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Hi all,

This is my first post on here, as I need some advice.

I have been diagnosed with IBS-A going hand in hand with my Anxiety Disorders (PTSD and GAD). Both of which I have medication for but only take during bad days as I don't want to be dependant on anything (Ativan as a short term solution for my anxiety - I was previously on Paxil, and Colofac and avoiding trigger foods for IBS).

I am a first-year student studying at University, and I have been fortunate with this year's accommodation as I received a small studio room with a private bathroom. It has been a blessing as the biggest issue with my IBS is not the symptoms but the social embarrassment and pressure which comes with trying to hide my invisible illnesses.

However, I am about to sign a lease with a friend (who knows to a degree what I'm going through) to be sublet into a 5 bedroom 1 bathroom apartment for next year. It is perfect in terms of location, price, and build quality in the midst of my city's housing crisis. The toilet is separate from the shower which is a good thing, but I am worried about sharing it with 4 other people.

I often have loose stools and urgency especially when my anxiety is taking its toll. I am also in the habit of going 3-4 times before leaving to go to class or somewhere else for the day. I am really worried that someone will notice my weird bathroom habits or that I won't be able to make it at all.

The other people that I will be sharing the apartment with are two nursing students (which I have been told are often away on shift which is a plus) and another girl. I have not yet met any of them and I am terrified of the prospect of introducing myself and then saying "by the way, my intestine hates me and I will be spending a lot of time in our only toilet".

I was feeling confident about this until my mum brought it up when I told her about the place - and that has only set off my anxiety.

I need tips/reassurance. Will it be as bad as I think or is it just my anxiety telling me so?

Has anyone else been in a similar situation? Any tips on how to tell people you've just met about your embarrassing medical condition? And tips on how to share a personal space with minimal issues?

Thanks!
 

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Did you sign it already? If you can avoid it, stay right where you are or get a similar layout elsewhere. Your friend might have an idea of what you're going through but the others don't and you don't know how they'll react when they do. Right now I'm living in a dorm apartment with 3 other strangers (all girls). The walls are paper thin and I developed these abnormal gassy sounds in my bowels that go off 24/7 whether I eat or not. Everyone on my floor (especially my suitemates and neighbors) have heard it and I've been a constant source of mockery and ridicule no matter where I am. They've humiliated me so much I've thought about taking my own life from the constant social embarrassment in class, at my apartment (which I share with a roommate), and even on the street (they've been spreading gossip and news about me and lots of people I don't even know spy and harass me). I would kill for a studio with your own bathroom. Stay there and keep your peace of mind - that's true happiness.

If you signed, just be blunt. Because no one will be prepared for how bad it is unless you're brutally honest. Only thing is, you have to be prepared if they talk about you behind your back. They might be like my suitemates- neutral to your face and awful behind your back. You'll need to have a thick skin. I'd simply tell them I'm seeing a doctor about, it's not my fault (there's nothing I can do), and ask them to please be understanding. Good luck!
 
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