depressed, how do you deal? :(

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 377
   Posted 11/15/2009 7:00 PM (GMT -7)   
I go back and forth from not having my Crohn's diagnosis freak me out to then getting really depressed about it and worrying about how it may affect my future. I've been diagnosed for 3 months now, and, knock on wood am in remission, so I feel kind of guilty for getting depressed about it. But I worry about what the drugs I'm doing are doing to my body, if this is going to affect my chances of having healthy children, if it will one day get so bad that I can't work, that I'll be dropped from my insurance.

I'm upset, and I know life is not fair, and I know I need to be thankful for the things that I have and the fact that I feel good now, but I'm seriously depressed right now. I took pretty good care of myself and have always been pretty health conscious, exercised, was an athlete, hardly got sick before this, and now I have Crohn's. It's hard for me, because I've been used to pushing my body to the limit and coming out on top, but now I feel like damaged goods. :(

Sorry. I'm just sad right now and need to vent. If anyone has any words of how they accept their Crohn's diagnosis and moved on with their lives, I'd love to hear it.

Thanks. Sorry to be a downer.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 506
   Posted 11/15/2009 7:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Sounds a lot like my story :( Honestly, I don't really think about how much Crohn's has affected my life, at least in terms of the big picture. It really sucks that literally 90% of my waking hours revolve around what to eat, where the nearest crapper is, if I'll have pain tonight, etc. I guess I'm just stubborn and refuse to let it make me too upset, but it's hard not to think about it sometimes. While it has pretty much killed my social life and messed up nearly every other aspect of my life, I find solace in the fact that it could always be worse. Science/medicine is always advancing, and newer, better drugs are always coming along, and I guess that eases my mind a little bit.

Remember that many of use are in the same boat as you, and we're always here to do what we can. Of course, if you're really having a tough time, it might not be a bad idea to seek professional help.
Diagnosed with CD July 2007
Currently on Remicade, Imuran, probiotics, folic acid, multivitamin.

Amor fati - Nietzsche

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 1177
   Posted 11/15/2009 9:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh I am completely with you. There are days when I just can't see the sun, all I see are the dark clouds, and lately those days have been many. But my wonderful husband, despite all the physical problems, drags me out from the dumps every day. I have been reading some self help books lately (by Jon Kabat-Zinn), and they do seem to help a little.

One of the hardest things to let go of is the "why me?" question. Why not that ****who does all those evil things, and totally deserves it? Why good little me, who helps the little old lady across the street, nurses strays, and wishes the best for everyone? And you already have the answer to that - life isn't fair. I remember a quote from Babylon 5, "You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe." So, remember, it's not personal. You are just part of this universe, and things like this happen all the time. It isn't happening _to_ you, it is simply happening. It's just part of the universe, and part of the human condition. Easy to think this rationally, harder to actually believe it and take comfort from it (I'm still working on it too).

It really is a matter of perspective - the half full versus half empty thing. I have been repeating it to myself over and over again - yes, we just cancelled yet another vacation (for our wedding anniversary) because of my husband's health, but at the same time, we're at least able to sit down and watch TV together and enjoy the day together. It could be a lot worse - he could be in the hospital like last year. Things are so much better than they were then. So, I repeat that to myself.

Find ways to take pleasure in the things you can do, instead of dwelling on the things you can't. Self pity is a useless emotion - doesn't help you, only drags you down. So, instead of focussing on the things you cannot do, work within the limits to focus on the things you can, and find pleasure in it. Trust me, I know this is easier said than done. But repeating it to myself does help - I'm hoping that soon I won't have to consciously repeat it to myself, it'll simply be the way I am.

Find ways to live in the now. As someone said, "The past is history, the future is a mystery, and today is a gift." Don't waste your today dwelling on the complications of tomorrow. Plan for tomorrow, but don't dwell on it. You'll really dislike it when you look back at your life 20 years from now, if you did not enjoy your life and lived it in fear of the unknown. This one is the one that I have the hardest time with. I have always been a planner, and I guess a control freak, and this disease makes me feel completely wretched in that regard. But I am slowly learning to cope. Learning to let go of all the "what ifs", and learning to embrace the happiness in the now.

Remember, if you were completely healthy, the reason you are able to be happy is not just because you can do all those things . . . it's because you don't sit there and think about the things you can't do, or contemplate the possibility that in a year you'll be hit by a bus, etc. But now, because you have a diagnosis of crohn's, it brings these thoughts to the forefront. It doesn't matter if you are completely healthy, or if you have an incurable disease like crohn's - you don't have control over life. When you are completely healthy, it's just easy to delude yourself into thinking that you do. There is only one thing that we truly have control over in life - that is our reaction to any situation. We can control our reactions, to both the good and bad things in life. So, choose your reaction to the crohn's diagnosis and everything that life throws at you very deliberately, remembering that the only true control we have in life is how we respond.

