New to the board, big question

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Ava Marie
New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 4/19/2008 6:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi guys, I'm new here.  I was directed to this board because I did a google search for "Crohn's Disease" and "Self mutilation."  It brought me to a post on the board about nail-biting, which is kind of on the subject, but not quite what I was looking for. 
Recently I've realized that I sometimes eat or drink things that trigger pain or other Crohn's symptoms on purpose.  Usually it's when I'm mad about something or depressed, or maybe just bored.  When I was a tween, I used food to punish myself... (as in not allowing myself to eat if I felt like a loser, had done something stupid, was having social problems, etc... the basic things that matter to a 12/13 yr old).  It wasn't anorexia, because I didn't necessarily think I needed to be skinnier or change my body, it was mostly to make myself feel the pain and emptiness of hunger.
Anyway, I thought I had outgrown this, but I have realized that it has just taken a new form rooted much deeper in my subconcious.  I can put myself in pain and misery more easily since Crohn's entered my life 2 years ago. Not by being hungry, but by eating irresponsibly.
Has anyone else experienced anything like this?  Do you know of any resources/info/websites/anything that could help me? (Other than a good therapist, haha)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3200
   Posted 4/19/2008 7:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Ava Marie, I guess I can almost relate to some of what you're saying, but I eat the wrong things sometimes because
I think to hell with it!

It seems to me, and this is only my opinion, that you may be seeking attention, and I don't mean that in a bad way. Maybe
some where along the line you've had to battle for someone's attention or affection. I maybe way off here, and if I am, I
apologize. At least you have come here. This is a good place to be. The members here are warm and honest with their sincerity.

I can't offer up any other advice for you, but I'm sure, someone will come along and help give you some answers. Meanwhile
don't give up on us, and keep your chin up sweetie.. Good luck!

Too many years with CD
Two bowel resections, several obstructions.
Fibromyalgia and recently diagnosed with pancreatitis

Laughter is the brush that sweeps the cobwebs from our hearts

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 734
   Posted 4/19/2008 7:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome this is a great place to interact with others experiencing similar syptoms. My suggestion would be to see a counselor or psychologist. You know yourself and what's going on. I think everyone who deals with Crohn's occasionally tries to cheat the system and eat something we shouldn't but yours sounds different. Don't be afraid to talk to someone, we all have been in similar shoes at one time or another. It's a hard disease and any help is always welcoed!! Best wishes and again welcome.

Ava Marie
New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 4/19/2008 8:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Vicky! Wow, fibromyalgia AND crohn's... you are definately a tough cookie, to say the least. I'm discovering as I read more here that there are so many who have it worse than me.

I've thought that I might be seeking attention, (I haven't WANTED to think that, because it makes me feel pathetic, lol) and that may be a part of it, but I don't think that's the entire case. I don't tell most of my family when I get very sick because they worry TOO much about me, and I never even mention Crohn's at work because no one can really relate to what I go through and all I would get is pity, and I don't want that. Same thing with my friends.

Honestly, it could be to get my husband to pay more attention to me, lol. But as I said, that could only be a part of it. I genuinely get some sort of psychological gratification out of making myself miserable.

Sometimes I'm aware of what I'm doing, and sometimes I'm not. Even when I'm aware of it, I very rarely stop myself. Some very specific feeling takes over that I used to feel back in Jr. High when I wouldn't let myself eat. The feeling was stronger than hunger and now it's even stronger than the pain I feel from inflammation.

Thanks for the response, I'm so glad I found this board, I think I definately need something like this in my life. I don't know any other people with Crohn's.
Diagnosed with Crohn's in March 2006.  Currently in a sort of unstable remission and still freaked out by random new symptoms.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 4/19/2008 8:42 PM (GMT -6)   
((((((((( Ava Marie ))))))))))) Welcome to the forum. I am new to Crohn's so I don't have advice for you . . . but you are very brave for sharing such detailed information with all of us.

Do you have hobbies or activities that you enjoy?? I have some hobbies I call "recliner sports". Things I can do when I'm stuck in "rest mode". Knitting, crochet, etc. It really feels good to accomplish little projects and I do some for gifts, some for the grands and some for teeny preemie babies for local hospitals and Birthright. It gives me a good feeling to contribute that way and takes my mind off of my bad days (if I'm well enough to concentrate on such things). Just a thought.

