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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay,I am trying very hard not to fall into a deep depression episode (like the one I had last week/weekend).I am trying to be positive, calm and trying my damndest not to think about the pains that keep stabbing me in the back and in my side. I'm trying to brush them off thinking that they are from having anxiety induced IBS and from being overweight.I'm trying so hard right now not to fall off my two-day UP cycle. I am taking my doxepine before bed, eating ok and sleeping at least 9 hours each night.I am trying to reassure myself that the reason I have pain is because I suffer from IBS and from being overweight but the little devil inside my head tells me I have something sinnister. URGH, trying to fight him off and the more I fight w/ him the more my anxiety levels increase and I can begin to feel even more pain. This is a never-ending cycle. It's ridiculous. For maybe a day or two I will have "ok" days and then boom the devil is back to make my life a living hell.I am not a hypochondriac...I don't run to the doctor over every little ache and pain. However, I do have Generalized Anxiety Disorder because I get anxiety about health concerns. I do not run up insurance premiums to see the doctor over and over and over again. Then again, I think I am on the edge of becomming a hypochondriac.Can somebody please tell me if I am or if you experience the same type of anxiety?Symptomsa.)If I get an ache (especially under the right or left rib cage (Upper GI area) I cannot quit obsessing about it. I will look for hours on the internet to see what it is. I went to the doctor a few times and had some test ran but they came up negative.b.)Eventhough I've had tests ran I still don't think it's nothing so my anxiety and fears make me have IBS. IBS is horrible...gas, cramps, diahrrea, fatigue, weakness, back pain, acid refulx, etc.c.)Then I have depression because I'm convinced I'm dying.d.)I then will have this depression for at least two to three days. During this depression I can barely move and I have all kinds of weird pains.e.)Then something will turn around and I will have a couple of "ok" days and then the cycle starts all over again.I am at my witts end. Could I have anxiety, IBS and depression. Does gas really get trapped below your rib cage? I sometimes wonder if I have mood swings....that's what they feel like anyway. It's so hard to deal w/ this.I am seeing a therapist on June 7th. I am looking for some relief mentally and physically.Can being overweight and sitting at a PC all day working cause aches and pains in the back and sides?HELP!
 

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Chris, I think that the therapist appointment is the right idea.If you do indeed have an anxiety disorder, it can cause havoc on your body and can cause alot (if not all) of the physical symptoms you describe.It also sounds like your depression stems from exhaustion, frustration, and fear. Again, I think a visit to a therapist would be a great idea. Hopefully you have found a good one, and one that understands anxiety disorders (and how they can cause/contribute to the physical symptoms you're experiencing).Not really my business, but do you take any medications? Your therapist probably won't be able to prescribe you anything, but you could get their opinion and go to the doctor.If you're feeling greatly depressed, then I think that is what you should treat first. You may need an anti-depressant (which will also help your anxiety) to get yourself out of the place you currently are, and so that you can get life back on track.Good luck.
 
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OK - for first off - you are not alone, nor are you nuts and you are trying to be proactive plus you've had all the tests - so what you are dealing with is IBS which, believe me, is made about 10 times worse by worrying - how do I know this - because, perhaps along-side you, I am the NO 1 hypochondriac. I do not suffer from depression but I have done and was on some god-awful medication for that about 20 years ago which led to obsessive fears of death and compulsive behaviours - ritual hand-washing etc etc studying my tongue, lying in the bath, convinced that my legs were shrinking - all of which cost me my career (which in retrospect did me a favour as I now have a law degree and a lovely job elsewhere)..I think, even though I'm still a terrible hypo - every time I do a poo I still neurotically search for blood etc - what keeps me sane, is keeping busy, going to work, running around after the kids (do you have family, difficult to obsess about death when you are running around after them!!! and I'm not being trite honest), walking my dog.I am not belitting your symptoms - I had a miserable w/e with cystitis (oh my god, could that be bladder cancer - and what, the bloody hell is that!!!).I think for guys like us the internet is best avoided, particularly in times of real, creeping fear.Good luck in your quest - you are not a nutter and you are NOT alone.All the bestSue, Manchester
 

