IBS and Online Trolls – “Just Suck It Up!”
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The other day I was on a few different online platforms just searching around for IBS content, and I came across some pretty interesting posts. I read an article about someone having an accident on their boyfriend’s bed because she was trying so hard to hold in her gas. When it got too painful for her to hold in, she decided to let it out, and instead of just gas it turned out to be diarrhea. Poor thing, is what I thought, because the scenario is actually a fear that I deal with regularly. However, when scrolling through the comments I saw that instead of sympathizing or relating, certain people were teasing and laughing at her pain, which reminded me of high school bullies at the cafeteria – just awful.

I read another post about a woman going to see her doctor about her digestive issues, and the doctor brushed her off by saying, “It’s probably just IBS,” insinuating that it’s not a serious condition and she could live with it, which is something a lot of us IBS sufferers have heard time and time again. Nonetheless, this woman was just venting out her frustrations through her post without being offensive to anyone, but in response someone still felt the need to post a comment that was quite negative and demeaning. As if she hadn’t gone through enough with her doctor, she went to an online platform where she thought she’d be safe and comfortable around those who could understand, yet here comes a troll belittling her pain and valid complaints. I don’t know the guy’s name, so let’s just call him “The Troll.” The Troll went as far as to compare her IBS to a “more worse” condition, and pretty much agreed with the doctor saying she should “just suck it up and live life” since she doesn’t have it “too bad.” He was calling her names and making assumptions that had nothing to do with her post, so it seemed like he just wanted to put her down for no reason at all.

Empathy

It’s unfortunate that there are people out there who don’t have a kind and empathetic heart. It seems that their main goal is to bring other people into their world of misery. What made matters worse in the post was that other readers decided to defend the author of the post by responding to The Troll with a taste of his own medicine, which was something I ended up not being very happy to see for the reason I’m about to mention. Through the back and forth, I learned that The Troll has cancer, and it seemed he was only belittling the author because she, herself, couldn’t possibly be suffering as bad as he was. You would think that someone suffering any condition would ‘just understand,’ but clearly that wasn’t the case with The Troll. There’s always a good and a bad to everything it seems, and thank goodness for the supportive community members who stood up for her and made her feel less alone. I believe pain and illnesses are relative and should never be compared. We could never possibly know what a person is going through unless we, ourselves, are walking in their shoes on a regular basis. I hope The Troll will learn his lesson one day, cancer patient or not.

Question: Have any of you ever experienced anyone teasing you or telling you to suck it up and just deal with the pain? Or has anyone ever told you that your condition could be worse? Please comment and share your thoughts below. Thanks!

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