Hi everyone, I just posted this in the IBS-D forum but figured it could also be helpful for people reading this section. I have been cured from severe IBS-D for several years now and am ashamed with myself for not posting my story earlier as I had lived off these forums for as long as I can remember. As for my story:
Up until mid-2008 I had severe IBS-D for my entire life. Anytime I was in an environment where I wasn't completely comfortable with the people around, I would be in constant anguish. To be more specific, it was the fear that I would not be able to make it to the [background=transparent][background=transparent]bathroom[/background][/background] or for there not to be a bathroom, or for people to know I had to go to the bathroom (all specific to making "#2"). In school this was especially horrifying. I would go to the bathroom 10-15+ times a day to just try to either "clear my system" or in panic that I had to go or for whatever other reason. I would literally have panic attacks in class as my thought process was, "I can't get away with going more than one time during a single class," or "what if they don't let me go" or anything else that freaked me out. Tests were even worse as you could imagine! This went along with terrible gas and bloating and constant diarrhea due to the[background=transparent][background=transparent]constant anxiety[/background][/background]. I believed my problem was completely physical and would not eat all day sometimes and live off of anti-gas and anti-diarrhea pills. My life was in almost constant anxiety and depression (except when I was in a comfortable environment like home or best friends house). I could go on for hours about what it was like but lets move on.......
After I finally broke down to my parents and went to a Gastroenterologist they diagnosed me with IBD (after some tests and what not). At this point I was given certain meds (I'm sorry but forgot given how long ago this was - maybe 2006) and added things like soluble fiber and other changes to my diet. After a certain hopeless amount of time, my doctor realized there was nothing else he could do and referred me to a psychologist. I met with her for about 6 months, and while it did not help me, it was nice to talk to someone about all the details of my problem. Once she realized she could not help me, she referred me to a psychiatrist (prescribes medication). After meeting with the doc several times, he started me on low levels of Xanax (maybe 0.25 mg) to be taken when needed as well as Zoloft. The Zoloft did nothing, while the Xanax help a little. Not very much though since my episodes were VERY frequent and the medicine just made me tired. He then switched me off of Zoloft and onto another AD (I'm sorry I forgot the name) and slowly upped my Xanax to 0.5 mg and then to 1 mg. Nothing truly "Worked" until what I believe was my saving grace: Paxil (Paroxetine) (40mg).
I started on Paxil at around June of 2008 (at the beginning of the summer). I am not sure when I officially realized it but by Sept 2008 (at the latest) I was fully cured. However this did not come without [background=transparent][background=transparent]side effects[/background][/background]. I became significantly manic and this happen to fall right when I got to college. I never went to class (I was an A student in high school) and partied ALOT. By the time January came (and I saw that I did horrible in school) my body had better adjusted for the medicine and I was not nearly as manic (still didn't do as well in school as I had - however my grades did improve as time went on). I stopped taking the medicine (cold turkey on my own - DONT DO THIS - thanks god I didn't have a bad reaction) about 14 months ago and the IBD never came back (Thank GOD!) Once I came off of the medicine my grades went back to how there were in highschool (3.8-4.0) however I realized how anxious i was in general (IBD happened to be were I was focusing most of that anxiety). You might ask me was it worth it (having the manic reaction, not doing as well in school as I could have), and I say, ABSOLUTELY!!! I actually have a life now and am not hiding from the world. I can only hope that everyone else on this site can find the answer I did. I'm not saying definitely go take ADs (anxiety might not be your problem and a natural or less intense cure would be much better!). What I am saying is that you must explore all options and that there IS HOPE!! Thats something I never had, ever.
Since coming off Paxil, I have had a lot of [background=transparent][background=transparent]general anxiety[/background][/background] come back (social and daily small things) that is just that CONSTANT thinking and analyzing of everything. About 8 months ago I decided to start meditation because I was just not that happy and always stressed. It was so bad that I had a constant twitch in my eye. So i did my research and decided to give meditation 10 minutes a day. THE BEST decision I ever made! All I did was sit down in a quiet room and "practiced" thinking about nothing. That is was mediation is, reconditioning your brain from that constant thinking! Within 1 month I began seeing what I could do during those 10 minutes. The only thing I can compare it to is a natural high (like I had a couple of drinks). Not until I realized about 3 months ago that I had to actually apply this "tool" to my everyday life did it actually start to REALLY amaze me (this explains what I am working towards - same thing as "nirvana" -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ego_death). Meditation is a tool that I believe anyone suffering from anxiety (many people with IBD) can benefit from. It may take time and hard work (very hard to not think about anything, believe me) but once you build that tool and apply it to life, it can change everything. Just keep an open mind and stay persistent, it takes time!
In summary, my IBD cure: Paxil (Paroxetine 40mg)
My overall general anxiety cure: Meditation (however its going to be a long-term work in progress)
Thanks for reading and I hope you found this helpful!
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