Does anyone go to Therapy/Counseling?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 207
   Posted 6/27/2009 5:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Just curious how many of us have or thought about going to therapy? I have not until now. I have had this disease for 4 yrs. I have sporadic flares and for the past 2 months have had a flare each month. I am finding it so stressful to deal with right now and I realize maybe I have not coped well after all. This disease as we have all said has shown who are true firends are and besides my husband, some of my family, and a few good friends people just do not understand or want to understand what we go through. I feel it putting strain on our marriage recently. I swear my husband just can not win some days with me :) yet he tries so hard.. So I was thinking today maybe it would be helpful to talk to someone to help me work through some of this. Anyone else have an experience they could share?

30 Year old Female. Dx with Crohns 2005. Currently take Imuran 50 mg. Had 3 remicade infusions which put me in remission.

Dx with Pyoderma Gangrenosum Nov '07. Used Prednisone and 3 more infusions to close up the PG.
I do believe everything happens for a reason, but I still am waiting to figure this one out :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 350
   Posted 6/27/2009 6:20 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been chronically ill, and I say that as a category, not as a complaint, since I was 4 years old. I had an infection that I got at 4, and it took until I was 30 to get it diagnosed. FInally, around 29 I went to a psychaitrist, to support me because I was going nuts form being called a hypochondriac. This was not a crohn's diagnosis, nor endo - it was something else making me feel bad.

Long story short: the guy pointed me to great doctors and told them I was sick and not a hypchondriac!! I finally got a diagnosis and was taken seriously. I got cured from it.

I saw that guy on and off for 20 years (until he died!!) whenever I needed him. He provided support about how it sucked to be sick, did pain management and all in all was a probably the smartest thing I ever did to get on the healing track.

Ironically, now I'm on LDN and feel so freaking fabulous that I wish he was around to tell.

My recommendation is to find a nice psychiatrist, because they understand health issues. Dive in and get some support, and maybe find one like I did that also does pain managment. It's so great to have a friendly place to find pain relief and get some help not only dealing with your issues on a physical level, but also dealing with how people react and when you have hard days. Of you don't want to go the shrink route, at least make sure you find someone that understands the physical issues you are enduring.

that's my 20 cents.
strictures, crohn's, adhesions, endo. Pyoderma Gangrenosum.
LDN 4mg ~ Boswellia Serrata ~ Olive Leaf extract ~ SCD yogurt. Using silver sulfadiazine on Pyoderma . B-12 shots. Juicing veggies!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 6/27/2009 6:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Painted, I was like you and hadn't thought about therapy until recently. It took me a long time of asking around and reading bios on the internet, but I finally found a therapist and had my first "session" last week.

I know I'm only one session in, but... I kind of feel like maybe I should have chosen someone with more experience in chronic illness. I spent the first 50 minute session explaining crohn's and how it influences my life. I feel kind of weird paying $95 for that. I'm trying to remain optimistic though, and hope that maybe now that the foundations of information have been laid that we can move on to more helpful things. I chose this therapist because of her biographical description regarding her philosophy, which is obviously important... but like I said... I think my only regret thus far is not finding a therapist who knows a little more about the physical reality of being sick all the time.

I hope you find someone that can help you... I've gone 5 or so years without any kind of therapy, and I think maybe that was too long. Here's to hoping we can find some help!
27f, dx'd CD July '05 after 6 fistula/abscess surgeries
Remicade '05 through '08, with no other maintenance meds
Noticing a real difference with a Gluten-Free diet.
Currently on:
Cimzia (started 2-12-09)
Probiotics, Digestive Enzymes, Forvia vitamins, and calcium chewies
Prednisone free, again! WHOOPIE!

Lady G
Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 321
   Posted 6/27/2009 10:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Just recently I was in the hospital with a HUGE flare, second time in a few weeks I ended up there.  But along with the flare I was having issues with the whole 'husband not understanding' AND a new baby which wasn't helping anything.  This was the first time I indicated I NEEDED someone to talk to and they sent a social worker my way a couple times I was there in the hospital and it made ALOT of difference to me.  This was my first ever experience of the sort and really I came out enjoying it, the new things to think about, and the link ups to help and others in similar positions to help you if you choose to use the resources, so for me even that little step, even if it wasnt full therapy proved a lifesaver.

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/27/2009 11:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I was diagnosed with UC in 2003.  Then I was diagnosed with CD in Aug 2008.  I had a hard time dealing with it, no one around understood what I was going through.  I started to feel depressed and everyday it was a struggle for me to get out of bed.  I found a therapist who just happens to have CD too...I didn't know that at the time I made the appt.  I had never in the past thought I needed professional help..but this time was different, I had no choice.  I even though it made me lesser of a person to get help.  It was the best thing I ever did.  My advise would be to contact your Dr. or a therapist who may be able to refer you to someone who may have experience with a chronic may not be lucky to get one who actually has CD.  I will say, she helped me understand very simple things, like sleeping when I'm tired and not feel guilty about it.  If I miss work, I miss work.  If my family and friends don't understand, tell them what I want them to know and not expect them to know what is on my mind.  All I know is that by me seeking help, for the first time in a long time, I feel like I can see light at the end of the tunnel.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 6/28/2009 5:57 AM (GMT -7)   
I have had this disease for over 30 years and about 2 years ago I developed severe anxiety related to my Crohns. I went and saw and therapist and it was a big comfort to talk to someone. I am no longer seeing her, but what I learned from her has helped me to make thru the bad days with a better frame of mind. And I was also having some issues with my adult kids which was causing me alot of stress, and she really helped me there too. If you can, try to find someone who works with people who have Crohnic illnesses.

