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Jade25
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 8/1/2006 3:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello,
 
I'm actually not "new" to HW, but I am new to this forum. I foolishly posted on other IBD forums, since I was told I most likely had Crohn's or UC, but after the tests were completed I was diagnosed with IBS a few months ago. The only thing that threw me off the diagnostic course was weight loss and the occasional passing of blood.
 
I've tried a few anti-depressants, which in turn caused heart palpitation attacks, and so I've refused to take any more low-dosages of them, since they were not helping my symptoms at all. I take loperamide when needed, which is on and off during the summer. I practically live off it in the winter, though.
 
Anyways, today I received a letter from the hospital as my Gastroenterologist wants me to consider Cognitive behavioural Therapy to potentially lessen my symptoms, and help me cope with this. I just found out, though, that this therapy is held in group fashion, and I am fairly introverted and shy - especially about this. I'm 24, female, and have dealt with my symptoms for about 7 years now. Mostly in silence, I might add. Before I send the form back saying I'm in, I was hoping to gain some of your opinions. At this point, I guess I haven't got much to lose... but I'm very scared to be in a whole room of people talking about this stuff. It's much easier online, obviously, but I want to heal...
 
I'll post more about me and my symptoms in a bit... I'm sure you've heard it all before, so I'll try to keep the redundancy to a minimum. I appreciate your thoughts, and thank you for your time.
 
~ Jade
 
p.s. Can someone tell me what the differences are between "disease," "disorder," and "syndrome"?

sami-jo
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 8/1/2006 4:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jade,
 
I would go for the CBT!  I sure wish they offered something like that in my area.  The group format might be helpful.  I'm really shy, too; but I think knowing the others had problems like mine would help me to open up.
 
Anti-depressants do the same thing to me with the palpatations & skipped beats.  I'm in therapy for my anxiety but not making a whole lot of progress. 
 
Good luck, let us know how it goes!
Sami

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/2/2006 8:31 AM (GMT -7)   
I think you'll find the group session is a lot like being on this forum; there will be people who have been in there a long time and who talk about "poop" like it's nothing and you'll get comfortable talking about your own just because everyone else talks about theirs. It's like if everyone around you was a nudist, how long would it take you to get comfortable with being nude yourself? It really is amazing how quickly we can overcome our fears and phobias and even morality just because everyone else is carefree. Shoot, I'd walk around naked if everyone else did. Because when nakedness is the norm, when it's not something sexual or deviant, then what's the worry about it? If talking about poop in a group is the norm, and not something disgusting or hidden, then what's the worry about it? In the end, most people like talking about their aches and pains and ailments. Somehow sharing makes the suffering seem less. Also, it makes you feel more normal if other people have what you have; you're not alone.

Jade25
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 8/3/2006 6:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you, both of you.

I've submitted my form, so we'll see how long it takes to start this group therapy. I felt odd accepting this type of help, but I do have hopes that it will work to at least lessen my anxiety over my symptoms when I am in public and on trips.

Isn't it weird how seasons affect IBS so much? For me, I go through constant, painful, daily D all winter... and in the summer I get random "attacks" of D (usually in the worst possible time, such as minutes before catching a plane for a vacation...) and then when I take my life-saving Immodium I can end up with C for 3-5 days straight. I prefer the summer because at least I am free of constant D, even though the surprise episodes are very unpleasant... I hope to move to a more mild climate with less brutal winters so that perhaps the D won't always be this bad.

~ Jade

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/4/2006 12:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Imodium gives me bad constipation too. That's why, if I take it, I only take 1/2 a pill and give it 30 minutes to work. If I still have D after that, then I'll take the other half, but most of the time, 1/2 a pill is all I need and I don't end up constipated afterwards. But my preferred medicine for D is Pepto Bismol pills; those never constipate me.

That's odd about how you feel better in the summertime. Are you in school or otherwise have different tasks to do in the wintertime? When my gall bladder was bad, it tended to be less bad in the summer than during the school year. Some of that had to do with being away from the stress, I think, and the other part was eating better, because I wasn't eating quickie meals and junk all of the time.

The other thing you might want to try is light therapy in the wintertime. I don't know how that would affect your IBS, but Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is quite common--especially if you live further north where the weather is worse and the light less. People in Alaska just about have to have the light boxes in order to function. When you go without light for too long, you can get depressed and lethargic. It's like your body wants to go into hibernation. The light boxes emit UV rays and trick your body into thinking that it's getting sunshine, like it does in the summer when you feel better. Like I said, I don't know how getting more light would help your IBS, but maybe if it's linked with wintertime depression, the light would help it.

Jade25
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 8/4/2006 3:07 PM (GMT -7)   
I take Immodium advanced, and usually take 1-3 pills within an hour pending on how bad it gets. The pepto bismol ones made me feel very bad for days afterwards... not to mention it turned the D greenish which was weird.

I've actually read some articles on how people with bowel diseases suffer more in the winter... I'll try to find them again to post them here. I live in Canada where at any given time our temperature in the winter can be -40 (celsius). I appreciate your advice on the possibility of SAD, but I get the depression all year round. ;) As for my IBS, it's always been this way. I'll have some random attacks of D during the summer which can be severe... and then plenty of C. As soon as the temperature drops, it's non-stop D for a while which can become very painful and I tend to lose weight. I'm small as it is - 5'1" at 95lbs. I try to eat more in the summer since I'll lose weight in the winter, but lately I just don't seem to gain much no matter what.

~ Jade

carell
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 105
   Posted 8/4/2006 4:57 PM (GMT -7)   
HI Jade- welcome to healingwell.  I'm sorry to hear about your struggle.  Canada itself sounds like a challenge!  I have family in Syracuse, NY which isn't exactly Canada but the weather gets rather ridiculous.  One Christmas, I flew out (i'll never do that again) and it snowed the whole 5 days I was there.  And it was freezing cold too. Anyhow, I'm actually psyched that your MD has suggested some counseling.  Most of them are so ignorant. (mine is good though)  And I think that counseling is good for most people.  Even those of us who have no psych. history (I'm unfortunately not one of them!- hx of anxiety- but that started long before any of this ever did) can get very stressed out from having any type of chronic illness.  So, any kind of stress reduction techniques are helpful.  I think you owe it to yourself to give it a try.  I conduct court mandated substance abuse groups and you'd be very surprised at people's response to the group format.  I hope you will be pleasantly surprised as well.  Good luck. Let us know how it works out. 

Jade25
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 79
   Posted 8/6/2006 12:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Carell. Yes, the extreme weather here has made it difficult to control symptoms - especially in winter. Where I live specifically is notorious for 6 months of below -25 degree weather with 4-7 feet of snow all over the place.

I'm quite nervous about discussing my problems in a group setting, as I am naturally a very shy person. I will give it a try, but there's more to my problems than IBS, such as an undiagnosed history of depression (I think I've managed to overcome the worst of it...) and of course my back injury. However, I hope I find the courage to allow myself to voice my thoughts over my IBS at least, as I would do anything to lessen the impact of the symptoms.

Thanks for the responses, I really appreciate it.

~ Jade
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