Counseling Anyone?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 101
   Posted 7/12/2008 12:21 AM (GMT -6)   
In the past three days I have been talking with my friends and one said I am angry at this DD, one said I worry too much about things I have no control over, and one made me promise to get into counseling. It is hard living with a chronic illness and add debt, full time job, two small kids, husband in school full time, and a home to take care of, what do they expect. I would love to de-stress, but how? Maybe that's why she wants me to see a counselor. I have noticed I seem to be getting angry and I worry so much I can't sleep. Will a counselor really be able to help me? She said they will give me tools. I see it as more bills. I went to counseling three years ago and all she did was say, a huh, a huh, sounds like you're doing the right thing. Why should I pay for that? I did make an appt for next Tues. I have a lot of stress, but with medical bills continuing to roll in and daily life to take care of this feels like one more thing to do. I know that sounds aweful, but I go to the dr ALL the time. What do you all think? Success stories? I think it will be good to try because I do not want to be angry. I have done so well, but now it seems like I am a hypocondriac until I try and move and I am paralyzed with arthritis pain, and I am in the bathroom 15 times a day with D, and the nausea is so bad I can't eat or move. Any thoughts????
27 year old female dx with CD in 2001. Pentasa 4 g/day, Prednisone 30 mg/day, Lexapro 10 mg/day, Wellbutrin 150 mg/day, Remicade, topamax, nadalol, Maxalt 10 mg as needed. Mother of son, 3, and daughter, 10 months.  

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 7/12/2008 12:34 AM (GMT -6)   
People react to chronic pain in different ways, but it has a negative affect on everyone. You are not a hypocondriac because you are obviously suffering. Counselling may help if you get a skilled one, but I've never tried. Good luck.
40 yr old male, Crohn's since 1991.  Diagnosis, bowel perferation, resection in 1993.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 725
   Posted 7/12/2008 1:41 AM (GMT -6)   
My wife has rheumatoid arthritis pretty bad, a mild case of ulcerative colitis, asthma, anxiety/depression and a few others. She has been going to counselors for years and it has helped. They are like any other professional though, there are good ones and there are bad ones. You need to find one that "fits" your needs. There are counselors that specialize in chronic illnesses. Make sure that the one you are going to has the background to really help you. In addition there are counselors that not only have the chronic illness experience, but there are also those that can help from a specific religious point of view. Your doctor or pastor may be able to suggest someone who might best fit your needs. Just like you wouldn't go to a podiatrist if you needed glasses, make sure you find a counselor that is right for your specific needs.

I usually try and go with my wife as the stresses she faces, as well as my own, all interplay together and can make life difficult for us as a couple. Counseling is a pretty good option, and can really give you the tools you need to help you cope. It really sounds like you have your hands more than full. We both work full time, we have a very energetic 3 year old, a house to maintain, bills to pay as well as ailing family members. My wife is also taking a lot of courses to keep up on her certifications, and that takes a lot of time. Without the counseling I don't think my wife could cope with all that. So, don't neglect your husband in this, he may be able to attend a few sessions with you and be able to learn get some tools to help you, or help himself and the rest of the family. I know my wifes counselor has taught me more than a few things to help my wife out. Often I can see when she is getting into a situation with depression or anxiety over her diseases before she does, that can allow me to help her get things under control before they start to get beyond her breaking point.

Anger is justified, but with a little help you can get things down to a point where they are easily dealt with. If your friends have noticed, take heed as it is often easier for someone slightly removed from the situation to have a better overall perspective. You obviously have some friends that really care about you and want what is best for you.
Matthew McKenna,

Remicade, 6MP and a few of their friends.

"I'm just along for the ride."

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 7/12/2008 7:40 AM (GMT -6) ( dont know how to make a link lol sorry)

This is an online Cognitive behavioural Therapy Workbook
WE use it alot in anxiety ......depression ect
Also there are other techniques that help in conjuction with mild meds like some benzo's
Deep breathing ....Relaxation Tech's and many others
Why not slip over to A/P and see what if anything may help you out there
Many also suffer with HEALTH ANXIETY not hypochondria :-)
I was a very angry and bitter person and  very skeptical about the CBT but I have gained alot thru doing it and the ppl on a/p forum as well
IMHO as far as Therapists go you have to find the one that works with you and in the way that helps you  IMHO
Many are so "not out of the box" but happily they are now learning different approaches to Therapy

There are many success stories on there
Just a thought and I sure hope you dont take what I am saying the wrong way
'You need to talk email me k


