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Not sure how to talk about this, Im new to the web site and have never really talked to people about this other than my close family and telling people I have "stomache problems". 6 or 7 years ago my Dr. told me I had IBS...I didnt believe her and insisted on tests...after having cameras put in places they shouldnt go (both ends) they still insisted it was just IBS...and a #### load of food intolerances, sensitivities and allergies. I also have an anxiety disorder and unfortunately for me...my IBS and anxiety have become inseperable friends. When my IBS acts up I panic and when I panic it upsets my stomache..so I end up in a vicious circle that usually last for hours in the bathroom until I manage to fall asleep...and even then my stommache is unsettled for a few days after. Im just wondering if anyone else has issues with anxiety around their IBS?
 

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Hi.I sometimes have this attacks too, especially when I have to go out in the morning and I don't have time to go to the bathroom as much as I need it. When I am only one corner away from my house I start feeling cramps and gas, so immediately the panic begins, I start sweating, get really cold and start shaking. I don´t know if you have the same symptoms, but ususally after I get to my destination and locate the restroom I start feeling comfortable again, but of course I feel tired and very altered. This saturday I am going to start therapy, because as you say, that's a cycle and usually IBS gets worst only because of our thoughts.
 

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Hi, I am new to this too. I know exactly how you feel. I have had a phobia all my life, and for the last 2 years it has been affecting me every day. I have a really unsettled stomach every day, and I am also stressed and anxious every day. It's really making me feel like I'm going mad, because I keep wondering whether it is the anxiety making my stomach bad, or something more serious? Doctor seems to think it's just IBS though. I guess I have to trust that, and deal with anxiety issues. But it's so hard because it is a viscious circle, like you said. Feeling rock bottom at the moment :-(
 

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You're not alone. I'm supposed to be a pseudo 'expert' on IBS and IBD since I've lived with both for more than 12 years and written a bood about my experience of living with it. Well, I ended up in the ER this past weekend with what they ended up calling an anxiety attack. I've denied anxiety and serious stress for years. Because of course I'm the wonder woman and "just don't have all that much stress." But since I was the only patient in the ER, it was a very small town, the ER doctor and nurse spent an hour or more with me talking about things. And I finally came to realize that even though I have my IBD and IBS under pretty darn good control, I still vibrate at a medium level of stress on a daily basis. Then, when I throw in traveling or doing something social where I'm unsure of food so don't eat and drink enough fluids - I have a bunch of food intolerances too - that increases the stress and anxiety level, blah, blah, blah. So, after spending years and years trying to work this out on my own with yoga, meditation, and rhythmic breathing, I'm now thinking I need to add in something more - psychiatrist? cognitive behavior thereapy? anti-depressenats? Not sure which or all so have made an appt. with my GP for next week to talk about me finally admitting I'm living in a huge bubble of anxiety and stress. It actually has helped a bit just to admit it, and get angry and frustrated about it, and cry. So, no, you're not alone and you're not making it up. Living with a pooping disorder is harder than any of us realize. Glad you found us. Elizabeth
 

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Oh I understand! It is so frustrating! I have had anxiety my whole life and my IBS makes my anxiety worse and my anxiety makes my IBS worse. Like you, my stomach is always so unsettled and I am always worried and anxious when it will be triggered again. You would think after having bad IBS for 12+ years I would get use to it, but I haven't. Have two young kids I have to drive around, I am always worried about making it to a bathroom in time when I have to get them both out the car. I have anxiety to do anything..go the the grocery store, work, to get my hair done..etc every day. I am afraid to eat food as well. I did some cognitive behavior therapy behavior therapy that really helped me. I wrote out the fears that I have about things and then would write, okay what is the probability of this happening, write rational thoughts and then would think, would it really be that bad if it would happen. For example: Being worried that if I was at a mom's group with the kids that I would have an IBS attack that would be embarrassing and I wouldn't be able to make it home with the kids. I would write this fear down and then write some rational thoughts next to it like: The other moms would be understanding of it, they could watch the kids and I could stay there until I felt better enough to leave. I could take an Immodium with in case I had an IBS attack..etc. These are the questions I would ask myself:1) Are these symptoms I a feeling truly dangerous?2) What is the absolute worst think that could happen?3) Am I telling myself anything that can make it worse?4) What is the most supportive think I can do right now?I know how those panic attacks are and they can be very hard to get through. I would look into some cognitive behavior therapy and maybe if you find a med that works you will feel more confident. I had bad panic attacks and anxiety for a couple of years and then they really have gotten better, but I do have to go over these things in my mind a lot. I would also tell myself these statements during panic attacks:I will just let my body do its thing- this will passThis is an opportunity for me to learn to cope with my fearsI will not lose control, a panic attack is not life threatening This anxiety and panic will not hurt me even if it doesn't feel goodI can be anxious and still deal with this situation This would also help me in panic attacksRetreat- Symptoms arise - retreat from the situation, recover- reenterDistractions - symptoms arise- divert attention, stay involved with the distraction (talk to someone, focus on surroundings.etc)Breathing- do deep breathing and repeat coping statements
 

