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I think Sophie is right.Saying that stress leads to IBS is a sweeping statement, and doesn’t take into consideration the myriad of problems here. IBS would certainly lead to stress though. In my case, IBS was caused by both a physical problem and a combination of things I was doing wrong, which I’ve now corrected. The physical problem I can’t cure, but I can work around it. This problem has nothing to do with stress. Stress can amplify symptoms, but so can depression, isolation and loneliness. I think a great many people here have suffered in the past, maybe more so than the average person. Underlying issues like abuse or alienation can lead to IBS because of the helplessness the person feels. A colic pain can easily become exaggerated in the mind of a lonely person. People can also get in a rut, and find themselves powerless to change their habits. Therapy may help, if people can afford this, but any kind words would help. A good friend would be even better, but these aren’t always easy to come by, especially with IBS. Anyone taking an interest in you would help. This is a far cry from saying that IBSers need psychiatry. It isn’t easy for people who have suffered in the past to approach IBS with the single-minded determination that’s probably necessary to really tackle IBS. There needs to be a totally honest appraisal of issues like diet, lifestyle and self-discipline. IBSers rarely divulge this information, neither here on the board, nor to their doctors. This helps perpetuate the myth that IBS is a mystery. It is if people aren’t honest about what they’re doing in their lives, and this should be acknowledged if anyone is serious about treating IBS. Perhaps the board could help by encouraging IBSers to be a little more forthright.
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