I know I don't have crohn's. But my husband does. And it greatly impacts our lives - because it's just him and me. It greatly shook my belief in our future, and in our relationship, and in my ability to cope with all the trials that this disease can put one through. But I am slowly learning. I wake up every morning filled with anxiety (especially now when my husband is going through a rough patch), and every morning I learn to breathe through it, and learn to feel a sense of calm; a center where I realize that my anxiety doesn't help anything, it just ruins my day. I try to have a decent day, and I try to laugh and smile, and I try to do the things with my husband that his health will permit. I am trying very deliberately to choose my response to the changes every day in my life - I am choosing to be positive, and I am choosing to help my husband life the best life he can, both for himself and for me.

Just like when you pick apples at the grocery store, you make sure to pick good apples, and leave out the bad ones, choose your thoughts, to pick the best ones. Put the bad thoughts into the garbage bin. I have been trying to focus on doing that mentally. Pick the positive thought, and put the negative one in the garbage bin.

I've also been trying to practice some mindfulness meditation - some days I do great, and others not so much. But I do think it helps. In the morning when I wake up, and my head is so unsettled, it helps calm me down, and put me in the right frame of mind to choose a positive response every day. I didn't do the mindfulness meditation last Friday, and boy was I all over the map emotionally. I am trying to take this also as a learning opportunity - we all 100% of us have to deal with situations like this at some point in our lives. We just have a head start.

Oh, another thing I've learned - be kind to yourself. Don't feel guilty or beat yourself up because you had a bad thought. We all have them.

We're all here for you. Feel free to vent, and I hope we can give you support. A therapist maybe a great idea - it always helps giving voice to your thoughts, and getting it off your chest. My friends have been great for this, but I did not have them, I would see a therapist. In fact, recently I've been worrying about "fatigue" with my friends - thinking that perhaps I am overburdening them by constatly talking about the trials in my life. So, I am actually on the lookout for a therapist, so I won't burn out my friends.

Husband with Crohn's
Diagnosed March 2003 Ulcerative Proctitis
Diagnosed March 2008 Crohn's & C-diff, hospitalized 45 days
Canasa, Lialda, Remicade, VSL#3, Florastor
In Remission since June 2008
Stopped vancomycin for c-diff Jan 1 2009
C-diff free, until Sep 2, 2009
Fighting c-diff, I guess for life

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 11/15/2009 10:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Some days you really won't be able to accept it, and some days you'll be fine. Just try and go easy on yourself on the days that you're having difficulty.

I usually take a long nap, read a book, watch a movie, etc. It doesn't fix everything, but helps.
Diagnosed with Crohn's in May of 2008.
Currently taking: Prednisone, pentasa, omeprazole, and humira. Using probiotics and a multivitamin.
Learning how to live again.
"He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how."

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 11/16/2009 7:20 AM (GMT -7)   
If you feel like the anxiety and depression are interferring with your life, then I suggest you see your family doctor about this. It is normal with this dd to have anxiety and depression. I developed anxiety about 32 years of having the disease. But thru therapy and the occasional Xanax I have been able to better control and stop it. Do see your family doc if it gets to be too much.

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

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 452
   Posted 11/16/2009 7:24 AM (GMT -7)   
I learned at a young age not to let it get to me.  I was diagnosed when I was 15.  I missed about a month from schoold, but I got better.  about a year later I got pnumonia and my CD flared big time from it.  So much so that I missed my Junior year of HS.  My doctor wouldn't sign paper to get me home study.  I spent the day laying in bed watching TV.  Imagine doing that for a year.  I was bored, depressed and in pain.  Then TV changed my life.
I used to watch a couple of cooking shows and thought, man, that would be fun.  I decided that I wanted to cook for a living.  I started to make dinner for my parents (since I was home already).  The bad thing was, I still wasn't up to going to school.  MY CD was beating me down and I decided that I wouldn't let me.  I made an effort that year never to let CD beat me.  I was going to get the upper hand.  I changed GI and got a note for home instruction.  I did my Senior year of HS at home and graduated on time.  I then went to college...away from home.  I figured to beat this disease I was gonna have to convince myself that I can get out in the world. 
I am now 36.  I have graduated from both a 2 year and 4 year college.  I got my cooking degree and cooked in a couple of places.  I worked on a cruise ship in Alaska.  I have done so much already in my life and I am still young.  I have so much more to do and I will never ever ever let CD get me down.  I do get depressed at times but when I do, I think of the past.  I remember laying in bed doing nothing at age 16 and that helps pick me up.
Always remember...YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  There are a lot of people out there like you and yes we all get depressed.  The important thing to remember is that you have a disease...not a life sentence.  Never let it rule you.  I am a big believer in mind over matter.  If you feel like you can beat it...then you will beat it.
Take care..and feel better.  And remember you can always vent on here.  That is what this forum is here for.
36 yr old Male with Crohn's Disease since '88 - No Surgery yet
Been on almost every type of drug with bad results
Remicade since Nov 2009

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 377
   Posted 11/17/2009 5:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for letting me vent, and thanks for the tips. I'm feeling a lot better about it today. It comes and goes in waves, but I suppose it will be like that most of the time.