  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,Fibro & Other DD
                                    Donate at
                  Moderator @ Anxiety Panic..Alzheimer's..Co mod @ Crohns
                                    FIGHT the FIGHT with all YOU HAVE
               Look For The GOOD,Even At Your Lowest 

Post Edited (Howlyncat) : 7/12/2008 6:47:59 AM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 1928
   Posted 7/12/2008 7:41 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm biased since I'm getting my doctorate in clinical health psychologist, and work with people with chronic illness :) Yes, it can help. I've seen many people with chronic GI problems over the past 2 years, and most get something out of it. There are a lot of factors that make it successful or not, but the 2 main ones are 1) the therapeutic relationship and 2) the client's motivation. So, if you don't like the therapist you find don't feel obligated to stay with them. Many like for you to try out a few before you settle on 1 to work with and won't be offended at all. The other thing is there are many styles of counseling. I personally use cognitive-behavioral therapy, which is designed to be more brief (usually 3-4 months or so) versus long term. My goal is to help the people I see become their own therapists and learn skills to cope so they don't have to rely on me. When looking for someone, you want to ask their level of experience with chronic illness. Make them be specific (not yeah I've worked with that before). Ask if they have any IBD or GI experience (there are some out there though they are not the norm). Ask what mode of therapy they use (CBT, interpersonal, psychoanalysis, etc.) Many will probably say they use an eclectic approach, which is a blend of different styles. Ask which one they prefer out of their "toolbox". I feel it's really important to get more info up front so you can make a good decision. Kind of like the same you'd do with your doctor :)

If you have more questions, feel free to email me.
"Only the meek get pinched...the bold survive."

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 7/12/2008 8:24 PM (GMT -6)   
It helped me a lot! i was having such severe anxiety about having an accident that I wasn't living my life. My counselor gave me great coping tools and helped me work through it. She realized I never let myself grieve about having this disease and I had just put on a happy face pretending everything was ok. Then when it got bad and the anxiety hit I had no idea how to deal. I know cope much better with situations that are uniquely stressful to people with IBD (like getting stuck in traffic). I would go back in a heart beat if it hit again. And I agree, you feel like you are answering your own questions and coming to your own conclusions so why should you pay for it? Because without being asked the right questions you wouldn't get there. Counselors can not tell you what to do. It wouldn't work because each person is so unique. They help you find what works for you.
26 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 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 also take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 7/12/2008 8:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I probably wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for me seeking professional counseloring. Not only for helping with my disease issues, but
for my personal family/friend/work issues too. Like anything, its important to find the one that is going to be right for you. I went
through a couple before finding my current one. But I love her to death and couldn't imagine being sane without her!!
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:  Too many to list- LOL
Meds currently on:  Prednisone 20mg tapering  Back up to 30mg  :-(
                           Methotrexate injections once a week 25mg
                           Folic Acid 5mg once a week
No Surgeries

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 7/12/2008 9:28 PM (GMT -6)   

I tried counseling for awhile and it did help.  When money was short I found a self-help group called Recovery, Inc. which is "free" and helps deal with anger, anxiety and depression.  It helped alot!  It's hard not to be angry at this illness, especially when trying to work, raise two little kids and have D half the day.  Can your GI doc prescribe Questran, or Colestid for the D?  Or OTC Imodium?  There should be something to help you with that problem. 

After 3 bowel resections, I need to take Questran twice a day or else I wouldn't be able to leave the house.  It takes a conscious effort every day to not worry about the next surgery, or flare, but we have to try.  Don't give up - keep trying!


DX with Crohns 20 yrs ago - 3 surgeries for inflammations and adhesions.   Current meds:  Humira, Imuran, Pentasa


Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 101
   Posted 7/12/2008 11:24 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks for your kind words. I have an appt for Tuesday and I am going to try and go twice a month. Then I shouldn't stress too much about the money. I am excited, but a new dr is scary. It will be good though because I am gearing up to go back to work in three weeks and then I won't have my potty right by me. I am filing under ADA so I can get frequent bathroom breaks. I am a teacher, so it is sometimes hard to sneak away. I teach special education so I have an aide with me most of the day. I think counseling will be good for me and my family. I know I am a little on the cranky side. I will let everyone know how it goes. Betagirl- thanks for the advice on what to ask. I don't know why I think I have to be loyal to someone I don't know. I have learned, the hard way, that I need someone who is familiar with chronic illnesses.



27 year old female dx with CD in 2001. Pentasa 4 g/day, Prednisone 30 mg/day, Lexapro 10 mg/day, Wellbutrin 150 mg/day, Remicade, topamax, nadalol, Maxalt 10 mg as needed. Mother of son, 3, and daughter, 10 months.  

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