Want to learn about the connection between Crohn’s disease and mental health? Well, you’re in the right place.
And it would be easy to say that they are linked, and that’s that. But we wanted to get under the skin with this question and cover it in-depth.
In this article, we will cover the three main mental health Crohn’s side effects, and how you can manage them.
Keep reading to learn more.
Unfortunately, it’s common to experience depression or the remnants of it when somebody is suffering from Crohn’s disease. Depression can make someone feel hopeless, exhausted, helpless. It can also make daily life difficult, tasks might seem to be insurmountable.
And it gets worse if left untreated. It is encouraged that one should not only assess the physical symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, but also the direct emotional symptoms associated with the former.
If you experience five or more of the following symptoms over a period of longer than two weeks, you should seek an evaluation from a certified specialist.
Symptoms to watch out for include:
- Feelings of negativity
- Feelings of guilt, helplessness
- Persistence in anxious, sad mood
- Decreased energy
- Difficulty remembering or concentrating
- Early-morning awakening
- Appetite change
- Weight loss/gain
- Irritability or restlessness
And of course, many of these symptoms do go hand-in-hand with a variety of conditions, but it’s still probably a good idea to get in touch with someone who can do a better job at examining your current state of mind.
How to Manage Depression?
When it comes to dealing with negative feelings while you are being treated for a mental health issue, you have to remember that feeling better takes time, and that mood will improve gradually, not instantly.
Here are some things you can do to deal with depression:
- Set realistic goals, be responsible, but don’t burn out
- Set priorities, break big tasks into small tasks
- Spend time with other people, happy and positive people
- Participate in activities, such as exercise, social events, etc
- Postpone major decisions until the depression is gone (job changes, marriage, divorce, etc)
- Don’t lust for the outcome, enjoy the journey day by day
- Ask for help from friends and family
- Positive thinking always abolishes negative patterns
These are just some of the ways that you can expedite the process of lifting your Crohn’s induced depression. However, an expert who specializes in these issues will always be a better option.
Crohn’s Side Effects of Anxiety
Another one of the common mental Crohn’s side effects is anxiety. It consists of nervousness, worry, panic. When it becomes excessive, it can interfere with daily life.
If you are bothered with these symptoms for several days at a time in the past two weeks, and they have prevented you from working, maintaining relationships — then you should consider speaking to a specialist who can help resolve this issue at hand.
- Feeling on edge/anxious
- Not able to stop worrying
- Worrying too much about many things
- Annoyed easily
- Afraid that something awful will happen
- Not easy to relax
These are some of the most common symptoms, and they are pretty easy to notice. So if you suspect you might be under this category, get in touch with someone who can assist you in your recovery from Crohn’s induced anxiety.
How to Manage Anxiety?
It’s common to feel worried and stressed about your Crohn’s disease, but if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle then you must reduce the stress, reduce the anxiety.
There are many ways to do this, but you can try:
- Relaxation techniques
- Breathing exercises
- Flowing exercise, such as Tai Chi or Yoga
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Support groups
- Books and guided imagery
- Social activity
- Active hobbies and passions
As you can see, all of these options can contribute greatly to the alleviation of anxiety. However, for maximum efficacy results, you should stack multiple of them together.
Finally, it’s natural that one experiences stress, as a cause of Crohn’s disease. As it is a normal hormonal response to any situation of grandeur. The release is known as the flight or fight response. It’s responsible for physical reactions, such as perspiration, muscle tightening, increased heart rate, etc.
Keep in mind that not all stress is bad for you, everybody experiences it on some level, as they meet the demands of their daily life. Doses of good stress can help motivate you to be more creative, productive, to feel excited, and to avoid danger.
However, chronic exposure to stress, such as negative lifestyles or traumatic events can induce bad stress to one’s mental health. Bad stress can be caused by the issues of IBD, especially if you continuously worry about the impact of the disease on your daily life.
Here are some strategies that you can apply to help with stressors, which are not under your control.
- Accept the situation as it is
- Make use of social support, ask for help from friends/family
- Relax — don’t psyche yourself out
- Provide constructive self-critique
- Let it go, and keep going
- Be aware of nearby bathroom locations
- Carry extra toilet paper and moist wipes
Remember these solutions are not one-size-fits-all. If you want to overcome the challenges in your life, you have to apply your personal touch. You are the conduit, so react to life as you want it to be.
Cure for Crohn’s
Now that you know about the Crohn’s side effects on mental health, you can better address the issues at hand. Now you might think that there is no cure to Crohn’s, but we beg to differ.
Our entire website is dedicated to overcoming Crohn’s and building a greater life during and after treatment. Diet, live cultures, treatments, and a variety of other important things are covered in-depth on our website with lots of scientific back-ups.
If any of that sounds of interest to you, start by reading our text on the Cure for Crohn’s.