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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all. I'm an 18 year old female and I was diagnosed with IBS-D four years ago. I've had my IBS pretty well controlled four about 3 and a half of those years, but sometimes it just "flares up" no matter what I do.The last couple of weeks have been bad. I figure it is linked to the stress of the beginning of Spring semester (I'm a freshman in college). I'm having a hard enough time just being well enough to GET to class and be able to stay there without running out to the bathroom; the thought of social situations grips me with intense anxiety, almost a panic-attack.I don't really know what to say to my friends who want to go out... I'm too embarrassed to say, "Oh, sorry, I can't go out today because of (insert gross bowel problem du jour)!" But it also seems rude to say that I just want to stay in bed.Dealing with the complications IBS causes at school has drained all of my energy... I feel like I don't have any left for socialization.Also, this may or may not be related to the IBS, but I am catching an extremely unusual number of colds, about 6 in 6 months. I JUST got over a cold two weeks ago, and I feel like I'm coming down with another.My boyfriend is a caring induvidual and is really understanding about my IBS, so I feel lucky for that. I've just been in such a depressive funk, between the IBS and the colds, that I'm afraid I'm unpleasant to be around. It's hard to be cheery when you're constantly somewhere between physical discomfort and absolute agony.
Any advice/cheering up/commiserating would be much appreciated!
 

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aww hon i hear ya! i dropped out of uni in november, fresher too. and i'm amazed my mates stuck by me, i must have been awful! but they're wonderful and stay in pretty close contact. i hope you get this sorted, stick with it if you can, dropping out is really not easy, and try get any help around - do you have a disabilities adviser you could speak to or something? keep you r chin up and really try and keep the depression at bay hon, it makes it so much worse! i really hope you get this sortedhugs
 

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Hey, I'm a junior in college and have had IBS-D (just recently officially dianosed) since I started as a freshman. I won't lie, its really hard to deal with, but you can do it!! I live in a dorm and share a bathroom with around 25 girls. So not only am I dealing with my symptoms but also trying to hide it from all the people who live down the hall who I am not friends with. Girls can be really unforgiving when it comes to this. Then its the issue of not wanting to go out places with my friends. They don't understand why I can't eat certain things, why I lose weight, why i feel sick all the time...the list goes on. I feel like I am always missing out on the social aspect of college. The days when I feel good, it seems like nothing can go wrong! But as soon as the 1st hint of an attack hits- its all over. Recently it started getting worse. I had to miss a lot of classes last semester. Professors are forgiving to a point, but when you miss too many classes they start to take points off your grade.... I am concerned this will happen this semester too. And it is SO embarassing to have to get up multiple times during a class period to use the bathroom. Ive been dating my boyfriend for a little over 3 years, and Ive been dealing with severe symptoms for about 2 and a half. So hes been on this roller coaster with me. Sometimes its hard for him to understand why I don't want to go out. I think he sometimes gets frusterated with me and my "tummy problems" as he calls them, but considering all he has to deal with, hes been pretty supportive. I totally know how you feel about it being "hard to be cheery when you're constantly somewhere between physical discomfort and absolute agony" so I hope hearing a little of my story made you feel like you are not alone in feeling this way!! ~Liz
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the support, everyone!
I am feeling a bit less depressed today.The Cat, I didn't even know disabilities advisors existed, although it makes sense. I will see if they have something like that at my college (hopefully they would recognize IBS as something potentially disabling).Clover, it makes me feel better to know that you stuck through this much college despite the troubles that IBS-D presents. I guess there are good days and bad days just like with anything else. I am lucky that I live in an apartment rather than a dorm; it makes the bathroom situation a lot easier.Thanks so much, guys.
It's good to know there are others in this situation.
 

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glad you're feeling a bit happier!there should be someone attached to your uni - maybe in student support services something like that? to help with anyone who is disabled - and at uni level (or college! i'm guessing you're american, college is a dif thing here) you should get help from them for any medical problem that impacts your work. including ibs!!as for the girlies, just tell them you have a stomach prob, you have nothing to be ashamed of, they don't need to know anything more than that. if they're nasty they aren't worth knowing, and virtually everyone is really understanding.get as much help as you can, that is really what makes it possible, i wouldn't have lasted as long as i did without that. it is possible but very hard. good luck!
 

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hi ss,i understand what youre going through. Im also having ALOT of colds and diarrhea as well, and stress does play a huge factor. Ive been there, and done that when it came to ibs and dealing with school, friends and work. All i can say is try to deal with it. Ive changed soo many jobs in the past 5 years, ive missed out on many social functions, and im still at school getting my first bachelors degree (been at school for 6 years.) Ive had to with draw from classes because during the school year, my ibs would flare up soo badly, that i couldnt even get to school, or take the finals. and the 10 minute ride from home to school was always a challenge. THe best thing to do is acknowledge that the ibs you do have wont go away and you just have to work around it. Real friends are hard to find, and if for some reason, they dont understand you or try to understand you, then theyre not worth it.School comes first. Go to your disability office and tell them, as well as your professors, of your condition. Mention how the difficulties can affect your attending school, and get a doctors note.Lastly, try anything to calm you down. I start work at 8 in the morning, and wake uop at 4 to take lomotil and go to the bathroom.Just try to control your ibs. Its hard, but thats my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks again! This week I will check out the disability office here for sure. I had sort of dismissed the thought before for fear they'd laugh at me or something ("You expect us to give you special treatment because of your 'spastic colon'? HA HA" ... people are mean), but I guess that's pretty unlikely. Just my paranoia!Joy, I totally understand about getting up ridiculously early for things. My friends think it's weird that I sometimes go to sleep at 9 or 10 PM when I don't have to be at school until 9:30 the next morning. I need a LOT of time to wake up, take meds, eat SLOWLY, and wait to see if I get sick.My last job sometimes required me to be AT work at 6 AM (sometimes after working a night shift, arg), so you can imagine how little sleep I got! On one of those 6 AM shifts I woke up sick and called to say I was going to be late because of it, and they said they'd fire me if I didn't come in. I was forced to quit right there on the phone.It really is nice to be able to talk about such things to people who truly understand!
 
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