I was asked how I deal with the mental side of having Ulcerative Colitis

I struggled a lot to begin with because I didn’t really know what this disease was and how best to deal the symptoms. I was on and off loads of different meds and nothing really worked, and I felt I was slowly getting worse (because I was). And I wouldn’t have survived through it if it hadn’t been for the amazing support my partner has given me. He was there with me when my symptoms became enough to go to the doctor, when I got my diagnosis, through my first A&E visit and subsequent hospital stay, he even did his own research about my condition and has always been there for me. Not once has he not been there. He is my rock. I think that, above all else, has helped me deal with this disease. I also have an amazing IBD team at the hospital who have taken amazing care of me the last three years too.

I did take a bit of a hit after my first surgery and I ended up going to see a psychiatrist. At first, she wasn’t convinced that I needed to be there but once I started opening up, she helped me get through my jumbled thoughts and feelings. I started keeping a diary of all the instanced where things had become too much and I had disassociated or had dark thoughts and I felt a small wave of relief when I started to put those thoughts down on paper. No one reads it, it will forever remain private, but I know it’s there. It’s my “lockbox” for all those negative feelings.

I think the best thing to do is talk to someone. I went to therapy because I knew a trained stranger would know what questions to ask and how best to probe the answers from me in order to help without doing more damage. That’s not for everyone though, so it’s important to find the right person to talk to.

We go through the stages of grief when we are chronically ill because we mourn the life we had before we were ill. It’s also important to let that run it’s course.

Thank you HaveYouHeardOfSarcasm on Tumblr for asking this.

One thought on “I was asked how I deal with the mental side of having Ulcerative Colitis

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