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Not sure how to talk about this, Im new to the web site and have never really talked to people about this other than my close family and telling people I have "stomache problems". 6 or 7 years ago my Dr. told me I had IBS...I didnt believe her and insisted on tests...after having cameras put in places they shouldnt go (both ends) they still insisted it was just IBS...and a #### load of food intolerances, sensitivities and allergies. I also have an anxiety disorder and unfortunately for me...my IBS and anxiety have become inseperable friends. When my IBS acts up I panic and when I panic it upsets my stomache..so I end up in a vicious circle that usually last for hours in the bathroom until I manage to fall asleep...and even then my stommache is unsettled for a few days after. Im just wondering if anyone else has issues with anxiety around their IBS?
I am sorry that you are suffering from this. This is a classic case of the mind-body connection for IBS. It is well known that a large percentage of people that suffer from panic attack also have IBS. Many experience this cycle of bowel upset creating anxiety which worsens the bowel and so on. I would agree with the other posts that you should explore some therapy (CBT)and perhaps even hypnosis which can be helpful for the anxiety and IBS. Also, an easy way to end the panic attack when it starts is to just laugh out loud. think of something funny or a joke but just laugh. Our brains are wired so that the laugh inhibits the activation of the fight/flight center. It inhibits the panic response. It is a simple method but pretty effective.hope it helps.
 

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I'm so glad that you've started this thread, because this is my biggest issue with my IBS. I've got into a circle where I get very anxious when I'm out or travelling in case I get a sudden attack of diarrhoea - and thn the anxiety gives me - yes, you've got it... then the next time I'm out, I'm more anxious... and so on. It's this evil circle that has made me go to the doctor and sign onto this forum, because I've been becoming aware that these fears are beginning to control my life. And I want to deal with them by finding a way through the anxiety, rather than just by taking more and more Imodium. I've read books on dealing with phobias, but there's a problem -so often the approach is exposure therapy - to gradually face the fear, eg of spiders, flying etc, and to learn to go through the panic and out the other side. However, I actually DO have diarrhoea - there's no possibility of waiting for the panic to subside, because by then I'll have had a very embarrassing accident. I know, it's happened. The fear isn't an irrational one - there's a very good reason for it! So how to find a way out of this?
 

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I'm so glad that you've started this thread, because this is my biggest issue with my IBS. I've got into a circle where I get very anxious when I'm out or travelling in case I get a sudden attack of diarrhoea - and thn the anxiety gives me - yes, you've got it... then the next time I'm out, I'm more anxious... and so on. It's this evil circle that has made me go to the doctor and sign onto this forum, because I've been becoming aware that these fears are beginning to control my life. And I want to deal with them by finding a way through the anxiety, rather than just by taking more and more Imodium. I've read books on dealing with phobias, but there's a problem -so often the approach is exposure therapy - to gradually face the fear, eg of spiders, flying etc, and to learn to go through the panic and out the other side. However, I actually DO have diarrhoea - there's no possibility of waiting for the panic to subside, because by then I'll have had a very embarrassing accident. I know, it's happened. The fear isn't an irrational one - there's a very good reason for it! So how to find a way out of this?
Have your tried hypnosis or the tapes linked to this site? You may benefit from that. I think that the anxiety and diarrhea are connected but in a subconscious way. This is a mind body disease and you will benefit by treating both. In a way the diarrhea is like a panic of the enteric nervous system (your gut)and you have become conditioned to respond to certain stimuli with certain gut and behavioral actions. You are right you will need to re-teach your mind and gut by learning to respond in the correct way. Hypnosis or maybe CBT and anti-depressants may help with that. There are other methods as well and you just need to try what works for you.
 

