Feeling trapped! - Does therapy work?

Hi,

I'm 21 and have had IBS now for nearly 2 years however I am sure I had symptoms prior to this as I clearly remember the "stand out" problems happening many years ago!!

I work for family, so luckily don't have issues in regards to going to the toilet at work! However I barely go out anymore, and I mean...even food shopping (I get it all delivered to my home because even a short car journey scares the life out of me)

I have an amazingly supportive fiancé who has had the pleasure of pulling over to the roadside to allow me to "relive myself" many times now. - Luckily, we are very open!

Unfortunately, we rarely go anywhere together these days as even the shortest car journey worries me so much and I know that worrying about it brings on my tummy problems more, but I can't help but think about it. I even carry a plastic bowl (for the sink), many... many rolls of toilet paper & puppy training pads (AS RIDICULOUS AS THIS SOUNDS) but I absolutely do NOT want to be caught short, so I am prepared!

It makes me miss out on a lot of things. My fiancé & I used to go to the beach almost every week (which is about an hours journey from where we live) but I don't even remember the last time we went :( I don't want him to miss out on doing things because of me. It makes me feel very guilty and I'm sure he must secretly get fed up of my constantly worrying & going on about it. I even missed my sisters hen party because it was a couple of hours away and I was too afraid of travel issues / going out etc.

I know that it is very much a mental thing for me now, I am wondering if anyone else has the same problem? It's not so much that I am having really bad symptoms anymore (although it still happens occasionally) but I know its mostly in my head now and as soon as I begin to think about it, I can amost instantly feel my tummy start moving and "gargling" away.

I am planning to go to the doctors and see if they can suggest any sort of therapy for this. Has anyone had any luck with therapy if they have a similar issue?

L x

P.s. Sorry for rambling - Actually feels good to get it off my chest though!

11 Replies

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  • If you managed to get to the beach originally something has caused your anxiety to stem from then it seems. Talk to your gp and explain what has happened and see if he would think something to calm your anxiety would be in order.

  • I suffer with anxiety and panic attacks as well as ibs which unfortunatly don't help each other! I found going to the doctors and just telling them felt like a massive weight lifted I had the details to arrange therapy, but I was recommended to try the Linden method by a family member. It's a home course with DVDs and a book, and it really helped me.

    The more you worry about it happening the more likely it will as you are creating stresss for yourself, it's a horrible circle.

    It's a horrible position to be in you just need to break the cycle :)! X

  • Thanks for replying to my post! I will take a look at the Linden method and see if it could help me out :)

    Thanks again for replying x

  • You need to take Imodium when going out .

    Simple as that

    I have urge incontance due to my bowel disorder ulcerative colitis and have soiled myself 3 times in the past month's

    I think I have said feck it and it's not stopping me going out

    I take 1 Imodium before leaving the house maybe 2 if I am going out for long , but please consult your doctor or specialist

    You have to go out and mentally fight this.

    The Imodium has stop the incontance and I am out and about so I am winning the fight

    Good luck and text back

  • Counselling and CBT will help break the cycle. Also check that your on the right meds etc do you follow FODMAP etc? Agree that Imodium can help and give you a break and peace of mind to go out but then you can't rely on it forever either. Good luck xx

  • Hi, thanks for your response. I have followed FODMAP previously and still continue to avoid the main triggers eg garlic, onions and I also just have lacto free milk now too so I am aware of some of my main triggers and avoid those but I do not do the FODMAP diet as strictly as I should to be honest!

    I did have some tables for IBS which I was meant to take 1 20 mins before eating at each of the 3 meals a day however when taking these tables, my eyes went really puffy and looked droopy so my doctor told me to stop taking them.

    The Imodium is probably a good temporary fix as it seems to work for a lot of people and I suppose it would make my mind calm down a bit too but I get that its not an ideal long term fix.

    Doctors appointment booked for this afternoon - lets see what they come up with!!

    Thanks again for your reply :) x

  • Good luck with docs!

  • I take loperomide which is in imoduim when i have the runs throu my ibs but id i take them before leaving house they give me the runs . I hate my life ! I hate mornings they are the worst .

  • I really feel for you and can fully understand why you are anxious. Although I count myself as lucky, not to have IBS, but to have IBS C rather than D so I can go out without any problem. My problem is I get nausea now on occasions i.e. usually amounting to around 1 day a week, I never used to get it before, and I suffer with Emetophobia which is a fear of being sick; worrying about people being sick around you and also worrying about your loved ones getting a stomach bug which in turn you worry about picking it up.

    I have become worse with this phobia since December last year when I actually had a stomach bug - I rarely get them as the last one I had before that was back in 1977!! I don't think my immunity is so good as I have had to cut down on vegetables as there are quite a few i.e. broccoli that no longer agree with me.

    Re anxiety - I have been reading reviews about a book from a programme called 'The Thrive Programme' but I was a little sceptical as some of the reviews, a minute amount, said that they thought the reviews were from people that worked for the company as they were too good to be true - I therefore kept this on the backburner so to speak. But after reading a post from someone on here that also suffered with Emetophobia and had followed the programme and it worked, I thought I would re-look at it. I download a paper on it, read that through and then ordered the book yesterday so I am waiting for it to arrive.

    What I am saying here is anxiety can be cured with therapy.

    I wish you all the very best as IBS is bad enough in itself but to have anxiety on top makes it so much worse.

    Best of luck and hope you feel better very soon.

    :)x

  • Our bodies and minds do their best to protect us from what they perceive as threats. But sometimes we can learn to associate certain triggers as threats, whether the threat is real or not, based one experiences we have had.

    It is possible that the sheer worry of having "an accident" and spoiling something can be cramping your bowels and causing diarrhea.

    You can rewire these associations over time by creating positive new experiences and associations. But hypnotherapy, for example, can get to triggers that are more difficult to access.

  • I completely understand this. It's a horrible circle where you know your condition and you know that if you don't worry about it its not that bad? But the minute you have something big going on there you go. All you worries concentrated in your tummy and all your thoughts focusing on potential catastrophes. And then the guilt for being scared... I got married not that long ago and I'm telling you, the toilet was a recurrent and dreaded thought up until the party started and then, the nerves were over...

    Its hard but you can control your thoughts! Thoughts are not facts so do not let the fear win, it's only your old brain panicking but just say to yourself there is nothing to fear! Work the neo cortex with lots of positive and rational thoughts. What's the worse that can happen? You can be prepared for that so... You can be in control if you plan your trips out carefully. Personally I take my tablets when I feel a bit weak but I try to go out without them when I feel strong to fight whatever the day brings (so to me the psychological factor is super strong). I do CBT and zen meditation and tbh, as bad as it is, this has helped me know myself better and lead a better life (valuing things more and relativizing etc). Just work on it bit by bit, be gentle with yourself, allow for setbacks but push yourself out a little bit every day. In my experience there is not a better method than good planning, short term goals and motivation to live the life I want! 🙌 good luck!

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