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Hi Everyone,I've had very bad IBS-D ever since high school (I'm now 32). I look back over the years and can't believe how long I've been letting it ruin my life. There was a point when even supermarket shopping was a problem for me. Dating was nearly impossible since everyday things like going out to eat is a major terror for me. I finally got a break a year or two ago when I demanded that my GI remove my bowel, and he finally took me seriously and eventually gave me Lo-Cholest Light (a brand name of Cholestramine like Questran). This was the first thing that ever worked and has made an incredible difference. Although I still have bowel problems, most of the times I am pretty normal as long as I watch what I eat.The problem is that as I am physically becoming better, I am as terrified as ever at leaving the apartment. Going out to eat is still out of the question, and when I drive too far from home I start to panic majorly and have to turn around NOW! The interesting thing is that many times I get home and I don't even have to use the bathroom after all that.So I finally realize that after all these years, I am at the point where much of my problem is in the mind. My plan: hire a good psychiatrist, get him to give me a pill to solve my panic attacks, and live happily ever after. I will ignore the suspicion that nothing is ever that easy.Problem solved, right? Wrong. My first hurdle is one that I didn't expect...finding a good psychiatrist. I was trying to make an appointment since last week. I called my insurance company and they don't know of any that have experience with IBS. I called my GI, and after I finally got in touch with him (he doesn't have time to call me back) he told me nobody specializes in IBS, but after some persistance, he finally recommended somebody. I called him up and he didn't have a receptionist, just an answering service. (Is that normal in this specialty?) After much phone tag, he sounded annoyed when he picked up the phone, and nastily told me he has no openings until the end of June. He sounded like he was doing me a favor just by answering the phone. Maybe I made a mistake, but it just didn't feel right, and I said thank you and hung up.Tommorrow morning I will follow a lead from Trbell, a really nice guy here on the board who found me a few names (thanks!). If that doesn't work I guess I will just start going down the yellow pages I guess and asking them if they have any experience with IBS. Or maybe I should just make it easier and find one who simply treats anxiety/panic. I see lots of ads for those specialties. I was hoping I would already be seeing somebody by now, but I have a feeling this is going to be a long, drawn out process. Thanks for listening!
 

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I believe there is an american psychiatric association that you could call for specific referrals. A behavioral psychiatrist should be helpful. Sounds to me that ibs has created a generalized anxiety disorder which can be corrected with some sessions and an anti anxiety medication like xanax. Good luck!!!I am not in that field but have suffered from both conditions and have gotten rid of the anxiety part.
 

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Hope it helps, Bill. I've come to the conclusion that often halfway measures aren't successful as the combination really requires someone very knowlegeable in psycholgy, medication, and IBS. Internet listings and yellow pages and even insurance provider lists are possibly not going to list this area of expertise as it's so new.keep us posted Bill.tom
 

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PetaHertz,My sympathies are with you!! I have also developed a generalized anxiety disorder, mainly due to health concerns (some of which are IBS). Since my health insurance does not provide great coverage for psycniatric care, I started with my general practictioner. Many of them, nowadays, are somewhat knowledgeable in treating the most basic of depressions and anxieties. I would have stuck with my except that I had an allergic reaction to one of the anxiety medications and it all got too "tricky" for my MD. So, like you, I went on the hunt for a good shrink. My first stop was to go through the list of "approved" doctors. Well, it was April and I couldn't get into one of them until June at the earliest. Some of them were also "up to their limit" on patients who carried my insurance. I was so frustrated and so tired of the anxiety I decided just to go outside my plan and bear the cost. I used a psychiatrist that my GP recommended and he is just wonderful. His first visit cost me $250 and I am *hoping* my insurance will pick up at least half of it. Since then I have had two med checks and $125 each. He is very caring, seems to understand VERY well how physical illnesses can create psychological difficulties. I am very glad that I went out of my plan. Once I find a good medication, my visits with him will be few and it will be worth it. Christine
 

