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I was diagnosed with IBS when I was 13 or 14 years old and have suffered from it ever since. I am now 19 and feeling more stuck than ever. Life before IBS was amazing; I went out with my friends everyday after school, I got good grades, I was very outgoing and I loved life. Life after IBS is debilitating, to say the least. The constant fear and "what if's" drive me crazy every day. I know where every single bathroom is in my town and I know which are safe (private bathrooms) and which are unsafe (stalls). I've slowly gotten myself to get used to using a public bathroom, as long as no one else in there with me, but I'm still full of anxiety. I have a cashier job working 30+ hours a week at a very busy thrift store and have been there since August, only a mere 5 months. This is the longest I have kept a job but I am starting to fear going to work because of how busy we get and I can't just walk away from a customer because of my need to use the restroom. Not to mention how embarrassing that would be! This causes so much anxiety for me that it sent me into a week straight of nothing but horrible panic attacks a couple months ago and I lost a weeks worth of work. Now all of my co-workers and managers know that I have anxiety but they still don't know what is causing it (my IBS). I'm sitting here writing this because I have become so frustrated with this constant fear and butterflies in my stomach every day before work. I honestly want to quit working and just focus on getting my IBS somewhat under control but that's not possible. I need this job because I need the money but is it really worth all the anxiety and depression? Ever since the panic attacks they have worked with me and my anxiety, which I am grateful for. I was working mornings, when my IBS acts up the most, and one morning before work I had a horrible panic attack. Ever since then they've had be working from 3PM - 9:30PM and it helped at first but now I'm back to the way I was before. At 3:45 the only other cashier gets her drawer taken out and I'm left alone until 4:15PM when the next cashier comes in. This seems to be the time period where I really have to use the bathroom and when we get the busiest. I don't want to have to ask them to change my hours AGAIN because they've already put up with so much of my ####. No pun intended. I don't want to let them down and I honestly love my job. I work with great people and I'm working for a good cause raising money for people with disabilities. I have work in an hour and my stomach is very upset today so my anxiety is at full force right now and I'm afraid I'm on the verge of a severe panic attack because I have been holding this anxiety in for too long. My question is, how do you deal with it? I'm on Xanax for the anxiety but it's only a band-aid. Once the Xanax wears off I'm back to my worrisome what-if self and some days the Xanax doesn't work at all. I feel stuck, depressed, and anxious beyond belief. I can't call out of work any more because I'm afraid they'll fire me (Secretly, I'd love that but it would mean having to look for another job and having the cycle continue). Can anyone help me out before I go completely crazy? :/
 

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Can we just start with the anxiety? I faced this--the constant D and subsequent anxiety that it brought on--on a daily basis for 10 long years, a great portion of that behind the register of my own small retail businesses, so I know the fears you are dealing with. Personally, I do everything I can in terms of diet and (now) supplementation to avoid dealing with doctors, so I "white knuckled" my way through those years, and with the exception of a few uncontrollable farts and a few lost pairs of underwear, I managed to get through it without ever having to talk about the extent of my problem to customers, co-workers, or a particularly difficult doctor that I was seeing at the time. I don't know how well you can get by without the Xanax or what kind of problems you would face in getting off of it; but it is obvious that you would be better off in controlling the diarrhea than in trying to control your anxieties. There are three fairly direct things you can try for the D--and excuse me if I mention anything you have already written about or tried--Linda's Calcium protocol, BQ's daily Immodium preventative, or the prescription anti-cholesterol binder Questran. Any one of those three may well address the immediate problem of abandoning the register and running to the toilet while at work. Once you get it under some control, then you might look at Mike's self-hypnotism tapes that cookiesformarilyn promotes or get a referral for Cognative Behavior Therapy if you have health insurance for that. If you prefer a supplemental approach, I have kept my D at bay for over 10 years with a flavonoid blend which seems to have some potent anti-inflammatory properties, specific to the colon. I guess the thing that has proven the most value to me is to find something that will actually address the cause of the problem, rather than just the symptoms. It does take trial and error--it wasn't until this past year that I finally found out why I have gotten better and that I may well have given myself an undetected case of inflammation--so it really helps if you try it all, one therapy at a time, once you first figure out how you will at least be able to limp through your work with a reasonable assurance of success.I hope this helps.Mark
 

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Hi sorry to hear your anxiety is bad.Mine was too a month ago (i was hospitalised with IBS, weight loss and anxiety). The anxiety was so bad that i couldn't keep still for more than 5 minutes. I have never felt as anxious in my life and it was all because of my symptoms.I was started on mitrazapine by the psychiatrist Dr......i believe the mitrazapine has calmed the nerves down in my gut which inturn has eased my other symptoms significantly. . . .it could be worth a shot!
 
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