psychological profiles, personality and Crohn's

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Illy
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Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 117
   Posted 6/27/2008 1:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Forgive me if this is an old topic, if so, point me to the thread, but I've been reading new agey books and websites about Crohn's and supplements.  some of these people say there's a personality type that tends to get Crohn's--perfectionist, someone who bottles up their emotions, people in denial of a major problem.  while those are all true to some extent in my case, I wonder if it's just that in any group of people, some people will have those traits.  has anyone read this and what's your feeling about it?

CrohnieToo
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Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted 6/27/2008 6:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Well, I've seen a lot of crohnies and FMers, etc. "brag" about being a "Type A" personality. And I certainly wouldn't argue about stress aggravating both Crohn's disease and FM symptoms - but - I am NOT a Type A personality, I'm certainly not a perfectionist!!! and neither have I ever tried to deny I have Crohn's or COPD, etc. If something torques my jaws I don't chew on it, I blow, and then feel a whole lot better and forget about it, its over and done with; so I sure don't fit in to that profile. But then I don't fit into having family members w/IBD or other autoimmune problems either. Maybe I'm just a real pariah.


Some people are like Slinkies... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.


Nanners
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 6/27/2008 6:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Yeah I too am like C2. I am definetly not a type A personality and don't deny my Crohns either. Definetly not a perfectionist. I am generally pretty easy going and mild tempered (unless of course, you start messing with my family or friends, then I will show some temper). JMHO
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.


Betagirl
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Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 1928
   Posted 6/27/2008 6:38 AM (GMT -7)   
There's actually a line of research that looked into this back between like 1930 and 1970 or so. I wrote about it in my dissertation :) Even recently, research still gets published - but not much. The theory has basically been debunked by other studies. Some of what the old studies said was quite comical about the "IBD personality."
"Only the meek get pinched...the bold survive."


FallColors
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1220
   Posted 6/27/2008 6:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Illy,

I agree with CrohnieToo. Also, are these books and websites implying that it is the person's fault that they got CD? I have heard that before and think it is erroneous and insulting. They are being condescending and are showing their ignorrance of biology. If de-stressing, drinking raw milk, eating some shrub -- or any of a number of similar so called "miracle cures" -- if these prevented or cured CD, then none of us would have it. I think de-stresing is wise for CD and non-CD folks alike but it does not cause a CD outright.

nruth
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 195
   Posted 6/27/2008 8:32 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't fit any of those categories either. I guess I'm just one of the lucky ones who get to deal with this charming little malady.

karendee
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1642
   Posted 6/27/2008 9:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Illy said...
Forgive me if this is an old topic, if so, point me to the thread, but I've been reading new agey books and websites about Crohn's and supplements.  some of these people say there's a personality type that tends to get Crohn's--perfectionist, someone who bottles up their emotions, people in denial of a major problem.  while those are all true to some extent in my case, I wonder if it's just that in any group of people, some people will have those traits.  has anyone read this and what's your feeling about it?
I never bottle up my emotions or deny a problem...I would say I am the opposite.
Karen

 ...

Karen (Karendee)

Diagnosed w/ Crohn’s Disease  March 2007 On 150mg Azathioprine (generic Imuran), Pentasa, & Entocort Switching to Humira June 2008 will wean off Pentasa and Entocort

Diagnosed w/  Fibromyalgia May 2007 also on Soma - Also on Prilosec for reflux.

 

 


MikeB
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 6/27/2008 10:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Autoimmune diseases are the products of malfunctions in the body's immune system, not the personality. I would think that a lot of Crohns patients are perfectionists who bottle up emotions more as a result of living with the disease than as a factor in causing it -- after all, we tend to be perfectionost abuot keeping a bathroom close at hand and most people with chronic illnesses tend to suppress emotions because they are good at concealing discomfort and symptoms too.

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 6/27/2008 10:30 AM (GMT -7)   
I would bet (and win) that there are plenty of perfectionists (type A) personalities out there that do not have IBD...

I let some things get to me (not near as much as I used to, I've mellowed out quite a bit) but never have I kept anything bottled up, my moods are very transparent, a total stranger could figure out if I'm happy, mad or sad.

I can be a little moody but that's the "cancer" crab (zodiac) in me, not necessarily the crohn's because I was like this before CD.



:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


lightningbug
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 6/27/2008 10:58 AM (GMT -7)   

I've always thought of it this way:

I have Crohn's because there is something wrong with the make-up of my body's chemistry.  It isn't my "fault" I have this disease.

I do, however, have the tendency to make it worse because my a-type personality brings  physical issues of its own that only irritate what's already going wrong because of my CD. 

