Crohn’s Disease Health: Mental Effects

Crohn’s Disease Health: Mental Effects
Editor’s note: In this series, “Crohn’s Disease Health,” Mary Horsley writes about mental and physical health in relation to IBD, and how unreliable it can be. In the last of three columns, she focuses on the mental health nature of Crohn’s disease. Find part one here and part two here. It’s more than frustrating making and breaking plans,

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9 comments

  1. Angela Powers says:

    Hi, it broke my heart seeing that pic of you upset. I have Crohn’s disease and I felt your pain when I looked at you. What a brilliant thing your doing sharing your journey. Keep up the great work your doing. Everything happens for a reason I believe and so maybe part of your journey it to help others with there’s. God bless you and I hope along with all other IBD sufferers that one day they do find a cure xx

    • Mary Horsley says:

      I am thankful that my sharing can help others, even just a little. I know finding information, real information beyond the scientific paperwork, can be difficult to find. I hope you have found some relief, and YES! Let’s hope for a cure sooner than later! Thank you for reading and reaching out, it means so much. 🙂

  2. Jenifer Lavigne says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences I definitely relate to a lot of what you are going through. Too many times I feel alone and misunderstood with Crohn’s and that’s even by doctors when I have to go to the ER. I have such anxiety when I am in pain I fight and fight till I can’t anymore to not have to go to the ER because I feel I put too much stress on my husband, kids and rest of the family even though they say I don’t and just worry about getting better I can’t because I see the scared looks of my children and stress in my families eyes every time I go in and it kills me to see it every time and can’t help but feel a lot that it’s my fault they have the stress in their lives. I feel like I take away from my daughters childhood a little because they are always worried if mommy is ok and always asking how I’m feeling. They shouldn’t have to stress over mommy if I am going to be ok or not that is what I am suppose to do for them and I just feel it’s not fair. My mother has Crohn’s also and I know what my kids are worried about and feeling every time I get sick because I did with my mom when I was a child and I still worry about her till this day probably more than I worry about myself. My mother is the strongest person I know and Crohn’s had dealt her a lot of hard times and she gets through them even when we think she isn’t going to. My wish for me is I can be half as strong as my mother because she is definitely my hero and I love her so very much.

    • Mary Horsley says:

      Thank you so much for reading and reaching out. I am sorry to hear that you can relate and that you and family members have Crohn’s disease. I wish it on no one I too have felt alone and misunderstood when I go to the ER, they look at you as if you’re a leper or a drug seeker, and when your labs and everything come back normal they are quick to judge and not understand that our battle is on the inside. You are strong and you have a lot to deal with. Hugs to you my fellow Warrior!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m 28 years old and I have had Crohn’s for 6 years. I’ve been incredibly blessed that my disease is very mild, and I’ve had little to no symptoms for the last 5 years.

    But the anxiety and depression is absolutely killing me. I’ve struggled with it every single day since I started having the first symptoms of Crohn’s. I often go to bed and pray that I could have one day where I could switch, and have severe physical symptoms of Crohn’s, but no mental illness. Maybe that sounds awful, but I’d do anything for just a day’s break from the rumination, the worry, the panic, and the hyper-vigilance.

    I absolutely broke down into tears when I saw the 2 pictures of you having a bad day. It just hit me so hard because I’ve been there countless times; I know that face, I know that feeling.

    I’m amazed at your courage to talk so openly about not only your journey with Crohn’s, but with mental health as well. It really is inspirational to me! I only “went public” about my Crohn’s diagnosis last year (only about 3 people knew prior), and while it was difficult, it’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done.

    I would love one day to be so open about my battle with anxiety and depression, but it’s so much harder when it comes to mental illness. There’s a stigma, people don’t know how to react, when in reality it should be no more embarrassing than breaking your arm.

    Keep up the amazing work with your articles, I love them so much!

    • Mary Horsley says:

      Hello anonymous, I am so sorry to see that you can understand my pain. Too often people think Crohn’s is just a bathroom disease, but it is so much more than that. It really does take its toll on our bodies and our minds. I am so sorry that my photos hit you hard, those were truly bad days for me and days that I just couldn’t deal. Sometimes we have to have a breakdown, we can’t hold it in forever. I absolutely hope one day you can share your journey, I am always available to talk if you’d like to chat. You can always find me on Facebook or other social medias if you’d rather talk privately. Thank you so so so much for reading. It does mean a lot to me!!

  4. Kari Knapp says:

    Mary…thank you for sharing this. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s at age 15. The anxiety, depression, PTSD, fatigue are all things I’ve struggled with. I feel less alone when coming across stories like yours. It’s hard to put into words what this disease can do to a person. I know it has taken quite a toll on me but I try to stay positive and reading stories like yours helps so thank you for that ❤️.

  5. Roy Hodgens says:

    I am a retired police detective. For 29 of my 32 year career I worked a second full time job with another one day a week, 10 hour job, so without any off duty court time, I worked a minimum of 90 hours a week.

    Poor eating habits, much too much coffee and I smoked (a lot). I began having lower abdominal pain and after seeing several different physicians was finally referred to a gastroenterologist.

    He determined I was suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease. He demanded I cease smoking, reduce the coffee intake drastically, eat much more healthy and reduce my work load. He prescribed several medications.

    I did find some relief, by kept having reoccurring flare ups.
    I was teaching an Accident Investigation Class at a local University and one of the students was a reserve police officer, who was also a physician.

    During a lunch time conversation I mentioned I was having a I.B.D. flare up. He asked if I had ever tried slippery elm bark powder. He told me it has been found to be very helpful for I.B.D.and was a old Native American cure-all. He also told me to use the very fine powder like a tea, adding boiling water to a tablespoon of the powder, allowing it to dissolve and drinking it three times a day, desirably 30 minutes after a meal.

    I tried it thinking this will never help and to my surprise IT WORKED WELL. At the first indication of a flare up, I would begin the tea regiment and within a day, two at the most all the pain was gone. Shortly after several flare ups I found that Slippery Elm Bark Powder is available in capsule form and tried these and it also helped immensely and it is much easier than drinking the thick mucilage tea.

    I can only say try it, it worked for me and has continued working for the 35 years I have used it.

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