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IBS ruining my life

  • By Anonymous-IBS-Sufferer

    Hello all,

    I’m very new to this sort of thing so I’m sorry in advance for rambling or being inarticulate! I’m struggling at the moment and don’t know where to turn.

    I’m in my early twenties and have been suffering from IBS badly since my late teens. All testing has shown no issues with my gut. It started off as a nuisance and an embarrassment, but now I am terrified of it. I cannot leave the house until the afternoon due to the severity of symptoms on a morning, and I cannot bring myself to socialise anymore as I have had countless bad experiences with symptoms when in uncomfortable situations.

    Beyond this, I have developed severe anxiety and depression as a direct result of my IBS. This has also limited my confidence in doing even the most simple of tasks. My anxiety also has a direct impact on my symptoms. I have had CBT and psychology in the past for this with mixed results.

    I am well educated, I have a fantastic family, a very understanding partner. However, despite being so so grateful of this, my life feels in complete turmoil.

    Everything seems to be going wrong right now. My physical symptoms are only getting worse. My mental health is spiralling downhill rapidly the longer it goes on.

    I am trying my best to make improvements… now I have finished my studies I am trying to find a job that is suitable for my health, but it’s so hard to find something that is advertised as in the afternoons. I am being promised things by prospective employers which are never met, and I am being turned away from mediocre jobs for being over-qualified.

    I am trying to help myself in other ways such as by learning to drive to aid with travelling and commutes, however I have failed my test a few times with very few minor errors. This has utterly shattered my confidence, and events like this are making me dangerously pessimistic.

    Again, even when writing this, some of my issues seem utterly trivial compared to what so many other people are experiencing. I am grateful everyday of everything that is positive in my life, however I can’t help but be upset by my own situation, especially when I see the lives of those directly around me going so positively.

    I guess what I am asking for help with is this; how do I get out of this rough period that I am in, and how do I stay positive despite persistent failures, rejections and ill health despite trying so hard to make things better?

    In the long term, how do I manage my IBS and become less terrified of symptoms that have persistently blighted me in the past? It has got to the point now where the terror and worry I feel everyday when I wake up is the cause of some symptoms, but I don’t know how to stop it.

    Best wishes to everyone out there, and thank you so so much for reading.

    Anonymous-IBS-Sufferer

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  • By ldonne

    Hi @anonymous-ibs-sufferer,
    I think anxiety plays such a big part with having ibs, and for me I can honestly say I feel like have more anxiety now, then when I was diagnosed back in 2004.

    Just from my experiences, I would probably keep trying to get a driving licence. Your able to drive to and from where ever you need to go and feel more comfortable knowing you don’t have to wait for the bus, or taxi. I actually failed my first driving exam, not even leaving the parking lot because I turned out to quickly. Second attempt passed.

    As for afternoon shifts. I am too looking for a job that accommodates this. Had an interview this week. Wasn’t sure if I wanted to ask about this but I did. First answer was yes. Then I get that the schedule is generated by a computer, meaning I guess no. Not sure if this is what I will ask again.

    There are jobs that will accommodate. I do know this because my last job accommodated staff with conditions such as diabetics, and staff who needed to be modified for either work related injuries or stress leave reasons. Not sure why sometimes ibs can’t be considered one of those reasons.

    Good luck on your job search.

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