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Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Mental Health Support » Crohns disease, depression, and anxiety. Is it real or are we making it up?


02-13-2016, 07:18 PM   #1
sunshinelover
 
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Crohns disease, depression, and anxiety. Is it real or are we making it up?

I'm sorry this is kind of long.

I'd love to know what everyone's view on this is. My best friend has depression and anxiety, another best friend has anxiety, one of my roommates has depression and her dad just passed away, and the other roommate has depression and anxiety.
I'm currently in my 4th year of remission for my crohns after emergency surgery for an intestinal obstruction. When I look back at the two years I was ill before my surgery, I can easily say that I struggled with depression and anxiety. I felt more alone than I ever knew I could, I lost all my friends, my family thought I had an eating disorder and was making up all the pain, I was in pain every minute of every day. I cried myself to sleep most nights, and didn't ever see a way that things could ever get better. I was completely miserable and scared because something was wrong with my body, but no one could figure out what it was. I was stuck. Stuck in this piece of hell that no one could see.

I get anxious very easily. Both while I was sick and now in remission. When I get anxious, it goes to my stomach. I quickly have stomach pain, nausea, and loose stools. My teachers have told me that I need to work on my anxiety, even my GI knows I get bad anxiety.

But I feel that because my friends and all the people around me have a diagnosis of depression or anxiety, that mine doesn't count. That mine was just fake. I can pinpoint almost everything that causes me anxiety: school, my friends, and my body (particularly my crohns). With Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which most of my friends have a diagnosis of or take medication for, they are unable to pinpoint exactly what the problem is. They just have a continuous overwhelming feeling of worry and anxiety. Does that make mine illegitimate?

Same with depression. I've struggled immensely with my body image/eating problems as a result of my crohns and was running down the path of an eating disorder that I was bringing onto myself because of how my crohns has twisted my view on food and my body. But I don't have an eating disorder and I never lost enough weight to be considered having an eating disorder. I just had all the horrible thoughts.
Again, does that mean that my experiences aren't valid? How can they not have been valid? My body was destroying itself for two years, was what I was going through really not severe enough to be considered depression or anxiety?

thanks for letting me vent... I just feel so frustrated because I feel like a fraud because my experiences feel so fake compared to theirs, but them I tell myself that I went through hell so how could they have been fake?
02-13-2016, 08:34 PM   #2
ronroush7
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I think your experiences are valid. I think a lit of us go through depression. Sending you support.
02-13-2016, 08:41 PM   #3
DJW
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Vent away.

The reality is anxiety and depression are VERY common with Crohn's disease.
Many of us battle it. There is treatment. My suggestion is to start with a referral to a psychiatrist and go from there.

Sending you my support.
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02-13-2016, 09:30 PM   #4
D Bergy
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Depression and anxiety can be caused by various things. I had depression for over thirty years. One week fine next week or two in the hole.

When I was diagnosed with Crohns, I did what I could to quell the inflammation. That was taking turmeric, ginger and Krill Oil.

I didn't notice it but my wife did notice I had not had depression in several months. Then it struck me that the only thing different was the supplements. Being quite curious as to the reason, I eliminated the supplements one by one. The result was that the Krill Oil was what made the difference in the depression.

That does not mean depression is always caused by the lack of omega 3, but in my case it was.

Inflammation in itself can cause depression. In another words depression can be a psychological response to a physiological condition.

Recently my younger brother, who has suffered with depression for many years decided to try my suggestion of trying Rhodiola Rhodesia and Krill or good quality Fish Oil. He told me he painted his entire house this summer. He said he would never have been able to accomplish that before. He said he will never go without those supplements again.

Again, that worked for him. My son who suffers from anxiety and depression tried this also. It helped with the depression but not the anxiety.

No such thing as one size fits all, but you can try some of these with your doctors knowledge first, and see if any help.

Dan
02-13-2016, 10:22 PM   #5
teeny5
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I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I was on Prilosec but have since come off the meds for that. I know I am a worrier and stress a lot naturally. When I was flaring being in pain all day was just too much and the meds helped. I know that chronic pain can cause depression as well.

