Therapy to Help Cope

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 1/27/2009 6:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Have any of you gone to therapy to help you cope emotionally with your UC? If so, did it help? Is there anything that you could share that would help a 17 year old guy with UC that was having a bit of a rough time of it emotionally dealing with UC? He doesn't want to go talk to anyone, but I thought it might help. Maybe I'll go talk to someone to help me cope with watching him suffer.

Can you share your experiences with me? Especially the male population as it often seem that they are less open to opening up (sorry if that is a broad stereotype).


Mom of Son 17 UC dx 07/02, Sulfasalazine, Imuran, Cortafoam, folic acid, L. Reuteri, Culturelle, Zyrtec, Iron, Vit/Min

Daughter 9 UC dx 08/07 Colazal, 6MP, Iron, Vit/Min., Culturelle

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 274
   Posted 1/27/2009 8:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey .. I can understand what your son is going through. I was hit pretty hard when I was told this was something I would have forever...and the symptoms have changed my life a bit.
I am only 28, so a bit older than your son, but not too far from the college partying days. I have never gone to talk to anyone, but I have done a lot of thinking.
Tell your son, once he accepts this, he can move forward. It is alot easier to deal with once you accept it. I know I might not be saying all the same things if I was feeling worse than I am (at the moment feeling not bad), but it's true. After that, focus on him, his health and doing things that work for him. Life changes a bit, but it's far from over. So he can't eat certain things, or maybe not drink as much (everyone's different). No biggie. Doesn't mean he can't do whatever else he wants when he's feeling good. He needs to work with his Dr. ... figure out what's best for him...maybe read a bit about what he's going through...
The key is, he has to WANT to take control...I dunno, maybe I'm blowing smoke...but I hate to see a young guy feel like crap. I hated feeling like crap...but this site has helped and made me realize that all these people work, do things everyday. Some days suck, but some don't. He's not alone. Maybe he doesn't need therapy, but if he just wants to chat to someone who has it, this site is good. He can have my e-mail if he wants. Tell him to keep his head up. Enjoy the days he feels good and do what he can to make more of them. Also, life's short, don't sweat the small stuff.
Good luck.
Chuck - 28 yrs and counting
Diagnosed w/ UC Dec 08 - pancolitis
Pentasa 500mg 2pills-4x daily
Prednisone 50mg tapering ... 25mg day - Calicium + Vit D
Multivitamin, vitamin C, probiotics, fish oil
"If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying?"

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 1/27/2009 8:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes. I went to therapy to help me deal with UC. I was dx'd at 18 but wasn't ready to admit that I needed help coping until i was in my early 20's. I was the best thing I have ever done. Because of what I learned about myself I was able to figure out what I wanted out of my life and how UC affected me and how to cope. I am now a very happy person. On occasion i still think about going back into therapy (whenever I hit a rought patch) but at the moment my husband and mom are my therapists. Had I not gotten therapy I would never have finished my degree (i had to drop out of school 4 times due to UC) and I met my husband becuase I got help.

I am a girl but I hope this helps...

Good luck!
Kelly, 30, suburbs of Chicago, IL

Left sided UC diagnosed 1/98 age 19, Pan colitis diagnosed 1/07
Currently on 4x3 Asacol, no more pred after two years!!!! Off imuran as remicade is working!
Prontonix once daily for acid reflux, zofran 8mg every six hours for nausea
Remicade started 3/1/08...just had 4th infusion

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 1/27/2009 9:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you both for your thoughtful reply's. He has battled this disease for almost half his life. Somehow it seems the earlier years were easier. He had a 13 month flare that lasted his entire freshman year and both summers on either side. That was a trial for all of us. The he had a wonderful remission following that flare that was his longest ever. Had a mini flare back in October and is just beginning a flare now. It's in part the unknown - will this flare just last a week? a month? a year? longer? I think it is the lack of control. I think it is being a teenager and not wanting to have to deal with bodily functions when he is at school of with friends.

I think in part what is making this harder is he is the most social he has ever been. This past summer was his very first since the 1990's that he didn't flare. He got to travel and be "normal". This flare is reminding him that he is not. He has a new girlfriend - what will he tell her. Of course he doesn't open up much so I'm trying to guess what he is going through, but I do know he is suffering emotionally and it kills me!!

He is very intelligent. Has only gotten one B in his entire life (Trig and he barely missed the A). Got a 32 on his ACT without studying. Wants to be a physician, but will he be able to?

Any other therapy stories out there?

I appreciate you all taking the time to post

Mom of Son 17 UC dx 07/02, Sulfasalazine, Imuran, Cortafoam, folic acid, L. Reuteri, Culturelle, Zyrtec, Iron, Vit/Min

Daughter 9 UC dx 08/07 Colazal, 6MP, Iron, Vit/Min., Culturelle

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 5698
   Posted 1/27/2009 10:05 PM (GMT -6)   

I highly recommend that you talk with someone too.  It must be hard to watch your child suffer through the periods of flares.  I received excellent help when I was chronically ill through a psychologist.  I think talking with a psych or a counselor would benefit you too.  If he won't go or isn't interested in going you should proceed for  yourself.


dx proctitis in 1987
dx UC in 1991, was stable until 1998

1998 started prednisone, asacol, pentasa, nortriptylene, ativan, 6MP, rowasa enemas and suppositories, hydrocortisone enemas, tried the SCD diet, being a vegetarian, omega 3s, flax, pranic healing, yoga, acupuncture, probiotics

2000 lost all my B-12 stores and became anemic

2001 opted for j-pouch surgery- now living life med-free

UC Dude
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 438
   Posted 1/28/2009 6:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Tell him the "strength" of a man is between his ears and connected with his heart. It has nothing to do with muscles or macho.

UC, pain, suffering, the emotional journey, some great counseling on the way has helped shape me into a better "healthier" person than I was before.

In many ways therapy should be standard issue for a UC diagnosis.

If his car etc wasn't running right would he limp it along or take it to a mechanic? In my opinion, the meds etc (which I take also) are kind of like duct tape on the issue. Getting in touch with the cognitive side of things give a better chance for better overall outcomes.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 1/28/2009 4:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone. I definitely think I need help to know how to help him (and for my own depression at seeing him suffer).

We just returned from a routine blood draw for the Imuran and he got kind of teary eyed on the way home and I asked him, "physical pain or emotional"? and he said emotional. I told him it would make me feel better if he would be willing to talk to someone that could help and he said "no". I told him that because I care for him, if I see him sinking any lower that I will insist that he go. Is that the right thing. I love him so much and can bear to see him suffer physically and even worse to see him suffer emotionally!!

This is such a hard thing.!! We can't get into see the doctor untill 2/10 unless someone cancels - is this average for you all? I've upped his sulfasalazine to the level the doctor had increased him to for his mini flare in October. Added back the cortafoam that had been dropped when he went back into remission (he abhors rectal meds!!!). Added Culturelle (he already take Primadopholus Reuteri).

I really hate this disease!!!

Mom of Son 17 UC dx 07/02, Sulfasalazine, Imuran, Cortafoam, folic acid, L. Reuteri, Culturelle, Zyrtec, Iron, Vit/Min

Daughter 9 UC dx 08/07 Colazal, 6MP, Iron, Vit/Min., Culturelle

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