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I think that Skoshland has some great ideas. I think I am going to give the hypnosis a try. I know my brain needs to be re-trained. If I go somewhere, eat something...etc I am constantly worried that I will have an episode and then in turn it makes me have an episode because of all the anxiety, then I go into a panic mode and then I get worse cause then I don't want to go anywhere, eat anything. Big Sis, I know what you mean about it all, cause is does actually happen. The feeling is so awful when you are out and you have to go ASAP!
 

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Oh I understand! It is so frustrating! I have had anxiety my whole life and my IBS makes my anxiety worse and my anxiety makes my IBS worse. Like you, my stomach is always so unsettled and I am always worried and anxious when it will be triggered again. You would think after having bad IBS for 12+ years I would get use to it, but I haven't. Have two young kids I have to drive around, I am always worried about making it to a bathroom in time when I have to get them both out the car. I have anxiety to do anything..go the the grocery store, work, to get my hair done..etc every day. I am afraid to eat food as well. I did some cognitive behavior therapy behavior therapy that really helped me. I wrote out the fears that I have about things and then would write, okay what is the probability of this happening, write rational thoughts and then would think, would it really be that bad if it would happen. For example: Being worried that if I was at a mom's group with the kids that I would have an IBS attack that would be embarrassing and I wouldn't be able to make it home with the kids. I would write this fear down and then write some rational thoughts next to it like: The other moms would be understanding of it, they could watch the kids and I could stay there until I felt better enough to leave. I could take an Immodium with in case I had an IBS attack..etc. These are the questions I would ask myself:1) Are these symptoms I a feeling truly dangerous?2) What is the absolute worst think that could happen?3) Am I telling myself anything that can make it worse?4) What is the most supportive think I can do right now?I know how those panic attacks are and they can be very hard to get through. I would look into some cognitive behavior therapy and maybe if you find a med that works you will feel more confident. I had bad panic attacks and anxiety for a couple of years and then they really have gotten better, but I do have to go over these things in my mind a lot. I would also tell myself these statements during panic attacks:I will just let my body do its thing- this will passThis is an opportunity for me to learn to cope with my fearsI will not lose control, a panic attack is not life threatening This anxiety and panic will not hurt me even if it doesn't feel goodI can be anxious and still deal with this situation This would also help me in panic attacksRetreat- Symptoms arise - retreat from the situation, recover- reenterDistractions - symptoms arise- divert attention, stay involved with the distraction (talk to someone, focus on surroundings.etc)Breathing- do deep breathing and repeat coping statements
Iam on anti-depressants to control my anxiety and I thought I had good control of it..but just recently, the past few months it seems to be coming back. Not sure if its the development of a new food allergy or just my anxiety. I had become pretty good at telling myself it would pass and it was just a panic attack but I find that isnt working so well anymore. I have an 18 month old now and what REALLY gets me is that I cant be there for him while Im sick and I think that makes the panic worse....hes not alone but the fact that someone else iswith him not me upsets me. Not exactly reasonable, but then again most anxiety isnt
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Have your tried hypnosis or the tapes linked to this site? You may benefit from that. I think that the anxiety and diarrhea are connected but in a subconscious way. This is a mind body disease and you will benefit by treating both. In a way the diarrhea is like a panic of the enteric nervous system (your gut)and you have become conditioned to respond to certain stimuli with certain gut and behavioral actions. You are right you will need to re-teach your mind and gut by learning to respond in the correct way. Hypnosis or maybe CBT and anti-depressants may help with that. There are other methods as well and you just need to try what works for you.
I tried hypmosis when I was pregnant (i wanted to do hypnobirthing) and I had a panic attack in the midst of one session and never went back. Im scared to try again
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who replied...I know thats kinda the whole purpose of the site but just knowing Im not alone and that Im not toally nuts brought tears to my eyes...so thanks
 