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You are certainly not alone. It seems to be common among female IBS'ers. "Female patients with IBS are categorized into the general DSM-IV category of depressive disorder, their current psychiatric severity is high compared with that of women with chronic cholelithiasis, and patients with IBS are characterized by the psychiatric syndromes of general anxiety and hypochondriasis"http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...629&query_hl=14I think IBS is so trivialized because they can't find anything wrong with us that our minds and bodies cry out that there is something wrong with us. I think hypochondria is just a symptom of crying out that we need to be taken seriously. Atleast that was in my case. Chris you are afraid of dying and yet you want to commit suicide. That seems to be contradictory. Why not take the attitude that if I am going to die of a serious illness I will just let nature take its course and that I am not going to help by commiting suicide.Also if you hyperventilate during anxiety attacks, breathe into a paper bag. "The theory is that rebreathing into a paper bag will allow the person to replace the carbon dioxide "blown off" while hyperventilating."Wishing you luck with your appointment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It certainly does seem like a real drag. It also seem contradicory of me to want to commit suicide (that's what I can't figure out). It's just so stupid of me to think this way.I am currently on DOXEPINE for anxiety/depression (50 mg.) a night. I think it mainly helps with bad periods.Thank you guys so much for letting me voice my real aunthentic self.Chris
 

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I don't think it is stupid. Don't label yourself. But just change your tinking. Next time you feeel like commitig suicide say to yourself, " I feel like commiting suicide because I think I have a serious illness which I am dying of and it scares me that I will die. Do I really want to die?. I think not." Just change your thinking a step at a time. Maybe you need to really come to terms with the fear that you may be dying and that if nature is going to do the job for you by killing you why should you help it.
 

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Dear Chris,You should definitely stop looking up health information on the internet. I am somewhat of a hypochondriac and have called my sister (a nurse) or my dad (a hospital lab chemist) many times crying, because I had read about my symptoms on the internet and was certain I had some horrible disease. I have also had the experience of going to the doctor becuase I thought I was sick, but crying in the office and then feeling so much better, even though I did not get any diagnosis/medication. So my advice to you is, if you are feeling frustrated and scared (as IBSers often do), instead of looking for reassurance on the net, allow yourself to go in your room and cry. That will let out some of the stress. Once you get into therapy, you will find different ways to relieve the stress, but for now, that works. Or call someone. One book that really helped me (Worry, by Edward Hallowell), said that worry is magnified many times when you worry alone. This is SO true. If you let yourself sit on the couch worrying that you have a serious condition, it will build on itself until you are so scared that you can't leave the couch. But if you call or email someone about it and discuss it, you will feel better immediately.Good luck with therapy! You should also try a different antidpressant or a different dosage if it's not working for you.Vena
 

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hi you're definately not alone, i am exactly like you. be specific about the type of therapy you are going for, I am going to a specialist for cognitive behavioral therapy. the therapist is very well versed in all the symptoms and thought patterns that you have discussed.i too am obsessed with my health, my bowel movements, i have social anxiety etc... you should learn coping strategies to help you now and into the future.anxiety is very very closely related to physical symptoms. some ppl feel like vomiting, some ppl have the urge to pee alot, and myself well... my bowels tend to over evacuate.good luck with your therapy!
 

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I cannot believe how much reading this letter is like hearing the thoughts going on in my own head. I went through a major depression in college and have since had short episodes when I was feeling blue. I had a baby three years ago and had a very dramatic birth. She was delivered by c-section and I was given too much spinal anestesia. My lungs were paralyzed and I almost died on the table. I have since then experienced several episodes of what my physician believes to be IBS. My mother is a sufferer of both depression and IBS, so I feel it is a likely explanation. I got the flu last year and had an asthma attack that made it necessary to spend a week in the hospital. I have since had the same thoughts that you have. The periods of IBS come, and I feel as though I too, am a hypochondriac. I feel much the same way you do about visiting the doctor's office. I do not go unless I am very ill. I also lay in bed at night and feel each and every ache as though it will be my last. This leads me to believe that my major problem may really be depression causing the IBS to be worse. I do not fear dying myself, but I have two little girls and I cannot bear the thought of them growing up alone. Each time I get ill, I think this thought, and of course the vicious cycle begins again. I was soooo glad to read your e-mail that I have been writing through a barage of tears. I too am overweight and am constantly fighting this battle as well. I am 36 years old and would rather concentrate on something else. I have a very happy homelife and supportive and loving spouse. I want to feel better too. Stacey Syracuse NY
 

