Depression Anxiety & Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Medically reviewed by: Gary H. Hoffman, MD

During treatment for IBD in Beverly Hills, learn how to cope with the psychiatric concerns that often accompany the condition

Depression, Anxiety and IBD in Beverly Hills

Dealing with a chronic condition like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in Beverly Hills can affect your mind just as it does your body. When IBD symptoms cause constant discomfort, or when another bad flare-up occurs when we believe ourselves to be getting better, it can take a dramatic toll on our mood and behavior.

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In one study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, researchers found that those suffering from IBD were more likely to also be suffering from major depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder. Other studies have shown that those who deal with chronic pain have three times the chance of developing psychiatric symptoms, while those psychiatric symptoms also make sufferers three times more likely to suffer from chronic pain.

IBD coupled with anxiety or depression can lead to a vicious cycle that makes both conditions more difficult to address. Because our brains and bellies are so intertwined, it helps to have strategies that help you maintain a positive outlook during treatment for IBD in Beverly Hills.

Remember: if a psychiatric issue becomes overwhelming, it’s important to seek the help of a mental health professional. However, these tips can help you avoid depression and anxiety as you cope with IBD:

  • Don’t withdraw from friends and family. IBD can be an isolating illness, especially when constant symptoms make it difficult to leave the house without worry. Yet being around others can be a big help in alleviating feelings of depression, and sharing your experiences with supportive loved ones can give you the push you need to make it through difficult times. Though you may feel unable to handle social situations, avoiding them deliberately will only make things worse—don’t force yourself into an uncomfortable scenario, but make sure you have people to support you and buoy your spirits as you deal with this difficult illness.
  • Try to relax. When the debilitating symptoms of IBD cause you to miss work or neglect other responsibilities, it can make every second feel like a rush to catch up. If you don’t take the time to relax and care for your body, it can make the whole ordeal overwhelming. Nurture your health by getting eight hours of sleep every night and experimenting with different methods of stress relief and relaxation. Techniques like yoga, deep breathing and meditation can be incredibly useful. You should also do your best to engage in activities you enjoy—fun hobbies like music, sports and art can help you stay positive, as can visiting places you love.

Though psychiatric conditions and IBD are hard enough to handle on their own, they pose unique challenges when combined. For more tips on dealing with issues like anxiety and depression during treatment for IBD in Beverly Hills, talk to your colorectal specialist.

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