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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you go all the places you used to go, all the new places you'd like to go? Do you have enough friends? What kinds of reactions do you get from people in general, people next to you, and friends and family? Do you try to hide your problem, if you consider it to be a real problem? When you're in a public place, do you sit there hoping nothing happens/nobody notices? Or are you able to just be cool about it, since it's not hurting anyone? As for me (I've just in the last few months developed a lot of gas, sometimes very unpleasant-smelling. I had this a couple of times long in the past--IBS--but it's been so long that I thought I'd never have it again. Oh well.). Anyway , I don't go to public places nearly as much, especially when I'm in "stormy" spell. I never had a lot of friends or spent a lot of time around them, but I enjoy it when I can be together with the ones I do have. I've been talking to them only on the phone lately. They don't know about the gas, but I'd like to tell them and be able to be around them again--except that I can't quite bring myself to do it.
 

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I literally developed a panic disorder/became agoraphobic because of my IBS symptoms. I've always been shy though, so I can't completely attribute it to IBS. I didn't want to go out for years because of it, and it's robbed me of almost 20 years of my life. I began working again three years ago -- but, even that's been a struggle -- with constantly running to the bathroom (I believe I have IBS-D), but never told exactly.I missed out on college events, skipped graduate school classes and didn't graduate and didn't have a boyfriend or friends for years. I even endured blame from my family for being a hypochondriac. I finally found a boyfriend, thankfully he has IBS too and can understand a little of what I'm enduring (although he's got IBS-C).When I was younger, and first diagnosed with IBS by a doctor, I was told that it was psychological and "all in my head". I was told that if I just calmed down, relaxed that it would go away, but it never did. I wasn't given directions on what to do, what to eat, or how to overcome it. One time, I just stopped eating much of anything, hoping my stomach would calm down, but it would only make my symptoms worse, and I'd just drop down to a crazy low weight.I still endure embarrassment at work because of my IBS, and am constantly running to the bathroom.I'm learning more now that I'm coming to the Web and reading more. This is my very first post to this group, and I'm glad to know there people out there like me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cara, Same here--I feel less weird knowing there are others with the same disorder and the same concerns in their lives. Maybe we don't meet many people around town with these problems because they're staying at home.
I keep thinking about starting a group in my area, maybe a Meetup, but then I'd be responsible for it, and I know stress is one big way to set off my IBS. I might do it anyway. The darn IBS is already here. I hope you find some relief.
 

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because of ibs my cell became my social life. but as much as i try to explain ibs to my friends without getting too graphic, they dont really understand why i dont want to hang out. i dont get comments or looks about the gas but i never know if its because people are just being polite or im being a hypochondriac about it. not knowing what people think scares me into being antisocial. i became so meek and shy in college that i hardly recognize myself.
 

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for those still in school- hang in there. i had to finish up my last two years of college w/ lg. it sucked. but i survived and graduated and am now moving on.if i can give any advice its just simply to go into survival mode. you need to finish school, so brave classes and embarrassment and just get the job done. it will totally suck. but- remember that over time you'll find ways to control this more and more. the key is just keep going until that time comes.
 

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Instead of trying for survival mode, it would be wise to develop a "Who cares what people think?!" attitude. It is freeing for the mind and that in turn will relax your condition a bit due to reduced stressing about it.
 

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I get really bad gas intermittently. Some days I'm ok, others I get these episodes that go on for hours. It has significantly limited my social life. I stay away from events with lots of people, or events that go on for too long. I make quick appearances then leave. I don't go to movies, or take classes, or go on dates. I haven't had a steady girlfriend in years. I don't know how any one would want to be in the same enclosed space as me - I can't stand it myself sometimes. It's really quite tragic, if not for IBS I'd be having a great fulfilling life, like I used to. Years ago I went out alot, went to parties, dated, traveled, was pretty active. Now I stay home and hide. I don't want to keep going on like this but I don't know what to do.
 