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Ditto that Stacey,I was doing a google search and came across this post. It was so much like my own thoughts I joined. I feel so happy I think I could cry -I've felt so alone with this battle. I've been fighting IBS for a while and the anxiety got worse when I graduated undergrad. I was recently given some medicine to help control my anxiety, except it worked the wrong way. It took me low, so low that I gave my 9mm to my parents and quit the medicine right away. It's left me so shaken though, that I'm seeking counseling in hopes to end the need for any medication.Others have mentioned staying active and I agree. (Sometimes I've been so bad that my poor dog probably wandered if we were ever going to stop the walk.) Something that worked wanders for me for a couple years was Tai Chi. The place had to close it's door's and it became hard to advance without instruction. But the breathing and concentration technics are far superior to the popular yogo. I've been looking around for some other (calming) activities but have been unsuccessful as of yet.Dee
 

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Are you a hypochondriac... I don't think so.. I read your post and felt a familiar pang in my gut. We could be twins! For the last five years I have had many episodes of phantom illnesses. I'll describe below... but yes - I personally believe that the body can manifest all anxiety, depression and suppressed feelings and gear it outward in REAL physical symptoms. I suppress my feelings. I had a HORRIBLE childhood and never really dealt with it. I have tons of INSECURITIES and constantly deal with depression, Generalized anxiety and I have a mild case of OCD. After years of suppressing feelings and worrying about EVERYTHING - It finally came to a head. Now I fear myself or someone I love dying EVERY DAY. I make the absolute worst of every situation. I can have a slight muscle ache and I turn it into Multiple Sclerosis... if I have fatigue, I turn it into HIV (although that is completely unrealistic), a headache is a definite brain turmo and if my knee hurts, I must have cancer and I must be dying - every day. I've never been suicidal, because of my faith, but if it weren't for my spiritual beliefs, I'd be long gone. It has ruined relationships and really slowed down my career development. I have a hard time focusing and cry for no reason. I'm depressed to a disabling point... but somehow I get on with my life. I'm sad that I've wasted all of this time worrying and not living and worried that I may spend the rest of my life worrying instead of living. I've isolated myself from most of the people I love. I finally went to a therapist and OH BOY did alot come out... I talked about things that I haven't thought about in 20 or more years. I talked about things I've never mentioned to anyone in my life. Although I walked out of the doctor's office still having stomach/poop issues... I can say that I feel better and I was able to tie my ailments to something. I will keep going no matter what the cost, as I think ultimately, this anxiety and fear will cost me my life. Someday I may *really* be sick and then what? Well, it happens to millions of people every day and somehow they deal with it. I hope your therapist session went well and I hope somehow you get the help you need. I hope we all get the help we need. If it makes you feel any better I have listed all of the REAL SYMPTOMS that have come from *phantom* illnesses. Note that I've gone through thorough testing for all of this... and everything comes back normal! Most of these were isolated and went on for weeks and weeks, sometimes months.*twitching (legs, arms, hands, eyes, face) to the point I'd call off of work.*shaking*stomach aches*Acid Reflux*Kidney Pain*upper and lower back pain*chest pains*HEADACHES to that point that I had MRIs and scans done.*Eye floaters and Light bursts*Earaches*Sore throat*fatigue*Hip Pain*Leg pain*Knee pain*butt pain*wrist/arm pain (of course I associated w/ heart attack)*swollen feet and calves (weren't really swollen but looked and felt swollen)*Tingling on top of head/ face tingling/arm tingling*Flank pain/pain below my ribs*stomach cramps*diarrhea/constipation/nausea*sleeplessness/anxiety attacks*Breast pain*groin pain*dizzinessIt comes and goes and now some of these I know are associated with stress and I won't worry, but when something new comes up (and it ALWAYS does - Hellooo, Poopie issues) I stress to the extremes).That's my story... Roo
 

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AND, the internet can be *evil*. We need to avoid symptom surfing at ALL costs. If you really look, every symptom ends up being one of a horrible disease on the internet... Have you noticed that??!And, of course, doctors always shrug most of our ailments off to the simplest things. I trust my doctor and I'm weary of the internet. It has only made my life a living hell. Search on Diarrhea (well, don't really) and what comes up? Most of it is just frigging scary... and have any one of us been diagnosed with anything really life threatening? I haven't seen any postings about terminal illnesses... I wish I could lock the darn internet down until I get back to normal... but my OCD kicks in and my compulsion to search and worry and search and worry (and then guess what? I get a new symptom). Hmmm... A vicious cycle it is. Health Anxiety is horrible. It does need more attention from physicians and the medical industry....
 

