. Not only that, but the fact that I was so young was heartbreaking. Your 20s are the age when you are to be care-free and you are to grab life by the horns but with such intense urgency, that was hardly possible for me and I took it hard mentally.

I was in disbelief

I couldn’t believe that I essentially had to wear a diaper daily. I considered buying adult diapers but I just couldn’t get myself to do it. It’s just hard to see all your peers out and about enjoying life. Traveling. Heading to beaches. Going out skiing. Running marathons. And those are the very things that give you tremendous anxiety just thinking about it, due to the urgency.

I was in my late 20s when I had a major accident in public. I will never forget it. Diarrhea literally seeping down my legs. I was waiting for the subway in New York when it hit me out of nowhere. That day will forever be engrained in my memory. It was a day full of tears, shame, shock and depression. Depressed that I couldn’t control my bowels at such a young age when I never ever had any health issues prior.

Hope for others with IBS

But I will offer hope to whoever is reading this and dealing with the same issue, especially at such a young age. It does get better. I am now 33, and my symptoms have improved greatly. I still wear a feminine pad daily, but my issues with urgency have greatly decreased and I am able to get out and not be overwhelmed with anxiety.

Just recently I went on a 4-hour road trip and was so thrilled that for the first time my stomach wasn’t in knots thinking about the what ifs of being hit with urgency while driving in the middle of a highway out in nowhere land.

So if you deal with intense urgency and feel like it will never improve, it does. It may take longer than you’d like, but it will improve. I focused on my diet greatly. Eating minimally processed foods and taking supplements like probiotics, Vitamin D, and CBD oil. So don’t lose hope. Improvement is always possible, it just takes time and consistency.

Do you struggle with intense urgency? How do you manage it? Share below, we love to hear from you.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The IrritableBowelSyndrome.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.

Community Poll

Do you have a good understanding of what triggers your flares?