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You're not alone. I'm supposed to be a pseudo 'expert' on IBS and IBD since I've lived with both for more than 12 years and written a bood about my experience of living with it. Well, I ended up in the ER this past weekend with what they ended up calling an anxiety attack. I've denied anxiety and serious stress for years. Because of course I'm the wonder woman and "just don't have all that much stress." But since I was the only patient in the ER, it was a very small town, the ER doctor and nurse spent an hour or more with me talking about things. And I finally came to realize that even though I have my IBD and IBS under pretty darn good control, I still vibrate at a medium level of stress on a daily basis. Then, when I throw in traveling or doing something social where I'm unsure of food so don't eat and drink enough fluids - I have a bunch of food intolerances too - that increases the stress and anxiety level, blah, blah, blah. So, after spending years and years trying to work this out on my own with yoga, meditation, and rhythmic breathing, I'm now thinking I need to add in something more - psychiatrist? cognitive behavior thereapy? anti-depressenats? Not sure which or all so have made an appt. with my GP for next week to talk about me finally admitting I'm living in a huge bubble of anxiety and stress. It actually has helped a bit just to admit it, and get angry and frustrated about it, and cry. So, no, you're not alone and you're not making it up. Living with a pooping disorder is harder than any of us realize. Glad you found us. Elizabeth
Ive never made it to the ER...(few times to the drs office)but for the 1st few my husband was damn near ready to take me cause he didnt know what was going on...imagine me on the can panicing and trying to calm him down!!!My mom insists 90% of the time that its all in my head, I know its not...(well the anxiety kinda is)but its nice to hear someone else say its hard to deal with and not tell me Im being silly.Im glad I found u too!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
PS- maybe with all of your food intolerance/allergies you should look a bit into leaky gut syndrome. A good probotic and digestive enzymes may help.
Looking into and planning to start a full treatment regime soon! Ive already started probiotics but I plan to do a full body cleanse and start from scratch right after I manage to get a new set of interro testing done. I am also going to see a naturopath who apparently has a way of treating IBS...if it works I will totally ass on the info!!!
 

