Is there a connection between poor mental health and CD?

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I Gotta Go
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 9/6/2007 1:44 PM (GMT -7)   
To add insult to injury, I not only deal with my funky intestinal problems but also suffer from minor amounts of depression mingled with larger issues surrounding anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) that I've had since my teen age years. Is there a connection? Are there other members who confess to similar circumstances and who are taking an anti-depressant for their problems in addition to whatever you may be taking for what is going on in your gut?

I am just curious. It seems to me there is a connection.

gachrons
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 9/6/2007 1:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Welcome to HW whee you will get support and not be alone we need all the CDer's we can get here. Yes there seems to be some people here who have depression also. I am not one who takes meds for it and try to keep a healthy good attitude about things but even so there are times when I feel the weight on my shoulders. This is a great place to get support when we are feeling alone or down.lol gail

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 9/6/2007 2:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I suffered with depression and anxiety only AFTER I became sick with CD and only a few yrs ago did I start to have those problems...I've had CD for 16 yrs but for some reason the anxiety and depression hit me around 6 yrs agol, which I went through for quite some time.

I didn't suffer with emotional issues until long after getting CD, but I'm sure for some they may have had those kinds of issues before CD as well.

So long as you seek help to get it under control that's the main thing.


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


Mormor Vicky
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 684
   Posted 9/6/2007 2:40 PM (GMT -7)   
I also have GAD. Within a matter of 3 months I found out I had crohn's, had a resection, back in the hospital with a reaction to 6-MP, found out I had steroid-induced diabetes. I might have been able to handle all of that but when I tried to lose weight and no matter what I did I just couldn't. Exercising 2 hours a day, eating 1200 to 1500 calories and I still couldn't lose weight. I would fret constantly about the weight issue. Finally talked to my doctor and she put me on cymbalta. It's just what the doctor ordered. Started losing, helped with joint pains, and I'm in a much better frame of mind.
Vicky / 47 years old
DX'd with Crohn's during a resection August 2006
DX'd with Steriod induced Diabetes November 2006
Considered in Clinical remission but have minor signs of disease activity
 
Daughter (26) also has Crohn's since she was 12.
 
Currently on 4000mg of Pentasa only for Crohn's
No longer able to take 6-MP because of Bone-Marrow Suppression
Cymbalta, Metformin, Lipitor


munchkin81
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 73
   Posted 9/6/2007 6:47 PM (GMT -7)   
I also had mental problems long before the intestinal problems. I was depressed for a long time. I tried to go off meds and almost ended up back where I started. My psychiatrist says is emotional dysregulation with anxiety and depression. I too was wondering if there was some sort of connection.
Munchkin 81
26 year old female.  DX June 2007.
abscess Nov. 2006 - drain and surgery
currently taking 9mg Entocort EC and 1200mg Asacol 3xday
Aciphex 20mg 2xday  Iron, B-12, and folic acid


queeniefosho
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 9/7/2007 7:05 AM (GMT -7)   
I began having problems w/ depression and anxiety after I was diagnosed w/ Crohn's. It could have been an existing thing and the diseae made it worse; guess I'll never know. I'm currently on Lexapro and Xanax as needed.

belleenstein
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 9/7/2007 7:31 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't bellieve research supports the hypoithesis that there is a connection between the onset of crohn's and mental health issues llike GAD or depression. Poeple with these issues are no more or less likely to develop crohn's than the general population.

However, crohn's is a serious chronic illness that impacts every facet of a person's life. It is normal and to be expected that people with crohn's disease are susceptible to anxiety and depression and research indicates that approriate psycho-therapeutic interventions improve patient outcomes. It isn't that the therapy lessens disease activity, it is that by developing appropriate coping skills and dealing with the emotional issues that living with a chronic illness raise people report being less miserable.

That has certainly been my personal experience. Much of what we experience with crohn's is subjective. What one person finds tolerable another can't bear.

Ultimately coming to terms with this disease, any disease, is a lifelong adventure in self-awareness. It's a moving target and we never get it all figured out, but the work we put into dealing with it is never wasted.
Belleenstein:

30+ years living with Crohn's.


no-guts-no-glory
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 9/7/2007 9:13 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree with baleenstein I dont believe research supports the hypothesis, but I do know that living with crohn's and the chronic pain that can be associated with it, can definetly bring on depression. I take alaprazolam along with all the medicine for crohn's and ra to help with the depression that i have. Living in chronic pain can really suck. Its hard for most people to understand what we go through just to get through a day.
Diagnosed with Crohn's spring '06
taking-Asacol 4 tabs 3 times a day
Imuran 50mg 1 a day to start
Humira 40ml injection 1 every 2 weeks
Hydrocort @ night -fun stuff
Currently on Prednisone burst for RA flareup


miraclesivseen
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 169
   Posted 9/7/2007 9:41 AM (GMT -7)   
when I was first dx with thyroid cancer, which was 3 months after my bowel resecction my cancer doc., said "you are depressed, you need to see someone for this"  I laughed and said, no I am not depressed I am pi$$.
I was mad, and tierd, and not to I was mention sick.
 
