Chrohns and Anxiety

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 9/16/2008 6:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey All,

I've noticed that when my Chrohns acts up, like when I get major spasms in my stomach area, sometimes it makes me very tense and then I start to get what feels like a panic attack. Does that happen to any of you? Like, I can hardly think, and I have to do something kind of mindless in order to relax my stomach enough to let the spasms happen without freaking me out and I feel it everywhere in my body. Usually at the same time of relief from my cloudy head ect, I have to urgently go to the bathroom. Have you ever had this? What do you do about it?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 9/16/2008 7:14 AM (GMT -7)   
It may sound silly, but I have a "mental exercise" I try to do anytime I'm freaking out like that. If I'm having a cold-sweat/can't think straight kind of moment, I mentally inventory my surroundings. For example, if I start feeling that way in the car, I just look around me and inventory things until it passes or until I get to a bathroom - I'll just look around me and start rattling off one word descriptors like -window, -door handle, gas station, stoplight, sidewalk, grass, etc. and I'll keep going until I come out the other side. Naming objects and smells gives me something to concentrate on instead of freaking out about the fact that my BODY is freaking out.

I don't know if that will help you, but it might be worth a try.
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

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 9/16/2008 7:14 AM (GMT -7)   
YES most definetly anxiety plays a big part with Crohns. Since I have finally recognized my anxiety I am now able to stop it in its tracks and avoid the bad 3-4 days I use to have. As soon as I feel it ramping up I will take my Xanax (lowest dose available) and within about 45 minutes I start feeling better. I find that when I am worried or stressed this will happen. Right away I become nauseous and the D starts. But like I said, I am now able to recognize it and stop it right quick. Hope that helps.

P.S. I only have this happen maybe once or twice a month.
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.

Texan with Crohn's
Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 362
   Posted 9/16/2008 7:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes! Panic attacks are extreme when nausea turns into vomiting and pain gets severe. I start having panic attacks so bad my blood pressure goes from upper 90s to 160 (top number). My head and hands start shaking and my mind starts racing. I keep my anti-panic pills (Xanax) for these occasions. Don't use them unless I must... that way I have them when needed.

I start a new job tomorrow and have been in mild flare with nausea/vomiting and pain ranging from 7 - 9 off an on for a few weeks. I am so nervous!! Not sleeping... that's another side affect of panic for me. I seem unable to step out of my head and sleep. Hoping to be able to put a smile on and show new employer that I am a work horse before telling her I have crohn's.

Hang in there. You are not alone. :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 125
   Posted 9/16/2008 8:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Anxiety is my middle name. I am in a constant state of worry about something. I KNOW this affects my crohn's disease, but I just can't help it. Of course, these days it is not nearly as bad thanks to modern medicine and a 12 step program :-)
35 year old female - Diagnosed w/Crohn's 2002 - Surgery 2004

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

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 9/16/2008 10:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Wow, thanks for all the great response guys! I do something similar to the mental exercise one of you guys mentioned above. Do you guys ever get constipated as a result of the anxiety or does anyone take a anti-depressant/anti-anxiety drug that helps besides xanax or klonopin? I have tried a couple but they all have made me either feel very tired or very empty inside so I stopped taking them.
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