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Hi Everyone -When I came to this BB back in 2000, I could have written most of the content of your stories... I had tried everything, could hardly leave the house, and when I did, had to turn back home to make it in time, doubled over in pain - meds hardly touched it, if at all.At that time this BB was really small, and we knew everyone fairly well, so members here encouraged to try hypnotherapy - I totally thought this was a bogus idea - I have had my professional training connected with Mayo Clinic, and this was way off the charts for me. But I was desparate and suffering - so I did the program discussed here most often - the IBS Audio Program 100 - you can read - or wade through - my journey in the links below my signature, and also get more information there too.But the strongest thing about hypnotherapy is that you really do not have to do anything.Cognitive behavioral therapy is great for some folks - I do believe that everyone has a different way of coping, and different things - or combination of things - work better for some than for others, and this is true of the hypnotherapy. However, this method to date has a great deal of clinical research on it - I think something like 50 research studies or articles showing its effectiveness over the past 25+ years - and - for most of these people, nothing else worked - this was the 'last resort.' And that was the case for me.With CBT, you are consciously thinking of the outcome of your thinking! With hypnotherapy, you dont do anything - the subconscious mind helps you to help your body.Not all hypnotherapy is the same - having a panic attack while doing a session is unusual, and so your fear of that happening again may allow it to be true - however - if you go into it, knowing that not every time you do such and such, you get the same thing to happen, if you have one successful time, you know you can have another successful time.When the sessions finally kicked in for me, it was an automatic thing - I got a twinge saying - oh no - here we go - and then instantly -within seconds - I had the unconscious thought - this isnt needed - and it went away - didnt come back and I was able to carry on.I speak with IBS patients all over the country, and I hear my story - and yours - over and over again - and once they are guided through the program - I hear another story - one of success and a much better life... nope, not for everyone - that is true - but worth a shot - and sometimes need a few rounds - after all - you have had IBS for a long time, and you need to give yourself time to heal - it is a journey.If anyone has questions or needs support, you can call 877-898-2539 and they will help you out - some folks have said that they didnt talk to their doctors as much or as long!There is hope - this program is so gentle and comforting and soothing - and the stuff he says on the intro is just like he gets into your head and knows exactly what you are going through - and there is another recording called the IBS Companion - that you can give to your family or others who need to know what IBS is all about - when I heard that for the first time, I cried all the way through it, because it finally validated that I was not doing this (having IBS symptoms) on purpose, it is NOT in your head, but a functional disorder in the way the brain and the brain in the gut speak to each other - there are CAT scans showing the difference between IBS brains and 'normal' non-IBS brains - and this in itself was pretty therapeutic.I would not be here after 10 years, helping others with this if I didnt read about or talk to people whose lives have been changed - we do it one person at a time, and it is volunteer on here - and too, if this program did not help people, Jeff and other members here, would have sent the discussions packin' - but we are still here helping because it works for the vast majority of folks who try it - some get relief fairly soon into it, others, like myself, take longer - had I given up on the first round, I wouldnt be here to encourage others - it was a long haul - and I can so relate to everything you all have written here...There is hope - feel free to ask me any questions or call that number if you want to talk to someone... and be encouraged!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi Everyone -When I came to this BB back in 2000, I could have written most of the content of your stories... I had tried everything, could hardly leave the house, and when I did, had to turn back home to make it in time, doubled over in pain - meds hardly touched it, if at all.At that time this BB was really small, and we knew everyone fairly well, so members here encouraged to try hypnotherapy - I totally thought this was a bogus idea - I have had my professional training connected with Mayo Clinic, and this was way off the charts for me. But I was desparate and suffering - so I did the program discussed here most often - the IBS Audio Program 100 - you can read - or wade through - my journey in the links below my signature, and also get more information there too.But the strongest thing about hypnotherapy is that you really do not have to do anything.Cognitive behavioral therapy is great for some folks - I do believe that everyone has a different way of coping, and different things - or combination of things - work better for some than for others, and this is true of the hypnotherapy. However, this method to date has a great deal of clinical research on it - I think something like 50 research studies or articles showing its effectiveness over the past 25+ years - and - for most of these people, nothing else worked - this was the 'last resort.' And that was the case for me.With CBT, you are consciously thinking of the outcome of your thinking! With hypnotherapy, you dont do anything - the subconscious mind helps you to help your body.Not all hypnotherapy is the same - having a panic attack while doing a session is unusual, and so your fear of that happening again may allow it to be true - however - if you go into it, knowing that not every time you do such and such, you get the same thing to happen, if you have one successful time, you know you can have another successful time.When the sessions finally kicked in for me, it was an automatic thing - I got a twinge saying - oh no - here we go - and then instantly -within seconds - I had the unconscious thought - this isnt needed - and it went away - didnt come back and I was able to carry on.I speak with IBS patients all over the country, and I hear my story - and yours - over and over again - and once they are guided through the program - I hear another story - one of success and a much better life... nope, not for everyone - that is true - but worth a shot - and sometimes need a few rounds - after all - you have had IBS for a long time, and you need to give yourself time to heal - it is a journey.If anyone has questions or needs support, you can call 877-898-2539 and they will help you out - some folks have said that they didnt talk to their doctors as much or as long!There is hope - this program is so gentle and comforting and soothing - and the stuff he says on the intro is just like he gets into your head and knows exactly what you are going through - and there is another recording called the IBS Companion - that you can give to your family or others who need to know what IBS is all about - when I heard that for the first time, I cried all the way through it, because it finally validated that I was not doing this (having IBS symptoms) on purpose, it is NOT in your head, but a functional disorder in the way the brain and the brain in the gut speak to each other - there are CAT scans showing the difference between IBS brains and 'normal' non-IBS brains - and this in itself was pretty therapeutic.I would not be here after 10 years, helping others with this if I didnt read about or talk to people whose lives have been changed - we do it one person at a time, and it is volunteer on here - and too, if this program did not help people, Jeff and other members here, would have sent the discussions packin' - but we are still here helping because it works for the vast majority of folks who try it - some get relief fairly soon into it, others, like myself, take longer - had I given up on the first round, I wouldnt be here to encourage others - it was a long haul - and I can so relate to everything you all have written here...There is hope - feel free to ask me any questions or call that number if you want to talk to someone... and be encouraged!
I havnt yet looked at ur links but I have to ask...is this a cd u listen to or a program you ahve to GO to???
 

