Unbreakable cycle of anxiety and IBS

Posted , 4 users are following.

I'm just going to write my entire experience with what I suspect is IBS paired with extreme anxiety down here and see what everyone else thinks of it. In late July, the 21st to be exact (I remember because it was my mom's birthday), I went to the hospital because of a week long bout of constipation. I didn't pass a single stool that entire week. I just physically could not do it. I was given some x-rays and prescribed a bowel prep laxative that I took later that day. To make it short, it was an extremely arduous 9-hour long process that drained me physically, mentally, and emotionally. I remember crying and snuggling into my mom's bed that night because I was just so miserable. 

The following morning I woke up feeling sluggish, nauseated, and full in the belly. It felt like something was swimming around in me, like contractions but they weren't painful. I went to the hospital again three days later and got more x-rays, and the doctor told me I was still full. He told me to take magnesium citrate. That was also an unbearable ordeal but not so unbearable as the first treatment. That didn't seem to work either. So, I visited my normal doctor and got yet another x-ray, where they showed me the scans personally and determined I was not full as the hospital doctor said, but I did have a lot of gas. I had a massive panic attack when I got home from that appointment, as I'm terrified of x-rays and I'd had a lot done. I was inconsolable for a week after that.

Then, I had another bout of constipation. I was so drained and exhausted that I just went to my normal doctor again. She told me that MiraLax would probably work best, and it did. I cleared out in just under two days and I felt pretty good for a little while. I also finally calmed down about my x-rays, and convinced myself that it wasn't that bad.

But then, it got worse. I started having regular cramps, and bouts of chest pain and an immovable lump in my throat. I started getting dizzy, I got more and more frequent headaches, and I started worrying about each and every medical condition on the planet. To date, I've self-diagnosed multiple types of cancer, a brain tumor, an ulcer, a prolapsed colon, gangrene, heart failure, appendicitis, and many more. This worrying seems to have really set off my symptoms as they seem to be bothering me more these days.

Now, four months later, I sit here worried to go to sleep because I'm legitimately afraid I will not wake up. The idea of sleeping puts a dark pit in my stomach and it's been like this for a long time. It feels like there's a heavy weight in my stomach, and sometimes I'll get a stabbing pain right in the center, which I have Googled (against everyone's wishes) and have convinced myself is something that's going to kill me, because all terrible diseases seem to start with pain behind the navel. 

My digestive symptoms worsen my anxiety, and my worsening anxiety makes my digestive symptoms worse, and it's just a big horrible cycle that I just can't break no matter how hard I try. I can't concentrate on anything anymore, I have regular panic attacks because of all the x-rays I've gotten in my chest and abdominal region, I get tension headaches sometimes multiple times per day, and I'm so convinced I'm going to die that when I make plans I think to myself, "if I'm still alive to be there." I sincerely don't know what to do and I need help but I don't know where to start. 

Has anybody else had an experience similar to mine? 

0 likes, 8 replies

Report / Delete

8 Replies

  • Posted

    Ibs manifests in different ways but anxiety and ibs are very closely linked. You may need to go for a medicine like St john's wort that calms the anxiety caused by the bowel problems you have. It's a vicious circle more anxiety worsening ibs, worsening ibs. Breaking the cycle is hard. You could try mindfulness that might really help you. Talking to people can be the best thing you may be able to see about having counselling. Ask your doctor see what they think.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Sounds like anxiety.  Have you talked with a professional about it?  Have you had a thorough blood work up?  Low vitamin D, thyroid issues, and other things can drive anxious thoughts and feelings.  How is your sleep?  gained a lot of weight or snore, etc?  Sleep apnea can cause really bad anxiety about sleeping.  The app headspace can help with mindfulness.  The DARE response for anxiety and the book "The feeling good handbook" by David Burns MD can all bring about some positive change in why and how you think....and how to change it for the better.  