But to make everyone happy, I went and talk to a doctor for 200.00 an hour, to tell me the same thing I was saying, he agreed with me, and only wantd to see me again if I had additional problems.
 
It takes time to get adjusted, to try and understand what is going on with our bodies....and when tramatic things happen to us pyhsically it is only NATURAL for things mentally to take a toll also.
 
I think that if I keep a positive attitude, even when I crap my pants in a store, I have to laugh about it, or find the positive in it....thank god I had a sweatshirt to wrap around me, or I had a blanket in the car to wrap up in.
 
Even now, with brest cancer and crohns....if I allow myself to become too stressed about the breast cancer then for sure my crohns is going to kick my butt (literally), so I can't become stressed about it...it is what it is...and worring about it is only going to make matters worse.
 
I do however have to take a anti anxiety SOMETHING at every once in awhile at night in order to sleep.
My mind seems to never want to shut off, I am constantly thinking, trying to fix everything...So if I take a little something to sleep so be it, if it helps do it..
Brain tumor 1981
Dx.Crohns disease 1996
bowel resecction 2001
Thyroid cancer 2001
breast cancer .....currently waiting treatment options
seizure disorder .....all my life.
 
 
 
 
 


MrsGriffin
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 204
   Posted 9/7/2007 10:26 AM (GMT -7)   
I definitely think there is a connection between bowel disease and depression. I believe this because of both personal experience and from what I've read from the medical community.

A recent study conducted at Boston University showed that up to 40 percent of patients with IBS suffer from depression related to changes in serotonin levels. Low serotonin levels in IBS stem from gastrointestinal influences affecting serotonin production and release. According to researchers up to 95 percent of the body’s supply of serotonin is found in the colon.

Similar studies have shown an increased rate of depression in patients with IBD. In a large study conducted in Italy, researchers showed that the overall severity of psychological symptoms was not statistically different between patients suffering from IBD versus IBS.

F. Pace, P Molteni, S Bollani, et al, Dept of Gastroenterology, Milan, Italy, Inflammatory bowel disease versus irritable bowel syndrome: a hospital-based, case-control study of disease impact on quality of life, Scand J Gastroenterol, 2003 Oct; 38(10): 1031-1038.

S. Jones, Beat the IBS Blues, Natural Health, April, 2007: 18.

Personally, I've struggled with depression from my teen years as well, about the same time I started having symptoms from my Crohn's. I didn't understand the physical connection between the bowel and serotonin until recently. I am currently taking Cymbalta, a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSNRI), and have been amazed at the changes! I no longer am depressed or anxious. I wish I had known this connection years ago!

Disclaimer: obviously not everyone who has IBD is depressed or anxious. But if you are, there is a very real, physiological reason that could be causing it.
I'm a 37 year old mother, have had Crohn's for 15 years. Taking Imuran, Pentasa, Prevacid, Forvia, fish oil and Cymbalta.

Post Edited (MrsGriffin) : 9/7/2007 11:29:21 AM (GMT-6)


I Gotta Go
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 9/7/2007 10:54 AM (GMT -7)   
MrsGriffin said...
I definitely think there is a connection between bowel disease and depression. I believe this because of both personal experience and from what I've read from the medical community.

A recent study conducted at Boston University showed that up to 40 percent of patients with IBS suffer from depression related to changes in serotonin levels. Low serotonin levels in IBS stem from gastrointestinal influences affecting serotonin production and release. According to researchers up to 95 percent of the body’s supply of serotonin is found in the colon.

Similar studies have shown an increased rate of depression in patients with IBD. In a large study conducted in Italy, researchers showed that the overall severity of psychological symptoms was not statistically different between patients suffering from IBD versus IBS.

F. Pace, P Molteni, S Bollani, et al, Dept of Gastroenterology, Milan, Italy, Inflammatory bowel disease versus irritable bowel syndrome: a hospital-based, case-control study of disease impact on quality of life, Scand J Gastroenterol, 2003 Oct; 38(10): 1031-1038.

S. Jones, Beat the IBS Blues, Natural Health, April, 2007: 18.

Personally, I've struggled with depression from my teen years as well, about the same time I started having symptoms from my Crohn's. I didn't understand the physical connection between the bowel and serotonin until recently. I am currently taking Cymbalta, a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSNRI), and have been amazed at the changes! I no longer am depressed or anxious. I wish I had known this connection years ago!

Disclaimer: obviously not everyone who has IBD is depressed or anxious. But if you are, there is a very real, physiological reason that could be causing it.



Wow! That is very interesting. I had no idea that 95 percent of a person's serotonin supply is found in the colon. If your colon is out of whack then it could affect your serotonin levels. I am currently on Cymbalta as well (90mg) -- good stuff.