Don't feel weird about how you feel. You know how you feel and that is valid. I always thought taking meds was unnecessary, but Crohn's has since changed my opinion. The pain can be so unbearable that I know (for me) the meds are necessary just to keep myself sane.

Everyone's experience is different and chronic pain is no joke. I find myself to be one who minimizes the pain when describing to others....I know others who exaggerate everything. You just never know. It is very subjective, but you should never have to prove it to anyone else.

One personal example I have struggled with is my current job is more physical than I can handle. I have pushed and pushed to change areas. It is happening on Monday, but I get very self conscious that because I do not "look sick" they think I am exaggerating. I have to know that I know what is right for me and can't worry about others. My health is more important than whether or not my coworkers think I'm melodramatic.

Even when flaring badly I felt like "am I over-exaggerating?" Looking back...I was actually very, very sick. Only weighing about 85lbs with a pulse around 125. My GI and parents have since told me they were very concerned I would need to be hospitalized and fed through a tube. The whole time I felt like I didn't feel good, but never thought I was THAT sick.

My point is, this disease is a tough one. You know how you feel and screw everyone else who doesn't believe you, or give you support. I hope you feel better soon.
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02-15-2016, 01:21 PM   #6
pb
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Don't waste your time worrying what others think! People of all walks of life have depression and everyone's depression varies....of course no one in their right mind would want to be depressed, it just happens to those of us that are vulnerable to it. There are so many people that live years with health issues or whatever causes them issues but not everyone gets depressed, some do and it's not anyone's business as to who qualifies to be depressed and who doesn't, it doesn't work that way....there are so many people that have great fulfilling lives and everything going right for them and they also suffer with depression, you don't even need a reason to become depressed, depression is a mental health issue and sadly people tie a negative stigma to it (understandably but still sadly since it's often misunderstood) even people that are depressed get sick of feeling this way and just want it to stop but it just doesn't work that way unfortunately.

It's better to support (whether you're the depressed person or not) depressed people including yourself then it is to "compare" who's depression is warranted and who's isn't because like I said, no one in their right mind wants to be depressed, it happens to all kinds, even those with great lives.
02-15-2016, 04:12 PM   #7
Lizzie
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You're so right, pb, depression is depression regardless of the cause. I'd have thought, though, that other people who haven't suffered debilitating depression would be more understanding of those of us whose anxiety and depression are caused by physical illness rather than considering us to be less depressed than people who are afflicted by it for no obvious reason. So there's absolutely no reason for anyone to fear that they have a "lesser" form of depression (would be great if it was, actually, as that implies it would be easier to overcome, but sadly that's just not the case).
02-16-2016, 01:16 AM   #8
tots
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Anyone with a chronic disease would most likely suffer anxiety and depression.
These GI diseases make day to day living difficult. I know it does for me.

Lauren
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Waiting for the ok from my Ins company to restart Remicade. Will also start Imuron to get into remission!
I know it's out there somewhere and I WILL find it!


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Ok, my family Dr told me to cut down on the stress- a husband, 3 kids, and 3 dogs!
04-25-2016, 01:30 AM   #9
Ann Morgan
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Did I ask for Ulcerative Colitis ? NO !
Did I ask for anxiety? NO !
Did I ask for Major Depressive Disorder ? NO !

How can I explain to my family that I did not do anything to cause these "diseases" ? Really, would I CHOOSE to have diarrhea for almost 20 years. Would I CHOOSE to have a mental breakdown, lose my mind and end up in the hospital.

I agree with "pb", don't waste your time worrying what others think. I spend a considerable amount of my physical and mental energy trying to get my family members to understand me.......and I could be using my time and energy to help myself heal and to live the most functional life that I can.

Sunshinelover: What helped me was getting the proper Mental Health diagnosis. Without a proper diagnosis a person cannot receive the right treatment. Discuss your symptoms with a Psychiatrist. The right balance of medication and therapy could possibly help you feel happier and healthier, your mind AND your body.