    Good Luck

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Added that I am not a professional but have had a host of unsolved gut issues and hope my experiences can help.
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Ask for CBT.  Your worries are probably being caused by not having a diagnosis yet. Once you get a diagnosis at the end of the month, this will help your health anxiety, particularly if you find out you have nothing more serious than IBS which is treatable.  My health anxiety disappeared after my diagnosis and my symptoms vastly improved.
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      CBt was the biggest waste of my time. 

      For example

      I haven't gone outside in years! Why ? Incase I need a toilet. CBt works around my toilet fear ect.

      Ok now that doesn't work so go to hypnotherapy 

      Why do I not go out?

      Because I have no self confidence and social anxiety not. Toilet fear.

      Also mine didn't get better when you get a diagnosis but you shouldn't listen to opinions on here nor be givin them when she says she's self diagnosed all this junk it'll only make her worse.. none of us are drs if you were that bad you'd know about it trust me. 

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      If you are on BAM meds, they should help to stop diarrhoea because they help to bind bile. If you are not on this medication, insist on it. The other option is to keep Imodium or codeine to hand which also help diarrhoea.  The cause of worry is different for everyone.  As I said, getting a diagnosis cured my health anxiety because it was a lack of answers that was fuelling it.  It sounds like you need some sort of counselling to deal with your toilet fear.  Certainly, ask your doctor to refer you.

      When people say they have self diagnosed, my advice is always to see a doctor first.  The opinions on this site are very useful because because they give people options to try out first of all and ideas to ask their doctor about. Many people get reassurance on this forum and it helps to calm their fears.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Yup. I'm 22. At 18 had gallbladder out got told it was the miracle cure! anyway I was still poorly and had awful diarrhea once a day at least but yeah fast forwRd to me being 20 I ctapped my pants on my way home one day and didn't go outside again. I went for hospital appointments cause I'd been gave lorazepam but yep I stayed indoors now my anxiety is beyond over the top and Gp won't give me meds for it :D and btw I was diagnosed as BAM and IBS as they go together? And like pre chrons. And even though I'm cured I still can't leave my house haha I dunno what to do I'm paranoid I'll crap my pants again xD

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Ok after reading these replies ignore most of it we aren't gps we can't say what is or isn't ibs and I don't know why people are saying that after reading on how you work yourself up because you'll probably find a horror ibs story, if you look for it you'll find it! Whether it's self diagnosing, pain, anxiety ect.

      I find anxiety very personalised. I tried everything to no avail someone sAid mindfulness someone said CBt, as far as it goes about you self diagnosing honestly stop googling things. Google anything and cancer will come up. But one STRANGE STRANGE experience I had in hypnotherapy was something to do with my eyes, anyway basically I was put in "trance" woke up, my agonising pain was gone. And I'm not sure of the technique but long story short I WAS LOOKING REPEATEDLY FOR PAIN, and thus found some xD quite strange since then I've had no BAD pain but I have adhesions also they think my ibs is basically poop in the bowel dragging the scar tissues down and causing pain ect ect. If I was you I'd go to a GP with what you have said here and they'll be able to help you. I am not intending on being nasty or anything like that but I know when I had bad anxiety I'd google ect and I ended up not going outside for years I wouldn't even go to my own bin . I don't want the same for you. I'm sorry if I came across nasty that wAsnt my intentions but I just think people shouldn't even say anything to do with my medical conditions after reading your post I think you'll just self diagnose something else from what you've read here and get yourself panicked if you find a horror ibs story. I think it's brilliant you've come here and been honest and open and that's proof enough you don't want to be poorly!!! Sounds strange but turns out I wouldn't let mine go (anxiety) due to all family abandoning me and they only spoke again because I was so ill. I hope you do go to the gp and get well again, and if they Do diagnose ibs and anxiety you have so many wonderful things that work!!! So don't give up!!! As mindfulness might not work so then you have hypnotherapy which if that doesn't work you have CBT!!! Don't struggle when there's so much on offer to make you feel like yourself again smile 

      All the best!

      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up