I think when we are chronically ill, we sometimes get caught in a bit of a vortex of balancing our life between illness and productivity. Maybe, when your disease is in an active state, you feel more justified in some way. It really is hard to carve out "a life" and then be thrown back into bed when a flare hits. Then work our strength back up to "act" normal and await the next flare. Maybe your self-sabotage is actually a way of having more control of your life. Lord knows we don't have much of that.

I think this is a great topic and again . . . you were so candid in sharing. I hope some of the others have some insight for you.

I hope you make some good friends here. It certainly does help knowing others who experience life similar to me.

Some hot tea for you!! (Lemon Zinger!!)


In His Grip

AlwaysRosie           "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"

Psalms 139

Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum

UCTD, Inflammatory Arthritis, Crohns, Diverticulosis, Sjogrens

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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 4/19/2008 9:37 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree w/ Rosie - that making yourself sick is a way of feeling in control of the disease. It is not sneaking up on you, you are making it happen. But you seemed to hint that you starved yourself in Jr. High as some sort of self punishment. Is ther something you are punishing yourself for now?
26 Year old married female law student.  Diagnosed w/ CD 3 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD.  I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid.  For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn.  I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13.  I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium.  Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night.  I alos take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 6518
   Posted 4/20/2008 10:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the site. I think Fitzy is on to something. How do you feel about that???
If we would read the secret history of our enemies,we would find in each mans life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 4/20/2008 11:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Welcome to HW we all have had some down times in our lives and it is important to take good care of yourself now you have crohn's disease. It can be hard at times to cope and good support here helps as we all need people in our lives and especially those who are coping with a disease.We are here for each other and hope you get some good support. lol gail

Ava Marie
New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 4/20/2008 11:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Yeah I think there's a lot of truth in what y'all are saying about trying to be in control of it, but I'm also still trying to hurt myself as punishment like you're saying Fitzy. I don't really know why... I just know I've never really been a big fan of myself, lol. I guess I think I just deserve to feel bad... pretty sick, huh?

And I think finding something to contribute to or be a part would definately help me, Rosie. I think whatever this bizarre thing is that I'm going through is very selfish and a product of years of being self-concious and wrapped up in my own problems.

I've tried to read a lot about Crohn's disease and some sources say stress is a trigger, but some say that's unsupported. I think there's definately a stress/emotional/psychological side to the whole thing. Has anybody found a good source/book/website that ties all that together?
Diagnosed with Crohn's in March 2006.  Currently in a sort of unstable remission and still freaked out by random new symptoms.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 686
   Posted 4/20/2008 11:30 AM (GMT -6)   
I eat bbq every so often even though I know it will make me sick. The pleasure I get from eating it is worth the consequences.

Remicade and 6MP

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 4/20/2008 11:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Well I have to agree with what everyone has said so far... this sounds like it has pretty deep roots. This has to really drain on you, to be feeling this way (((Ave Maria))). I want to help you as much as possible and since we are not physically there I do strongly encourage you to see someone who can help you more then we can, like a professional counselor (you know that self injury is something you need to get professional help with, because you tell someone you loved to go get professional help with this kind of behavior). I am going to ask you a question and I do not want you to answer it anything, but in your own head and then reflect on working with a therapist...Why do you feel so unworthy, that you make yourself sick? Are you feeling guilty about something? Because I want you to know that you are not meant to live in such pain and unhappiness. You are meant to be happy, and my suggestion to get there (because if you were happy and were having your needs met you would not feel the need to do this) would be to get professional help with this level of issue. I understand that you are trying to get it (feeling bad), before it gets you. 

You are welcome here and I hope we can guide towards ways to help you feeling better.

It is about time for you to become a great fan of yours!

Crohn's Co-moderator

We will find a way, or make one.-Hannibal (crossing the Alps in the 15th Century on war elephants)
Praise in public, chew in private.
Make sure your suffering has meaning....
All suggestions/options/opinions are caveated with please consult with your local health care provider...

Post Edited (MMMNAVY) : 4/20/2008 10:48:43 AM (GMT-6)

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