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Well it might bring some people down but I have no one to talk about this out of shame and maybe I'm just venting but here goes. Last time I talked to someone I made THEM cry. Luckily I have good friends who care and are understanding.I always consider my problems just ... something I shouldn't be allowed to get mad over but I cannot help it.I'm afraid of being around people. If I have to be around people I have to not care about things. It's the only sedative to my problems. My friends see my "not caring" as being lazy because I don't like to work. I hate it when people automatically assume that I don't care about ANYTHING, it's a reputation i have now. No one will rely on me for anything. Everyone assumes I'm going to fail but it's okay to tell me that I am because they assume that because I don't care about what people think sometimes or other things that I'm not going to when someone tells me I'm goign to fail to my face. Branded as the kid who used to be the best in class and a model turned useless and lazy. I hardly see my family, between me not wanting to meet them because in the back of my head i have this idea that someday i won't ruin social get togethers with my odor so i should just avoid people until then to avoid the embarrassment and feeling liek a burden to my family.It's almost impossible to find people who can get past the odor to get to know me. Hardly talk to many people during school and rely on internet interaction because of this. I kinda feel ashamed that I when I talk to people over the internet they seem to almost fall in love with me and my personality. That only makes it worse, knowing that if this thing wasn't holding me down I could have had a better ride in life. I'm jealous of so many people. I really wish I had this thing show up during my adulthood since my teenage years are so short. I feel like i missed out on so many things. Wasn't invited to party as kids, never learned how to dance. Makes it hard to join current parties. Other small petty things but they all stack up.In all this confusion I go through of deciding whether I should even try knowing that I'm still going to be like this is worth it. I mean maybe in the future I actually won't be like this right? I love the idea of being normal. I would do so many things, I would have so much motivation to do things knowing how we take things for granted. I would do anything to get rid of this burden that I also have to force upon other people when I'm around them. I hate feeling like my body is a cage but really. I don't think I can remember what it's like to be able to walk out doors without looking left, right, behind me, and across the street to look at peoples faces and gestures just so I can tell how bad i smell that day. I REALLY want to try. It makes me feel like i'm an annoying kid who is just complaining and blaming everything on one thing or even if I was normal i would still put my self in these situations but when I try to care things happen in everyday life that remind me that I'm not normal. In the mornings I put a smile on and get things down, by the end of the day I have received too many dirty faces and comments To keep on smiling through. Whats worse is when I read other peoples stories of how they try to get help and the doctors just tell them that "it's just in there head. You just have bad hygiene". Doctor after doctor with so much money wasted. Just reading it makes ME feel crazy.It really feels like this is only just small summary of the what comes from this.Their are a handful of people who have been like 'cured' right? So who knows.
 

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Wow, after reading all your posts, I feel like there are people who actually understand how my life is like and can empathize. When I think back to how I was in college, and how I have been for the last 4 plus years, I always am stunned and depressed by how much the difference is in my social life. I love people, and I love being around people. I think I might be one of those people who enjoys being around others more than being alone. Which, while in the past it really helped me to have an active and fulfilling life, now its just a reminder of how much I have limited, and feel like I have to limit, my social interactions now. There are days when my gas is so bad that I don't want to be around me, let alone expose that to other people. And it frustrates me when people in my life point out all the other diseases and illnesses out there that are worse than mine. To that I counter by saying that IBS is probably one of the worst illnesses to have from the view of social interactions. There is just no easy way to explain all the gastrointestinal problems we face to the common person, especially when they suddenly appear without warning and without control. Like Zombie said, I would give anything to have this illness go away and to just get back to a normal life that I used to have (and probably took for granted). As a result, there are times that I am afraid to eat if I know I am planning on meeting up with friends, and then forget the whole idea of going out to eat -- sometimes I think my body just instantly reacts negatively when it realizes I'm out at a restaurant. I do try to take it one day at a time, but even those one days can be overwhelming. I am lucky to have family who supports me (Mom had IBS when she was my age) and a boyfriend who somehow has looked past all of it and cares about me for who I am. I have lost friends over this illness, and lost part of myself as well. I only hope that at some point I will get enough of control over my symptoms that I can find my past social self again. You are all wonderful people, despite how IBS makes you look, smell, or feel
Thanks for listening and posting.P.S. Oh yeah, I'd really like to eat dairy again at some point in my life without having to live in the bathroom afterwards
 
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