Posted 2/17/2009 7:39 AM (GMT -6)
When Crohn's disease was first identified, it was commonly assumed that it was found more often in people who had problems with anxiety and stress management. In the same way, for many years ulcers were thought to have been caused by stress. Neither of these has proven to be true.
In the case of crohn's, current thinking is that the onset of crohn's is not related to one's personality or mental health profile. However, crohn's can exacerbate underlying problems and make functional mental health disorders much worse. To be chronically ill, especially with a disease whose symptoms are so socially isolating and unpredictable can cause incredible reactional anxiety.
Some people's innate coping skills are not as well developed as others and it can require medical intervention, but I think it is as a side-effect of living with a chronic illness, not a part of the expression of the disease itself. Crohn's can manifest itself extra-intestinally -- in the eyes, skin, liver, joints etc, but I don't believe research has been able to establish any such link between crohn's and psycho-pathology.