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CDs you listen to at home - each CD contains two sessions having 5 therapy sessions and one into session - you listen to one session per day according to a specific schedule - you can also download the sessions as MP3s and put them on your iPod, etc. all done in the privacy of your own home when you want to - once per day, with support if needed via contact page, email or phone. Here is a direct link - http://www.ibscds.com Hope that helps.
 

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I can empathise totally, I've been there and felt it, but I dealt with anxiety issues in my life, and now feel so so so much better.I suffered quite badly from panic attacks last year, which both acted as a cause of, and would be made worse by, the dreaded IBS. I used to shake and sweat and bloat and feel so uncomfortable, which would fuel my need to go to the toilet, to the point where I would not and COULD NOT go on public transport and would avoid certain situations like the plague. At one point I couldn't even leave my house.As a young woman, it was hard to explain to people why I couldn't take the bus with them, and even when my best friends paid for me to go on holiday with them as a suprise, all I could do was cry at the thought of getting on a plane - I felt so selfish and scared and upset, which only made my attacks worse. My doctor put me on betablockers to calm me, aswell as the usual IBS medication like imodium and colofac, but I still felt so wretched and anxious every day.But a year on and I feel completely different. Firstly, I know my attacks did not come completely from IBS, since I was going through an awful time in life after the death of my mother. Yet the whole thing was a vicious cycle and I think the panic attacks and anxiety and IBS were really inextricably linked. I sought counselling at the time, which really helped me immensely. Even if you do not feel you have some underlying emotional issue like the bereavement I had, you would be suprised at how Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and normal 'talking therapies' like counselling really help you to deal with any other emotional issues you have - i.e. stress, or a lack of confidence from your pesky bowels. Although it wasn't a quick fix, it really helped me assess my thoughts and things which were making me upset and gain back confidence I'd lost, through showing me I really was strong and capable and in control. And now as a much much more confident person than I was, I can get on a bus or a train calmly and happily and even flew to and travelled across America by train this summer ALONE! Secondly, I speak to my friends about my IBS, which thankfully doesn't embarrass me but just makes me feel normal. Two of my best friends also have it, and knowing that two beautiful, hilarious, confident and successful people also get extremely smelly gas and have to run to the toilet means we can sometimes laugh about it, although it doesn't always feel funny at the time haha. Because in the end, you have nothing to be ashamed of - everybody poos.I still take medication like colofac, colpermin and occasionally fybogel and imodium for my IBS to keep it at bay and have to think about it quite often, in that I don't eat wheat and carry extra medication with me sometimes - i.e. if I'm going out for the night - but it definitely doesn't affect my life as much and definitely doesn't rule my thoughts in the horrible negative way it used to. I can't think of much in the past few months that I haven't done because I was worried about panic attacks or IBS, although I can think of plenty that I didn't feel like doing, but did in the end and everything turned out just fine.I know how awful and difficult it is (and how hard to explain) but I would say don't give up on yourself. Things like beta blockers and anxiety medication can help prevent you from showing outward signs of panic like shaking and give you piece of mind, but for me, personally, they were not the answer since they didn't help my worries or my diarrohea. Slowly gaining back confidence through counselling and talking to others is what really helped me, and I now live a much happier life. Again, you have nothing to be ashamed of.
 

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hi.i just read your story and i suffer from the exact thing.at the end of last year i started getting exremely sick to at the point i wasin hospital they told me i had IBS and GERD and also aniema.i have always suffered from depression but when i got extremely sicki started to have paniac attacks and this is when the anixety hell started.i now have suffered from aniexty for around a year with extreme paniac attacks that upset my bowel like you.and upset my gerd.i never feel comfitble going out i get extremely nervous and scared that i will have a bowel attackwith no near by toileti am only 17 and i want to get a job and get on with my life but i just get so nervous and scared about my bowel problems and my anixety.my ibs also plays up worse with my menstral cycle.i just feel so alone, i know theres worse things out there to have but it still makes me so depressed and upsetbecause people act like its nothing. but it is huge when it gets in your day to day life.i am on a few different things to help they help a bit but still im not satisfied.i take slipperly elm and ploybac8, for my anixety i take a thing called SAme its a natural medicene and it does help a fair bit with the anixietyyou could give that a try i hope ive helped you and made you feel not as alone.
 
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