Thank you.

belleenstein
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 9/7/2007 12:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Serotonin is a neuro-transmitter that is produced in the brain. There are three major areas of accumulation in the body, one of which is the intestine, it is also located in the central nervous system and large blood vessels. The best way to boost seritnonin levels is to exercise, therefore if a chronic illness is restricting mobility I suppose it could be said to have an effect on mood.

However, I think the issue here was whether bad mental health causes crohn's disease. There is no research that I am aware of to suggest that it does.
Belleenstein:

30+ years living with Crohn's.


MMMNAVY
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 9/7/2007 1:26 PM (GMT -7)   
there is depression and anxiety due to chronic medical illness I will write more later
Forum Moderator 
I will find a way, or make one.-Philip Sidney
Make sure your suffering has meaning...


JohnD
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 472
   Posted 9/7/2007 8:33 PM (GMT -7)   
i also deal with depression and anxiety.
i think they can be attributed to dealing with this DD day in and day out and not the depression and anxiety causing the crohn's.
39, Married
Had problems (pain, bleeding, nausea) since age 13.


Dx'd with Crohn's in Spring of 1991.

Resection that December

Broke the L1(mid back) in 1999

went on Remicade in early 2004.

Pain Doc believes the LLQ pain are pinched nerves

Electrical spinal cord stimulator implant july 3, 17, Aug 27
on the third try now.. :( ..


wbisme
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 1507
   Posted 9/7/2007 9:19 PM (GMT -7)   
While I myself agree with Belleenstein, I'm aware there's some older thinking that basically classifies CD patients per se as psychologically abnormal. I think that was even indicated in previous editions of either the DSM or MMPI instrument.

As far as I'm concerned, that error was the result of confusion about which comes first: CD pathology/symptoms or psychological symptoms, just as Belleenstein points out. But, some arrogant folks who've never experienced serious chronic disease firsthand continue to quote the old-school line. It's hard not to wish them the opportunity to expand their intellectual horizons....

Cheers,
Crohn's Disease, Diabetes T2, Chronic Kidney Disease, Chronic Pain, Kidney Stones, Ureteral Strictures, Reactive Arthritis, hyperuricemia, Secondary hyperparathyroidism, Vitamin D malabsorption
Imuran, Prinivil, Zocor, Prandin, Alka Seltzer Gold (for alkalinization), Low-dose Aspirin, Allopurinol, Oxycodone, Calcitriol, Amitriptylene


Krysta
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 340
   Posted 9/8/2007 3:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I had GAD, depression and PTSD long before my crohn's diagnosis, but I'm sure following a diagnosis, anxiety can be an issue. Having diarrhea all the time definitely doesn't make you feel relaxed. It also doesn't help when some drs misdiagnose you with anxiety when you have IBD. But, either way, I have both. :-)
Finally Dx- April 13 2007 (age 26) ilio-crohn's-colitis. Surgeries:appendectomy, cholecystectomy, tonsillectomy, pinidal cyst removed,emergency abdominal surgery for hemorrhaging ovary from burst ovarian cyst, LEEPcervix, emergency abdominal surgery for grapefruit sized ovarian cyst removal, D and C of uterus, lumpectomy of breast.
MEDS: remicade, prednisone, Asacol TID, protonix, metformin, buspar, trazodone, multi V, B complex, flaxseed. Vegetarian, leaning towards vegan. no nuts, seeds, or wheat.
Many allergies. Polycystic ovarian syndrome, anxiety, depression, ITP 
Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right ~ Ani Difranco
 
 


Debra Ann
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 188
   Posted 9/8/2007 4:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I lost my grandmother 9 years ago. All my life I was told by doctors that my stomach pain was a nervous stomach and I was put on valium as a teen. After my gram died, It was as they say the straw that broke the camel's back and I was going inot depression. I went to see my pcp and when I started to tell him what was wrong, he told me I needed a serotonin adjustment. He started me on Paxil. I was first diagnosed with crohn's in 1992 and was in remission until 2005. I did have a resection in 1992 so I guess my serotonin did need an adjustment. I was on Paxil until 2006 when my GI decided that I needed to change to Elavil. I guess it works, however, there are times that I need something more and my pcp has me on Ativan as needed. I never knew that serotonin came from the intestine. You learn something new everyday.

Debbie

belleenstein
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 9/8/2007 4:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Seritonin doesn't come from the intestine. It comes from the brain and migrates from there to various sites in the body. It only makes sense that there would be high levels of seritonin in the intestine. The intestine functions like a second brain, communicating to other organs.

It also stands to reason that some people with mental health disorders are also going to develop crohn's disease but that doesn't mean there is a link in causation. For instance I am near sighted. I bet a lot of people on this board are also near sighted. That doesn't mean that near-sightedness is linked to crohn's disease.
Belleenstein:

30+ years living with Crohn's.

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