JavaJay, I am especially inspired by your story. I do believe that your mindset has a lot to do with it. Definitely mind over matter. Congrats on all your accomplishments. I have thought about how much harder it would be to deal with this disease had I gotten it earlier in life. As a teenager, I can't imagine. You are quite a trooper, thanks for sharing your story.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 11/17/2009 11:50 PM (GMT -7)   

Like pimfram, this also mirrors my story prior to my diagnosis. After being diagnosed, it took me almost two years to get it together. After a pretty nasty hospitalization I decided to accept the fact that I was diagnosed but also told myself to be thankful that I am still alive as there are many people my age who have been diagnosed with things much worse.

I started riding my bike again, and started to write. It was a struggle to not be the "fastest girl" on the bike anymore, but after I accepted the fact that I had to work with my "new" body, cycling and racing became more enjoyable.

I had to leave my job about two years after being diagnosed. At 26 I felt lost and useless. Was I ever going to be able to work again? What was I going to do? Etc. Like you, I also worry about having healthy children in the future, and also what side effects would arise in the future due to the Remicade, etc. I decided that instead of torturing myself with the "what-ifs" I was going to live in the now, the present and cross the "child bridge" and "medicine side-effect bridge" when the situation arises.

What I'm trying to say is that once you accept the illness for what it is, things will get better. Don't fight against it, just let it take it's course. Do what you can to try and stay healthy. And get back into will be great therapy for you. As a cyclist, the bike has been my therapy.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 768
   Posted 11/18/2009 12:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Octobergirl
Live in the present. Waves of depression are common. Get help like someone said if you can't cope. Do as much as you can to help your health. Eat right, exercise, lots of rest and yeah there is always worse things you could have.

Hope you feel better soon and know we are all here for you. Vent whenever you want and get back to life.

Lilturbo liked your blog. Good for you. I want to ride that fund raiser sometime. How do you get hooked up to it?
This heights by great men reached and kept, were not obtained by sudden flight, but they while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.
H.W. Longfellow
Thyroid cancer removed 1988
Stomach problems finally figured out 2001 Crohn's/Colitus
Tried every drug without much success
Colon/rectal cancer removed Aug 2009

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 884
   Posted 11/18/2009 10:55 AM (GMT -7)   
I take anxiety meds to help keep me from freaking out as much and to help keep my stomach relaxed.  They definitely have seemed to help with the stomach pain and keep me from losing it altogether.  =)  It's still never easy, though.  Maybe easier as time goes by and you get used to certain things, but then something new pops up and messes it all up again. 

Crohn's Disease, Acid Reflux/Gastritis, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Endometriosis, Arthritis, Depression/Anxiety.  Too many meds to list them all.  =) 

Carnival Huckster
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 159
   Posted 11/18/2009 11:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes I can definitely relate. Some days are great and others really suck. Anti-depressants have helped as does staying on top of your Crohn's and doing everything you can to keep things under control (talking to specialists, researching new treatment options, diet, etc.) It's those times when you let things go, emotionally check out, and give up that you are in danger of falling into despair. I guess those are the times where you have to try twice as hard. When this happens to me, I make myself some homemade chicken broth with ginger and salt -- that seems to help quiet things down, at least to a dull roar :-)

+ 34 year old male
+ Crohn's Disease DX in 1997, doc said it was "moderate to severe"
+ Currently taking 9mg entocort and 40mg prozac
+ SCD for past 10 years
+ 4,000 mg MSM, Calcium, Vitamin D, Multivitamin, S. boulardii, Acidophilus
+ Section in lower jejunum is badly strictured (5mm wide opening continues for 10cm!) but otherwise no other problems in bowel
+ No surgeries so far

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 11/18/2009 11:05 AM (GMT -7)   
What has helped my depression and anxiety due to having active CD for 18 yrs straight is regular daily exercise, great for the body (including the bowels) and the mind.


Carnival Huckster
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 159
   Posted 11/18/2009 11:08 AM (GMT -7)   
I usually do exercise regularly, but when the stricture is acting up (like it is today) I just can't seem to muster up the will to go for a run or lift weights. As a result I am exercising more like 2-3 times a week instead of 5+ times per week.

+ 34 year old male
+ Crohn's Disease DX in 1997, doc said it was "moderate to severe"
+ Currently taking 9mg entocort and 40mg prozac
+ SCD for past 10 years
+ 4,000 mg MSM, Calcium, Vitamin D, Multivitamin, S. boulardii, Acidophilus
+ Section in lower jejunum is badly strictured (5mm wide opening continues for 10cm!) but otherwise no other problems in bowel
+ No surgeries so far

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