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My IBS Makes Me Depressed

My IBS Makes Me Depressed

Sometimes, when I’m home alone, I tend to have small episodes of depression mainly caused by my IBS. The lack of energy and the daily suffering of physical pain takes a serious toll on me. What used to be simple tasks prior to getting IBS are, at times, becoming difficult tasks. For instance, getting up from the bed to turn off the light switch, or getting a cup of water, or doing a few push ups, or even getting up to go to the bathroom is sometimes agonizing. It gets so bad at times that I would rather stay in my bedroom to pee in an empty plastic bottle that I drank water from the night before, instead of walking ten seconds down the hall, merely because it was easy for me to jump right back into bed (hey, just keeping it real folks). I cannot do any of these simple tasks without feeling uncomfortable physical pain, so it became very easy for me to get depressed because I couldn’t fathom why I had, and still have, to suffer on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, there are so many things in life that I should be happy about, but, for some reason, the depression does what it wants, when it wants.

One day when my wife was off from work, she witnessed one of my episodes and was surprised because it happened so randomly. We were talking about something positive, and next thing you know I started to cry out of nowhere. I work from home, so I’m used to being alone during the day, and that’s usually when my depressive episodes attack. Whenever I suffer alone, I find my thoughts to be of general insecurity and hopelessness, but this time with my wife, my thoughts were of insecurity about our marriage. I found myself thinking, ‘I do not want her to have to suffer through my misery with me… she deserves a healthier man.’ She started to ask me questions about what I was feeling and thinking about, but I just didn’t feel like trying to articulate what was going on in my head. Then all of a sudden I felt like I wanted to create an argument just so that she would like or love me less, and maybe even think about leaving me. And all she wanted to do was love and support me throughout the whole episode. Did I argue with her? No, because she didn’t deserve that. However, I was thinking about things that a married man shouldn’t have to worry about, but my IBS has diminished my self-esteem tremendously.

Over the past few years, my IBS has been detrimental to my physical and mental health. I sought clinical counselors and numerous GI specialists, and nothing was getting me on the right path. I had to drop out of college to take better care of myself. I have lost jobs and job opportunities because of it. I’ve missed out on important family get-togethers. I’ve lost chances to make new friends. I’ve missed occasions to surprise my wife and put a smile on her face. My IBS has really taken me down a dark road because of the things it has kept, and sometimes still keeps, me from doing. However, although I battle with depression due to my IBS and it may be uncontrollable sometimes, I still try my hardest to find the strength within. I would find things to aid me like Bob Marley’s music because his songs create positivity for me. I would light a scented candle in my office because I find that aromatherapy helps keep me calm. I would drink ginger tea because I find it soothing to my stomach. I would spend quality time with my wife because her presence brings me peace. I would do whatever I feel necessary to create happiness in my life because I understand that the balance between that and my depression keeps me sane and rational. I was raised a fighter, and I always knew that life was hard, so I keep that in mind every day that I struggle, and I give it my all.

By the way, if any of you IBS sufferers are also dealing with depression, just know that you are not alone. This website is the place where you can express your emotions to a crowd that will relate to you. So please, share your story.

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


  • Francis Hu (Chinese traditional medicine and therapy)
    2 years ago

    What’s the symptoms of your IBS, diarrhea or constipation? Pain? Easy to gain weight? Or others? Thanks, Francis

  • yayagumbo
    3 years ago

    Thank you Hess. I know just what you mean. So many things I just can’t do makes me feel very unlike other people. I learned the hard way I can’t exercise vigorously which is supposed to alleviate pain and stress. I can’t take long walks, and so on. I take meds for depression, and as much as I would like to bad mouth them like I see so many people doing now, they do help a lot. Literally life savers. I move all I can, and use the stairs outside for exercise. Music is as important as the meds for my mental health.

    It’s hard! I’ve had to cancel appointments at hair salons sometimes right up to the appointment time, and there’s no way to explain that won’t make them sick so I have to come up with a lie. Meanwhile my hair looks like crap, and that’s depressing as well. Don’t get me started on shopping. I’ve had to learn which stores have the better, cleaner public restrooms. I always have my own toilet paper. I only go shopping after taking loperamide which sometimes makes me loopy.

    I have the IBS that goes from constipation to diarrhea in seconds, or the other way around. It’s like trying to dance with an insane baboon.

    I’m so happy to find you all. People I can tell-all and not worry I’m being judged.

  • Anicemelody
    3 years ago

    Hi HessP,
    So glad to have read your story and realised that i’m not struggling ‘in the toilet’ alone! I have found in the last couple of weeks a supplement which has really helped me like nothing else in my 21 years of weekly suffering and so want to share it with you guys. It’s called Oregano Complex by Biocare and it quite literally has cut my flare ups down enormously, twinned with a realisation of how much hormone levels stimulate the GI tract and start of the dreaded purges. I do hope that this may be of help to others. Take care.

  • Besjordan
    3 years ago

    Although your story was written in 2016, I can really relate. I especially related to the part about your thoughts of insecurity about your marriage. My husband is very supportive but I struggle with the impact my IBS is having on my marriage. I often think “he deserves to be with someone healthier, someone who doesn’t have to change plans at the last minute because his wife is sick.” When I feel this way, I talk it over with my husband and we reflect on all the reasons we chose to get married. Those reasons don’t change just because I’m dealing with IBS. Keep fighting…I’m right there with you.

  • HessP moderator author
    3 years ago

    Hi, Besjordan!

    Thank you for being able to relate to my story and I truly appreciate the encouragement! IBS can definitely get in the way of my marriage sometimes, but thankfully the love and bond I have with my wife is far from destructible. It’s nice to know you have a supportive husband and it seems like you both have great chemistry. You may also be able to relate to another article of mine in regards to having a support system while dealing with IBS. In case you’re interested, here is the link: . Thanks again for your comment and I will certainly keep fighting! Stay positive and please know that we’re always here for support as well!

    Hess ( Team)

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