COPING WITH IBD
Physical and psychological functioning are linked together, especially in diseases like Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. Good mental health is an important part of feeling well, but many people with IBD feel anxious or depressed. Besides having a chronic illness, other challenges include traumatic experiences, stress, lack of social support, family issues, or other environmental factors.
Whether someone is adjusting to IBD and its treatment or continuing to manage lifelong symptoms, these life changes can be challenging. A counselor, psychologist or therapist can help and offer support based on what each person needs:
- Adjusting to the diagnosis or treatment
- Coping with IBD symptoms or flares
- Mood changes related to medical treatments
- Difficulty adapting to changes
- Problems taking medications
- Lack of support or social withdrawal
- Stress management
- Family interactions
A typical first session with a mental health provider focuses on learning about the person and identifying their current concerns. In sessions that follow, the provider may discuss strategies and teach skills to address their concerns. They may also help set goals and develop more useful behaviors.
This article, as well as all others, was reviewed and edited by a member of our Medical Advisory Board.
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