Thanks for listening. :-)
04-25-2016, 01:48 PM   #10
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I could not agree with you more. I feel so strongly about the anxiety link with CD I sent an email to the admins asking if it should have its own topic. I did this within the month. I have identical issues with anxiety. Before I was diagnosed anytime I got anxious...it was right to the bathroom.
04-29-2016, 12:23 PM   #11
Bgatto
 
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I was wondering if anyone has tried long term one-on-one therapy with a psychiatrist without any medications and has had success with dealing with their anxiety and depression caused by IBD. I was thinking about starting, but it is very expensive even with tricare and want to know if it's worth the cost? I'm really hesitant to add any more medications to the mix at this point. I already feel like I'm gonna die young from pumping so many steroids and immunosuppressive drugs through my body.
04-29-2016, 01:34 PM   #12
Jude1949
 
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When I was sick all the time with obstructions I would hyperventilate when I felt an attack coming on (Would start with cramping). Anxiety is real!! I didn't even know why I couldn't breath until the doctor told me it was anxiety and hyperventilation due to fear of what was going to happen. (Throwing up all night and doubled up in pain)
04-30-2016, 11:48 PM   #13
tots
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Bgatto-

I thought of seeing a therapist for the anxiety that preceeds an attacks and finally came to a decision. No amount of talking was going to change my bodies response to the on coming attack I could feel coming on. My body knows whats starting before "I" do. I just try and ride it out the best I can.


Lauren
05-02-2016, 01:20 AM   #14
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The mind is a powerful thing. I use to purposely imagine pacman eating everything bad inside me. I haven't been sick like that for 20 years.
08-14-2016, 06:37 PM   #15
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Hi, I was diagnosed with Crohn's almost two years ago after two years of diarrhea and pain but no health insurance. Colonoscopy and MRI showed issues in 8 inches of small intestines and terminal ileum. Went on Cimzia for 8 months, not at all helpful. Had a lot of abdominal pain. I have tried various things, pro-biotics always made the pain worse. Anything that slows down the running makes things worse. Now I make tea from fresh ginger (peel and slice a big chunk, steep in hot water) with honey. Miraculously, without the slightest doubt, it has alleviated the pain, I don't even have much pain when I push hard on my abdomen. But, I still have diarrhea, a lot, like at least 5 times a day, no solid BMs, ever. And I still have bad canker sores. And, germaine to this forum subject, I still have depression and anxiety. The ginger has not helped those things. I will add the fish oil per the discussion here and see how that works.
Best to all,
Ruth
08-14-2016, 06:40 PM   #16
ronroush7
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Hi, I was diagnosed with Crohn's almost two years ago after two years of diarrhea and pain but no health insurance. Colonoscopy and MRI showed issues in 8 inches of small intestines and terminal ileum. Went on Cimzia for 8 months, not at all helpful. Had a lot of abdominal pain. I have tried various things, pro-biotics always made the pain worse. Anything that slows down the running makes things worse. Now I make tea from fresh ginger (peel and slice a big chunk, steep in hot water) with honey. Miraculously, without the slightest doubt, it has alleviated the pain, I don't even have much pain when I push hard on my abdomen. But, I still have diarrhea, a lot, like at least 5 times a day, no solid BMs, ever. And I still have bad canker sores. And, germaine to this forum subject, I still have depression and anxiety. The ginger has not helped those things. I will add the fish oil per the discussion here and see how that works.
Best to all,
Ruth
What does your doctor say? I hope you get relief soon.

