crohn's-induced anxiety... how do YOU cope?

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patientspiders
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 9/25/2008 7:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Ok, so I know I'm not legally crazy yet due to this disease, but I'm definitely walking a fine line in the "neurotic-about-finding-a-bathroom" department lately. I'm FINE until I realize that there isn't a bathroom within 20 feet, then I freak out. Freaking out makes my belly scream, so then I really DO need the bathroom. If I could just calm the heck down...

Xanax doesn't help much, and I don't really want to take a RX for this if I can avoid it... I've tried a few "counting" type mental relaxation exercises... but those only get me through the short term...

What do YOU guys do for anxiety?
26f, dx'd CD July '05 after 6 fistula/abscess surgeries
Currently running on Humira and Hope.
(miscarried at 13 weeks, now waiting to heal before trying again)

"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure."

~Marianne Williamson


LMills
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 9/25/2008 8:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Stop everything and breathe deeply.
It really does help.

Sometimes I deal with it in a bad way by eating things I shouldn't--blowpops or reddi-whip for example.
But solving it with eating generally makes me feel a lot better when I get my hands on food I'm allowed to have like soup and chocolate soymilk.

Also, taking a shower and doing something I enjoy for a few minutes helps.

If you're speaking strictly about how to deal with stress in public though then I would have to say the deep breathing and finding a quiet place to clear your mind help.

And then there is music...I can't say enough about the effects of listening to the right song.
20 years old, Diagnosed with severe Crohn's and colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone, pentasa, alinia, bentyl, prilosec, tandem plus, and the occasional ultracet
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy(very possibly due to Crohn's inflammation) in July of 2008.
Due to start Imuran September 17 depending on blood results.


Cookie's Wife
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 299
   Posted 9/25/2008 8:52 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm going through this myself.  I just had to leave a job and getting ready to leave another because the anxiety is crazy.  I agree with mills... breathe!  Trust me it took me A LONG time for this to work.  I'm also on Paxil and see a counselor.  Good luck and your not alone! 

~april
 

 



eva124
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 246
   Posted 9/26/2008 2:36 AM (GMT -7)   
i just had this problem the other day,i relised the store i was in with mum i didnt knw where the toilet was and immediatly my tummy started gurgling i was like darn,mum just tld me not to think about it,myte try listening to music while xmas shopping to keep my mind off the constant "wheres the toilet"
dx 17 aug 2007
21 yrs old
13 dec 2007 resection/temp illeostomy 14 feb 2008 temp illeostomy reversed 
150mg azamun
3000mg pentasa


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 9/26/2008 6:32 AM (GMT -7)   
I have lived with this DD for over 30 years and really just started experiencing anxiety in the last year or so.  I take my Xanax at the first hint of anxiety and I am able to stop it in its tracks.  I only need it maybe once or twice a month.  I have also started going to therapy to help me deal with this.  I know on the Anxiety/Depression board many use a cognitive behavourial therapy that has helped many.  You might want to visit that board to get more info about it.  Good luck!

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.


kam#7
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 125
   Posted 9/26/2008 6:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Anxiety stinks. I have dealt with anxiety issues for my entire life. I have found that Zoloft keeps the day to day general anxiety down to a manageable level. Mainly it helps head from spinning with 5 million thoughts all at once.

For situational anxiety, like what you described, I do a combo of things:

1 - Yoga breathing - deep, slow breaths
2 - Prayer (I am catholic, so I start saying the rosary in my head)
3 - I get my cell phone out and look at all of the contacts in my phonebook - 1 by 1 and think about them. I usually think "I could call them and tell them I am freaking out and they would say -RELAX"
4 - Call someone from my contact list and talk to them for 2 minutes and let the anxiety pass
5 - I always carry a low dose Ativan with me, but almost NEVER take it. When I start freaking out, I tell myself: If this feeling doesn't pass soon, then I will take the Ativan...It is a security blanket

Good luck and keep us posted :-)
35 year old female - Diagnosed w/Crohn's 2002 - Surgery 2004

Currently taking: Pentasa, Entocort, Imuran, Immodium, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Seroquel


FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 9/26/2008 5:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Therapy helped me.
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.


pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 9/27/2008 10:49 AM (GMT -7)   
I suffered with severe anxiety for a good 3 yrs and the only thing that helped me was getting my severe flare under control, which is when I started up with the naturals (bee propolis, fibre supplements, omegas 3-6-9, vitamins A and C-calcium ascorbate) and started exercising on a regular basis, which not only did wonders for my anxiety (emotionally and mentally) but my body as well, even CD and IBS wise.