Good luck,
Gail *Nanners*
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed for my anxiety.  Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 6/28/2009 12:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Raises Hand, I do.

I have good luck with a psychiatrist who also does pain management, 2 birds with one stone. I so love that. :)

It's a good thing, I hope you look more into it,. At least start with a psychologist, they will be able to tell you if they think you need meds, and um, a stronger type doctor like I did. They will listen to you without judging you. Also you don't have to tell your family about it, at least at first, if they are not listening to you now, they may somehow undermine your needs, and they will see if this doctor is doing you some good, that may be the time to let them in on it, or not, again YOUR choice.

P.S. Healingwell has several forums dedicated to mental health.
CD dx @ 13 (1987)
Prednisone 20mg every other day
Phenergen PRN
Zantac 150 - Twice Day
Pain Meds

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 207
   Posted 6/28/2009 1:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for you response. I am going to look more into it and I will report back how it goes. Thanks again!

30 Year old Female. Dx with Crohns 2005. Currently take Imuran 50 mg. Had 3 remicade infusions which put me in remission.

Dx with Pyoderma Gangrenosum Nov '07. Used Prednisone and 3 more infusions to close up the PG.
I do believe everything happens for a reason, but I still am waiting to figure this one out :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 6/28/2009 6:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I also saw a therapist who focuses on chronic illness. It was very helpful for getting my anxiety in check.
27 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 take xanax prn for situational anxiety (aka no easy bathroom access). 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 769
   Posted 6/28/2009 6:19 PM (GMT -7)   

Does anyone here go to Crohn’s support groups? There is one in Queensland AUS that meets 3 mins down the road from where I live. They’re meeting tomorrow night and I’m umming and ahhing about whether to go. I mean they’re so close and it’s a crohn’s/colitis support group which works through he crohn’s and colitis association of Australia……. I guess I’m just nervous and don’t realty want to go alone but don’t want to take anyone either.


Has anyone had experience with a group like this and did you find it useful?

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/29/2009 9:10 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been to a Crohn's support group.  I found it very helpful.  There were two nurses there to answer any questions that anyone had.  One of the nurses had crohn's and the other one works at a GI office.  I felt nervous about going alone too, but in the end I went by myself.  One of the ladies brought her husband and he mentioned how much the meetings actually helped him.  You might want to consider bringing someone close to you for support.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 6927
   Posted 6/29/2009 9:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes, in fact it helped me so much that I have gone back to school for MFT (and I am thinking about adding a masters in Social Work) degree specializing in working with PTSD and chronic illness (the chronic illness and the philo is a very important part). I know that might freak people out to have a therapist that has had to go to a therapist herself. But I think there is a value to having someone who has been there themselves and seen what a nuclear train wreck life can become when you do not have support. Right now my disease is too active to be going thru clinicals, but someday I hope I will be able to do it.
Plus I think it helps to talk to people who understand what you are going thru, like we do here.
Forum Co-moderator - Crohn's Disease:_All comments have the caveat contact your local health care provider.

I will find a way or make one. –Phillip Sidney 1554-1586

All that I am and all that I shall ever be, I owe to my Angel Mother.

The Bucket List- Have you found joy in your life?  Has your life brought joy to others?

Make sure your suffering has meaning…

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4392
   Posted 6/29/2009 10:27 AM (GMT -7)   
I have a masters in social work and I provide family counseling in private practice, and of course, I have Crohn's. Therapy can help with specific relaxation and behavioral skills, as well as offering a safe place to explore your grief and feelings about coping with a chronic illness. Please make sure to ask a prospective therapist if they have experience with chronic illness (not all therapists do) and it is not at all out of line to direct them to the website to learn specifically about Crohn's. You cannot expect a therapist to know the specifics about every disease, but you can expect them to be interested enough to learn about your issues so they can effectively help you! I strongly believe that therapy can help. I like it when prospective clients ask me about my education, experience, methods of therapy, etc. I don't find it intrusive at all. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Also it is ok to tell a new therapist that you want to come to a couple of sessions to see if you have a good personality fit with them. If you don't feel you are being helped at least somewhat by the end of the second session, then you probably don't have the right therapist for you. IMHO. I hope this helps.
50 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's in small intestine and terminal ileum Sept-Oct. 2007. Also have IBS, and had Salmonella Dec. '07
currently taking Pentasa- 4 500mg pills per day, Metamucil and colace for constipation

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 202
   Posted 6/29/2009 12:53 PM (GMT -7)   
My husband sometimes thinks I should go to therapy. That's usually on my bad days. :) I, like Brenna, also found a Crohns support group. I've gone for 6-months now and it's made a world of difference.
Crohn's Disease. 
Diagnosed 13+ years ago. 
Been in remission for short periods of time but each time I come out of remission my disease seems to have spread.  No longer isolated in my ileum, now from stomach down to rectum.  Currently have C-Diff.
Current Medications for the Crohns:  Humera 40mg injections every other week, Imuran 150mg, Levsin, Welchol 625mg, Prednisone 10mg(started weaning off, now going back up in dosing), Flagyl 250mg, Calcium, Acidophilus & Potassium
Previous Medications I've been on:  Asocal, Pentasa, Cipro & Entocort

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