08-14-2016, 07:26 PM   #17
Ruthie
 
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Hi, I haven't been to my G.I. since last summer. She gave me some steroids that I found I could not take without bad dreams and agitation.
I am going to my GP next week. He has recommended remedies such as metamucil and pro-biotics and I really appreciate his concern - and yours.
08-15-2016, 08:15 AM   #18
Jude1949
 
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I have been on Humira Pen.. Lomotil will help the Diarrhea
09-08-2016, 04:18 PM   #19
Red Rabbit
 
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Crohns, anxiety and depression. They are all best friends!
I am only sane because of the anti depressant I take. I tried for a while without it because I'd rather not take pills but I realised that my Crohns was a major factor for depression and anxiety. My depression got so bad that, no word of a lie, I would not be here if I hadn't started my anti depressants again.
A friend was talking to me about a friend he lost by suicide. He went through all the details and all i could think was how compelled I felt to do the same. Never told anyone. I just went to the dr. Now all that awful feeling has long gone and I am in a better place.
09-09-2016, 01:41 AM   #20
Jude1949
 
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So glad you are feeling better. I know the feeling, sometimes it can make you so sick and it's so painful that it really makes you feel like you don't want to go through it again...
09-09-2016, 02:10 PM   #21
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Sunshinelover, you have VERY legitimate reasons why you are suffering from anxiety and depression. Maybe more so that some people around you. People do not understand just how awful the pain and suffering of crohns can be physically and mentally. I find myself educating the cynical people about it and even moved jobs to get away from some very narrow minded people.

It's very tough and it's important that you try and get whatever help you can. You have to put yourself first and know and respect your own opinion regardless of others. There is lots of help out there and talking about here is a bold and positive step. I believe mental health is at the core of good physical health as well. As others here have said, the mind is a powerful thing. I know that I can overcome a lot of pain through mental relaxation. Sounds a bit new age!

Be positive and keep reaching out.
09-09-2016, 02:11 PM   #22
ronroush7
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Sunshinelover, you have VERY legitimate reasons why you are suffering from anxiety and depression. Maybe more so that some people around you. People do not understand just how awful the pain and suffering of crohns can be physically and mentally. I find myself educating the cynical people about it and even moved jobs to get away from some very narrow minded people.

It's very tough and it's important that you try and get whatever help you can. You have to put yourself first and know and respect your own opinion regardless of others. There is lots of help out there and talking about here is a bold and positive step. I believe mental health is at the core of good physical health as well. As others here have said, the mind is a powerful thing. I know that I can overcome a lot of pain through mental relaxation. Sounds a bit new age!

Be positive and keep reaching out.
Agree

09-30-2016, 05:02 AM   #23
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Agreed as well. Diagnosis or not, anxiety and depression are part and parcel of the disease, whether in a flare up or just feeling bad.
It is natural for us to feel alone at times and to feel misunderstood - the disease is internal, after all.
10-02-2016, 02:44 PM   #24
aypues
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I have had depression pretty bad before. not sure if it was situational or Crohn's made it that much worse. I got on Wellbutrin which really, really helped. So much so I won't even try getting off again. Been on it 20 years! I just feel like a normal person on it.

I do know that if I start experiencing Crohn's pain it makes me anxiety ridden...just having it makes me afraid it wont go away. A friend told me to meditate which really pissed me off. I was like WTF is meditation going to do for my immune system attacking my gut?!? As soon as my Remicade started working and the pain stopped the anxiety disappeared.
10-03-2016, 02:05 PM   #25
MissLeopard83
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I have had depression pretty bad before. not sure if it was situational or Crohn's made it that much worse. I got on Wellbutrin which really, really helped. So much so I won't even try getting off again. Been on it 20 years! I just feel like a normal person on it.

I do know that if I start experiencing Crohn's pain it makes me anxiety ridden...just having it makes me afraid it wont go away. A friend told me to meditate which really pissed me off. I was like WTF is meditation going to do for my immune system attacking my gut?!? As soon as my Remicade started working and the pain stopped the anxiety disappeared.
Wellbutrin has been a LIFESAVER for me in so many ways. Before I got on it (and stayed on it continuously), I was failing school and life. Now, I'm successful and much more happy. Nothing else worked long term besides CBT and Wellbutrin (and Ativan PRN). It's a great drug.
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10-03-2016, 08:27 PM   #26
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I have the same anxiety symptoms as you! It's real! Even when I'm not "worried" about anything, I can have full blown panic attacks. Shivering, hyperventilating, feeling of impending doom... It's the worst feeling ever. I found taking Magnesium supplements daily help more than anything else I've tried. I also take daily turmeric, and with probiotics, those 3 supplements keep me in remission and anxiety free.
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01-08-2017, 08:15 PM   #27
LittleOrphanTristannie
 
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I'm sorry this is kind of long.