I don't think your personality begets your CD, but I do think that you can make it worse by stressing your body with other issues.

I'm currently on a journey to find my easy-going side. :)


Do your best, then to hell with it.


jdiane
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 1131
   Posted 6/27/2008 11:12 AM (GMT -7)   
I think it is much more likely that persons with chronic illness have some similar personality types rather than a personality type being linking it to a specific disease......

IBD: immune response, genes, bacteria, enviromental trigger...... nothing in there about personality! =o)


 
 

Post Edited (jdiane) : 6/27/2008 1:49:25 PM (GMT-6)


CrohnieToo
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted 6/27/2008 2:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Ha! Stress used to cause ulcers, stress used to cause Crohn's, stress used to cause ..... what a line of horsepuckies! Aggravate? Yes, definitely, but cause? Just like the old but still clung to philosophy that if the medical profession can't diagnose it or detect it 'cause they haven't been smart enough yet to develop the right test for it - its all in your imagination! ESPECIALLY women. All women are hypochondriacs. Yeah, uh huh. Sure.
Some people are like Slinkies... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.


karendee
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1642
   Posted 6/27/2008 2:33 PM (GMT -7)   

CrohnieToo, I tend to agree with you. When I first started visiting Doctors for my symptoms I was told I was only tired because I have young kids and all my symptoms were my fault or in my head!. I was even told that depression caused my problems when it did not. I might have been a bit depressed after the Doc's treated me like I was nuts. I could just hug my GI for figuring out this puzzle.

I do agree that stress aggravates the problem. Heck stress can even make healthy people sick.

Karen


 ...

Karen (Karendee)

Diagnosed w/ Crohn’s Disease  March 2007 On 150mg Azathioprine (generic Imuran), Pentasa, & Entocort Switching to Humira June 2008 will wean off Pentasa and Entocort

Diagnosed w/  Fibromyalgia May 2007 also on Soma - Also on Prilosec for reflux.

 

 


potty pooper
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 375
   Posted 6/27/2008 3:20 PM (GMT -7)   
I once had a dentist say to me "Oh, why are you so nervous?"
When I asked him why he was asking me that question, he said "You have Chrohn's, don't you?" "That is caused by anxiety".

Yah, right! Go back to med school.

broomhilda
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1488
   Posted 6/27/2008 3:48 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't fit the prototype either....I'm just full of crap!:)
Dx'd Jan'06, 1st Resection 7/06, Humira, Imuran, B12 injections, Nexium, Lexapro, Glucosamine, Multi-Vitamin, Ultracet Secondary conditions: Psorasis, Osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia, Lactose Intolerant, gallstones, peri-menopausal.


Lady G
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 321
   Posted 6/27/2008 3:56 PM (GMT -7)   
yeah, I dont fit that either, my husband probably WISHES I would bottle stuff, haha...and perfectionist I am not.....stubborn, but not a perfectionist...and denial? nah, I gave up on that stuff, I know what I have and even other problems I've learned to come out with instead of denying if I want it fixed.
27 year old, married. Diagnosed with Crohns at 17, suspected of having for at least a year or so before that.  Alot of Crohns in my family history.  No surgeries yet. Taking Imuran.


LBJ
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 6/27/2008 4:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't fit the prototype either. I always just say that God must have given me this disease because he know's I'm the stronger one out of the family to be able to deal with it!! :-)
Living with Crohn's Disease since Jan./2000 but had a few years prior
I'm a true Crohnie with IBS too
 
Meds I have tried:  Just about everything 
Meds currently on:  Prednisone 25mg tapering
                           Methotrexate injection 12wks
                           Folic Acid
                           Wellbutrin
No Surgeries
 


Crohn's 4 ever
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 207
   Posted 6/27/2008 5:04 PM (GMT -7)   
LBJ said...
I don't fit the prototype either. I always just say that God must have given me this disease because he know's I'm the stronger one out of the family to be able to deal with it!! :-)

Good answer, I like that one, I am stealing it ok?  But my sibs all have a form of IBD, but I have it the worst.  Thanks, for that, you made my day. yeah
Tough times don't last long, tough people do!


ivy6
Elite Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 6/27/2008 10:29 PM (GMT -7)   
This is on a similar line, but I read somewhere that IBD patients tend to have had at least one of these things happen in their childhood:
a. parents' divorce
b. abuse
c. death of a parent.

I experienced two out of the three.

If there is a link between trama and illness, there might also be a link between trauma and personality types, in that trauma and illness can produce a certain emotional self-sufficiency that is unusual in the wider, healthier population.