It wasn't easy, but I have a gym at home which helps, but as time went by things improved greatly.

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


LBJ
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 9/27/2008 11:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Mine only gets really bad when I'm flaring and somewhere where I'm not sure of the restroom location. I just stop and breathe and tell myself that everything will be ok. I can get through this store just fine!!
Living with Crohn's Disease since Jan./2000 but had a few years prior
I'm a true Crohnie with IBS and Arthrities too
 
Meds I have tried:  Too many to list- LOL
Meds currently on:  Prednisone-  I am off of it!!   YAAHH!!! :-)   
                           Methotrexate injections once a week 25mg
                           Folic Acid 5mg every day
                           Wellbutrin twice a day
No Surgeries
 


Kaycie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 449
   Posted 9/27/2008 1:42 PM (GMT -7)   
In the beginning, I was put on Paxil for the SAME reason and also because I was severely depressed. I went from functional to bedridden in about 2 weeks time (BAD BAD abscess!). I was seriously depressed because all I did was hurt and I was a healthy person just a month before and then all of a sudden, I'm taking 30 pills a day, dropping 10lbs a week, etc..you get the picture.

I was TERRIFIED to go out and about. I changed how I shop and also started taking Paxil. For instance, I do not shop at Walmart much anymore. I now prefer the smaller grocery store and CVS. I shop coupons and ads to get what we need. I go to Wal-mart, but only by myself or with my husband because it's difficult to make a dash if I have my 14 month old in tow.

I'm now on Lexapro and will be on Celexa by the end of the week (same drug really). And, it helps some. Xanax flat knocks me out, though I do use it from time to time when the steroids get me too wound up. It only takes a 1/2 a pill and I sleep like a baby!

I also carry "extras" in my car or in my purse or my daughter's diaper bag. I've gotten much more lax, but I bring extra underwear and a pad and my Calmoseptine. It helps me stay calm. Knowing I'm "prepared" for an accident. I used to leave clothes in my car too. That was another security blanket. I sometimes carry my pain medicine too because I have more anxiety about being out and about now and then and getting into unbearable pain and not being able to get home. So, tylenol, pain pills, pad, ointment, etc... it seems to help lower my anxiety when I'm out and about.

I also kind of plan my day out and I'm much more "lax" about my schedule. If there's a sale or something I wanted to go get after work, but I haven't been feeling well, I opt to just go home and rest and try and venture out the next day. I try not to push myself too much, and my husband is pretty good about picking stuff up on the way home from work if we really need it. I'm a stockpiler now (never used to be), so we rarely run out of the necessities. That too has helped with the whole getting out situation.

Now, my issue is going on long car drives and my GI is 3 hours away... Typically, I take a full Xanax and some tylenol to get there. It's usually enough to calm my GI track down.

Oh, and I carry Imodium around too! ;)

HTHs! I understand. Have you considered something like Paxil/Lexapro/Celexa? It might help calm you down a bit. I heard that Paxil can actually calm your GI track down a bit. Not sure the factual claims on it, but I know when I was on it, it got rid of the severe anxiety, lifted me from depression, AND my tract was not as bad as it could of been...
Kaycie - Age: 26
Crohn's - Dx Nov 05
Failed Remicade, moving onto a Clinical Trial called ABT-874 - Tentative start date - 10/2/08 - 10/16/08  - Infusion, every 4 weeks.
IVF #1 (In-Vitro Fertilization) - Failed
IVF #2 - IVIg, Heparin, Baby Aspirin - TWIN GIRLS!!!
Reagan Dawn - 8/2/07 - Lived 1 hour 27 minutes due to Cloaca, NOT affiliated with my Crohn's
Addison Maria - 8/2/07 - 13 months old


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 9/28/2008 8:59 AM (GMT -7)   
I had anxiety /panic disorder prior to being DX with CD
Once that was DX it only increased my angst 10 fold

I am doing online Cognitive behavioural Therapy ( which you can find link to on top on A/P forum with WEN'S name at end)
There are also more self help techniques listed there

Everyone has given wonderful and helpful input IMHO and I do know that more and more CD'er's are coming to A/P forum seeking some input
People with a chronic illness tend to end up with anxiety/ Panic and or Depression
Not all but it is becoming more and more it seems

I have been on Valium for yrs as well as Ativan when in PG flare and now am on an anti depressant ( celexa) as well due to so much going on in my life........