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Hello all,I feel so much better having read all of your stories. I recently became obsessed with some skin moles and spent hours on the internet checking to see if they were normal. Of course in my head they were not. I went to the doctor who assured me that they were normal, but I was not reassured, after all medical misdiagnosis is common, right?So I went back on to the internet and of course found other symptoms for other illnesses which of course I then had. I have recently been to the doctor 4 times, and he discussed with me that I should consider cognitive behavioral therapy and some relaxation classes. I still struggle with believing him and continue to engage in OCD behaviors of checking my body for strange things, and now I feel I have pain everywhere. I really hope the therapy works and that I can avoid the feeling of needing to go to the doctor all the time.
 

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You never know about moles and such. I had an old wart that had started spreading so I had it burned off the same day as my gall bladder scan. It came back negative but as the doc said, it's best to get rid of any abnormal things. I compared it on the internet and wasn't sure what to make of it but that isn't my area of expertise.
 

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I agree with Vena. Do not look up your symptoms on the internet. The internet is every IBS'ers worse enemy. Especially for those of us who are total hypos! I am just emerging from the worst IBS episode of my life, which I brought upon myself when I looked up some of my own symptoms. Depression and anxiety, I have learned, thrive off fear and desperation. It's up to the individual to recognize when there is a problem and to treat it appropriately. I find that mediation, diet, & exercise work best for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well I am coming back up from a very down week. I spent the week (first week on job) in Portland on a business trip where I passed out and threw up along w/ horrible cramps. Then for the past two days I've been thinking that I have lung cancer. I just love this cycling thing.
 

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Chris, sorry about your down week with the new job. I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that maybe the new job has heightened your anxiety...Usually, when I think I have something (like lung cancer)... I go to my (eye rolling) doctors who then will test me for what I think I have. If you think you have lung cancer, let them know. (I highly doubt you do). But personally, the only way that I ever feel better is when I have a doctor rule it out. I know that alot of people on the board may not agree with this - as medical tests can be very expensive and a hassle. Last year I had a headache for four months. It never went away no matter what I took and I was convinced it was a brain tumor. My primary told me to take tylenol. (Of course, being a hypo - I decided that I was dying and I better find me a neurologist quickly). I found one and she said that they are probably daily migraines triggered by stress. One side of my head was really tender and inflamed. So, yes, the headaches were real. She gave anti-convulsives and a week of prednisone to get the inflamation down. It didn't work... I still had headaches and I was tripping out from the anticonvulsive drugs. So she said, "Why don't we do an MRI of your brain - I think you're worrying about a brain tumor is causing your headaches". So of course, scheduled the MRI - (it took a week and I was so anxious and scared).... had the MRI and everything was fine. Miraculously, my headaches went away about a week later and haven't come back since. (At least unexplained headaches haven't come back). I'm prone to migraines, so now when I get one, I take my drug, it goes away and I don't worry.Chris, go get a physical. Have a CBC done, have your doctor give you the physical exam (i.e, check your nodes, etc.), go get your routine gyne work done, etc. Tell your doctor your fears and tell them you want to be tested for it. Most of the time, they will, if just to make you feel better.This is what usually works for me... and try to stay away from the internet symptom surfing.Good luck,Roo
 

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Thank you so much for this thread. Boy oh boy. I just got off the phone with my mother (who I had to wake up from sleeping) to have her calm me down. My anxiety has gotten worse recently and rose to a spike tonight because - guess what - my Google adventures.Yes, surfing the internet, trying to diagnose led me to scary words.I am so relieved to see there are others out there besides me who are in this same boat. I do not feel so alone.
 

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I don't google but I get alot of magazines about what is making you sick and then I have to take the quiz and of course I have all the sysptems, and then look up how to cure it. Most of the time I already have tried it and it did'nt help,so I read some more or go to the libaray and check out a book about it and then freak out some more.oh and if you ever look up colon cleansing don't get on the web site that says they can get rid of parasites that live in your body, I did'nt even look at the pictures but the stories on there gave me nightmares for weeks.so I did'nt order thier stuff cause it scared me too much. creepy.so now I try not to look up too much stuff.
 
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