Maybe... ?
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.


gumby44
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4101
   Posted 6/28/2008 7:30 AM (GMT -7)   
I do believe there is a mind/body connection and that our emotions can exacerbate disease, but to say that stress causes Crohn's is absolutely ludicrous! Just before my Crohn's diagnosis, I had severe anemia and elevated white blood cells. My internist was insisting that it probably all was from stress, and I kept trying to tell her that I was "stressed" because I was ill and didn't know why, and not the other way around. I ended out switching doctors! In answer to your personality question, I do tend to worry about things, but I am not a perfectionist, and never hold my feelings in...so what does that make me...a Type C???
49 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's in small intestine and terminal ileum Sept-Oct. 2007. Also have IBS, and had Salmonella Dec. '07
currently taking Pentasa- 8 250mg pills per day, Cipro 1 week/month, Metamucil, probiotics


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 6/28/2008 11:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Anything is possible and although they havn't been able to prove one way or the other if stress could be a trigger for CD, the thing is one still has to be predisposed (genetics) to getting IBD in the first place...they do know that stress can most definitely aggrivate/exacerbate IBD symptoms.

I know that as a kid I lived in a very stressed household...as a teenager I developed the perianal crohn's skin tags with absolutely no other CD symptoms, the tags would come and go on their own and every doc that saw them said they were just hemheriodes...it wasn't until I was in my early 20's that I got full blown sick with my CD and I was going through a very stressful/traumatic time in my life for about a yr and a half when the CD hit me hard with all the usual symptoms.

So I beleive stress certainly plays it's part with IBD just from experiance and I also believe as researchers have stated, that there can be many environmental triggers that can set the disease off if you're predisposed to getting it...smoking is already one KNOWN trigger for crohns and that includes second-hand smoke.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


sjs0018
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 6/28/2008 8:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm newly diagnosed and have been doing a lot of research. I do not see a connection in personality to CD. I do see how stress can play a role but any personality type can be stressed.
 
LBJ- I agree with your statement. Every day I tell myself God only gives me what I can handle. This is how I get through each day right now.

Bane
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 589
   Posted 6/29/2008 9:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Potty Pooper: I would have punched your dentist.

Like others have said though, I view my Crohn's as life challenging me to a duel. I intend to win.
20, Male, diagnosed over Christmas Break of my Junior year in High School. BEST CHRISTMAS EVAR LOL

(not really)


Illy
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 117
   Posted 6/30/2008 11:18 AM (GMT -7)   

I think "aggravate" is a good word.  I happen to have all those characteristics and stress totally aggravates it.  In fact, I never had any overt symptoms until I had a stressful family situation last year.  There are different types of Crohn's anyway.  I have the kind that is inflammation at the ileum and possibly the entire small intestine.  My uncle had "ulcers" in the 70s when they believed they were caused by being the "strong silent" type, which he was.  Maybe it was actually undiagnosed Crohn's.

I don't get the feeling they are blaming us, one author hinted that he also suffered from Crohn's ("someone very close to me"), but I also hate the idea that all you have to do is "meditate" and you won't have flares.  well, it might help me, I have to try to do it more often.  OT, it reminds me of that stupid Law of Attraction book a friend recommended.  Let's all  visualize ourselves as cured!

I totally don't believe in raw milk (are  you kidding me, all I need is a MAP infection), but there are some naturally anti inflammatory herbs, such as ginger, boswellia, plus fish oil, of course.  When I take them I have less pain, but since I'm new to this, I don't know if the lack of pain means damage is still occuring or not.


CrohnieToo
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted 6/30/2008 12:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh yeah, Illy, unfortunately there can be a total lack of pain, and of ANY symptoms, and still be active inflammation going on in the intestines. Darn it! I'm a PRIME EXAMPLE of that and have been for the last 10 years. *sigh*

Oh my goshes! My parents divorced when I was a kid! Ha! I just HAVE to HAVE some kind of personality disorder because of that! Dysthymia, maybe?

Oh, yeah! My oldest daughter was killed by a drunk driver. Naturally, I HAD to have experienced a period of depression then.

And then both of my parents died, one by one, and two step parents, one by one. So goshes, I've just GOTTA have some form of personality or emotional disorder. Hmmm. Dysthymia seems like a good one if we can't pin something else. Snort!

Medicine is NOT an exact science, but at least it has some imaging procedures, blood tests, etc. to verify and substantiate a problem. The mental health field has NOTHING but THEORIES.
 
PottyPooper, I'm afraid I would have had a "knee jerk reaction" to that dentist's ignorant and insulting comment - and hopefully he would have been standing in the right spot to react to that knee jerk reaction!!!!


Some people are like Slinkies... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

Post Edited (CrohnieToo) : 6/30/2008 2:00:14 PM (GMT-6)

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