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I've had IBS for years (I'm 22), but since a 6-hour car journey just over a year ago where I had bad IBS-D the whole time, it's caused me severe anxiety. Every service station we passed, we had to stop at, and on many occasions I thought I wouldn't make it to the next one. I've never been so uncomfortable in my life and I felt trapped, anxious and panic-y in the car for the whole journey.
Ever since I've developed severe anxiety (I've always been slightly anxious/nervous but this is way worse) to the point where I went months without even leaving the house, cancelled a holiday last minute because I couldn't face the journey to the airport or being trapped on the plane, and have been to A&E before with panic attacks.
Now I can manage short car journeys (about 10/15 minutes) but anything longer just causes me to freak out because I worry that my IBS will kick off whilst I'm stuck in the car. I have to know where the bathroom is everywhere I go. For the last year I've mainly been stuck indoors, too terrified to go anywhere and having to take medication for my anxiety.
The worst thing is that my anxiety makes my IBS worse, which then makes my anxiety worse, and it's just a vicious cycle.
I really don't know what to do. I've tried CBT (it didn't help). I take Imodium when I do have to go out but that doesn't always cure the upset stomach that I get. I've tried changing my diet but it hasn't helped as I think my IBS is mainly caused by anxiety and stress (which, ironically, it caused in the first place).
I don't know how to break the cycle and I don't know how to start living my life again without constant fear of having an 'accident'. Please help!
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