I tend to really have anxiety increased with flares from CD Fibro and the Pyoderma

I too am like Kaycie
I have had periods of Agoraphobia and they have lasted for mths at a time
I was so mad at this DD
It started to rule my life
I COULD NOT go to Walmart or busy stores I would literally break out in sweats and panic would set in making me leave immediately

I am getting better but I have to confess if I do go out I too take my mreds with me ( Valium)
I am not saying meds are the only way for ppl but they are helping me out
Others can do alternative ways to get thru this like Depp breathing Realation and other things to help them..like gardening ,crocheting.or other hobbies..exercise is a great tool as was posted


I am 54 and have had this for more than 30 plus yrs..........

I am finally starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel

I wish you all the same

Be good to yourself and remember you have
Anxiety/ Panic
Anxiety /Panic DO NOT have you

LYN


  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,Fibro & Other DD
                                    Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
Moderator @ Alzheimer's,Co Mod @ Anxiety/ Panic,Co Mod @ Crohns 
 
                                    FIGHT the FIGHT with all YOU HAVE
               Look For The GOOD,Even At Your Lowest
 
     Listen To Your Heart,Look Inside Yourself,Understand You
 
 
 
                    

Post Edited (Howlyncat) : 9/28/2008 10:02:35 AM (GMT-6)


FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 9/28/2008 10:54 AM (GMT -7)   
I find over preparing really helps. Others mentioned bringing extra stuff. The best thing I can do is plan my trip ahead of time. Ok... Im going to work, I have a 10 minute drive until the first gas station... that is going through the woods so that is always an option, ok, made it to the first restroom, check, ok now it is about 7 minutes to the next one, check... and so on. My mind works like a video car racing game. I am always just trying to make it to the next check point. I also do what I can to make myself feel in control. I sit in aisle seats, I offer to drive or to take my own car. If I have to carpool I say I have to sit up front. I just feel better that way. Don't be afraid to do what you need to do to feel comfortable. The more often you stare anxiety down and face it head on the easier it will get. But at the same time, recognize your limits. If you were in the middle of a flare it would be kind of silly to go on a 2 hour boat ride that had no bathroom. Get what I mean? So live the best you can!
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.


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 9/28/2008 11:01 AM (GMT -7)   
That is also a great tool to use IMHO

Prepare all you can ahead..........
  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,Fibro & Other DD
                                    Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
Moderator @ Alzheimer's,Co Mod @ Anxiety/ Panic,Co Mod @ Crohns 
 
                                    FIGHT the FIGHT with all YOU HAVE
               Look For The GOOD,Even At Your Lowest
 
     Listen To Your Heart,Look Inside Yourself,Understand You
 
 
 
                    


Jen77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2687
   Posted 9/28/2008 11:04 AM (GMT -7)   
I tend to have trouble with anxiety. I've had the "no bathroom around" for years and years! LOL Even if my husband would leave me in the car, to run in to the bank or store for a minute. Instant panic, and my stomach would start to cramp up. It would amaze me how closely my mind was connected with my brain! For the most part I don't do that anymore. Just when I'm flaring, when my odds of getting sick are greater in public.

It's also caused quite a bit of "health anxiety." Every little symptom I get I worry that it's going to be something serious. I believe that is from seeing my health go down hill at such a young age. I very much have a "waiting for the other shoe to drop" attitude now.

I've thought about asking my doctor for a little something when I have those really bad days. Most of the time I just deal with it, try to relax. It's not easy though.


~Jennifer
 
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06 after sever GI bleed. Has been suffering since 1998. History of rectal fistula and gallbladder removal. Taking Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL (for high blood pressure). Tapered off prednisone a month ago!


patientspiders
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 9/28/2008 12:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks so much for the replies, guys. It's such a hard thing to get a handle on sometimes... all of your input is helpful.
26f, dx'd CD July '05 after 6 fistula/abscess surgeries
Currently running on Humira and Hope.
(miscarried at 13 weeks, now waiting to heal before trying again)

"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure."

~Marianne Williamson

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