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out of network benefits are helpful but also its sometimes worthwhile to find someone who can help rather than just any psychiatrist or psychologist since you can often getthe right answer in a visit or 2.tom
 
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Having been through a recent quest of a suitable Psychiatric practioner to no avail, I have come to the conclusion, and have been joined in my conclusion by those that have also found this to be true....sometimes a bad psychiatrist is worse than none at all....only when there is a proper match of doctor and patient is there a proper arena for any healing to commence. There is such a rush to assume psychopharmacological intervention is the only way to go when there is evidence of depression or anxiety.....though this is true in some cases, I am not convinced it is so in all cases...be patient and tread lightly..
 

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I have recently started seeing a psychiatrist and was unable to find one that specialized in IBS. I did pick one that specialized in panic and anxiety disorders. He has been fairly helpful with the panic and anxiety piece as he did treat one other patient with IBS whom he refered to a psy that specialized in Cognitive therapy. I've started seeing her as well. Needless to say the cost is a problem but I am determined to do something about this damn curse. I've also contacted the folks regarding LEAP for testing and will take that route. I refuse to spend the rest of my life being afraid to travel and go out with friends. I can totally relate to your fears and being new to this board it has helped me realize I am not a nut as there are so many others with the exact same problems, thoughts and issues. I would think it is important to keep looking and don't give up until you find a psy that you feel comfortable talking with. With all of the NJ area people on this board I would think someone will have a referral for you. Best of luck and think positive thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I called a Psychiatrist that Trbell told me about. He had a real live receptionist and I asked if he had experience treating IBS, and I was told he had a number of patients being treated for that. So that was a good sign. Unfortunately they didn't have an appointment until the end of June. I really would like to be seen much sooner than that, but I made the appointment anyway because otherwise I will be searching around forever. Somehow I'll have to get through the next month, but I've been doing it for so long, I guess I can survive a bit longer.Thanks for the advice and support!
 
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My 2-cents worth on this topic is that my experience with psychiatrists for the most part has been insignificant with respect to healing. The best healing for me has come from a finding a therapist (not a psychiatrist) with whom I can relate. She is my therapist, my confidant, and now my friend. I no longer depend on her for support.... she taught me well....
 

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Peta, sounds like you've gotten a positive response to one hurdle. You've gotten a recommendation to a psychiatrist who has a case load that includes patients with IBS. Before you know it it will be the end of June. If I'm reading your original posting you have had trouble going out for some time. It sounds as though you need help reintegrating you life because it's been a while since you were able to come and go as you please without IBS. It would be that way for anyone with a chronic illness whose contacts with the outside world had become minimal to none. It could be that you won't need medicine for anxiety or that you only need it as an adjunct to therapy. Be open to the possibilities and in defining your goals in therapy. Certainly since a psychiatrist is a medical doctor he/she would understand IBS from that perspective and understand whatever meds you are taking. From my experience it's most important to form a therapeutic alliance with someone who you are comfortable working with. Best wishes, Gayle
 

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PetaHertz , if your doing this for IBS it can help a lot more if the person has experience with IBS for sure, and CBT and clinical Hypnotherapy are two methods shown to be effective in IBS.There are also relaxtion things to do at home that will help.If your going for other issues besides the IBS, then of course there would be other reasons to see a therapist in general. Targeted treatment for IBS from someone experienced in it is more effective on the whole then general therapy from someone unfamilar with IBS.
 

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eric, Is there any evidence for your statement:"Targeted treatment for IBS from someone experienced in it is more effective on the whole then general therapy from someone unfamilar with IBS" aside from the liklihood that if someone thinks they are getting treatment for IBS rather than just general relaxation they are more likely to pay and stick with the treatment. I am asking this in a serious way and I don't want to set you off again.Bill, anything related to your problems and what they are called is between your and the doctor you see. What I helped you with was connecting you to an experienced professional who will tell you exactly what he or she is offering treatment for. I don't make any guarantees and I hope that if this thread gets turned into another internet chicken and egg debate.tom
 
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