I'd love to know what everyone's view on this is. My best friend has depression and anxiety, another best friend has anxiety, one of my roommates has depression and her dad just passed away, and the other roommate has depression and anxiety.
I'm currently in my 4th year of remission for my crohns after emergency surgery for an intestinal obstruction. When I look back at the two years I was ill before my surgery, I can easily say that I struggled with depression and anxiety. I felt more alone than I ever knew I could, I lost all my friends, my family thought I had an eating disorder and was making up all the pain, I was in pain every minute of every day. I cried myself to sleep most nights, and didn't ever see a way that things could ever get better. I was completely miserable and scared because something was wrong with my body, but no one could figure out what it was. I was stuck. Stuck in this piece of hell that no one could see.

I get anxious very easily. Both while I was sick and now in remission. When I get anxious, it goes to my stomach. I quickly have stomach pain, nausea, and loose stools. My teachers have told me that I need to work on my anxiety, even my GI knows I get bad anxiety.

But I feel that because my friends and all the people around me have a diagnosis of depression or anxiety, that mine doesn't count. That mine was just fake. I can pinpoint almost everything that causes me anxiety: school, my friends, and my body (particularly my crohns). With Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which most of my friends have a diagnosis of or take medication for, they are unable to pinpoint exactly what the problem is. They just have a continuous overwhelming feeling of worry and anxiety. Does that make mine illegitimate?

Same with depression. I've struggled immensely with my body image/eating problems as a result of my crohns and was running down the path of an eating disorder that I was bringing onto myself because of how my crohns has twisted my view on food and my body. But I don't have an eating disorder and I never lost enough weight to be considered having an eating disorder. I just had all the horrible thoughts.
Again, does that mean that my experiences aren't valid? How can they not have been valid? My body was destroying itself for two years, was what I was going through really not severe enough to be considered depression or anxiety?

thanks for letting me vent... I just feel so frustrated because I feel like a fraud because my experiences feel so fake compared to theirs, but them I tell myself that I went through hell so how could they have been fake?
You have MORE reason than others for having depression and anxiety, since you have a painful and traumatic medical experience behind you, and the fear of reoccurring symptoms returning. We all feel what we feel, and each persons pain and suffering is real to them. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY has the right to question your emotional/mental state, and especially to minimize or compare your suffering to theirs. I hope you have managed to find the support and validation you deserve.
01-09-2017, 10:51 PM   #28
MizzSarah
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I was an anxious child but that heightened when I became ill. My whole journey to diagnosis was pretty traumatic--which I think plays into my anxiety now.

I worry so much that I sometimes question how I'm going to function when I'm on my own... the bad news mail. The phone calls. Health insurance--I literally received a note in the mail today saying they might not cover my very expensive injections.

I'm a ball of worries. How I'll function in a few years--I don't know.
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01-09-2017, 11:25 PM   #29
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Just because you may not have a clinical anxiety or depression disorder/diagnosis does not mean your feelings and struggles aren't valid. These issues relate to the very real circumstances of your life, not at all fake. They also can contribute to your disease unfortunately, so it's really important to take them seriously and treat your mental health as you would your physical health. Psychiatric medication isn't for everyone but personally taking a small dose of antidepressants (Lexapro) daily and seeing a therapist has helped me cope with the anxiety, fear, uncertainty, and lack of energy/motivation I was having in relation to my disease (as well as some other stuff going on in my life).
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Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Mental Health Support » Crohns disease, depression, and anxiety. Is it real or are we making it up?
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