Mental Health and IBS
Last updated: January 2021
In addition to being diagnosed with severe IBS in 2011, I was also diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. Having both has not been easy and it has been a long journey to improvement. But I’m currently feeling the best I ever have since my diagnosis! So don’t lose hope.
Conflicting opinions from doctors
However, I will share that I have endured many years of struggle. I’ve tried all the diets and medications that often left me feeling worse than when I began. I have had countless appointments with different Gastroenterologists and even Naturopathic Doctors – all leaving me drained and mentally exhausted in the end because they all conflicted with each other.
I would have one doctor say diet had nothing to do with Crohn’s or even IBS, while another would say diet was EVERYTHING! I would have one doctor recommend a diet to then be given information about another diet that was almost the complete opposite of the other. My head always felt like it was going to explode! Who do I listen to?
Anxiety about IBS/IBD flares
I have experienced major anxiety going out in public. Fearing foods while out eating. Fearing having an accident in front of strangers. Dealing with long hospital stays, and severe pain. Losing massive amounts of weight and feeling like my body was just going to give out on me and break in two.
Trial and error
The game of trial and error that comes along with the territory of having these 2 conditions, wears on you fast. Try this med, oh that one didn’t work so let’s give this one a try. Oh dear, it all was so much to take in after years and years of not getting results. Not to mention dealing with all of life’s normal stresses on top of it.
I realized needed a therapist
I think you can see where I am getting at. I needed THERAPY! Yes, it came to the point where I said to myself: “I need to speak to a professional about all the trauma I have experienced.” I also felt a deep feeling that these mental traumas were affecting my physical health negatively. I needed to work things out, talk things out, in order to help my body improve with symptoms.
Now, I am not suggesting that speaking to a therapist will heal you of your condition. No, unfortunately, it is not that simple. However, I am a huge believer that healing is multifaceted. I believe we are made up of a body, mind, and soul. We can’t just expect doing the physical work will take care of total healing. We have to put in work on our mental and spiritual health.
I started seeing my therapist a couple of months ago. Boy, has it been a game-changer. I just unleash on her every session and she has all the tools and wisdom to share with me and better my mental health and encourage healthy habits. I don’t find it a coincidence that during this time, I had major physical breakthroughs in my healing process. I have been responding exceptionally well to my new medication and I am gaining weight and feeling better with each day.
So, I encourage you to think about healing and improving in a multifaceted way. If you haven’t thought about tackling your mental health, maybe you should look into it? Give it a try and see if you find improvement! I definitely did.
Which of the following symptoms of IBS do you experience most frequently?