About 30,000 people are diagnosed with Crohn’s disease every year in the US. This may not seem like a big number considering there are diseases with hundreds of thousands or even millions of new cases every year. However, to those it happens to and their families, the diagnosis of Crohn’s can be earth-shattering. The news that you have an incurable disease doesn’t come easy to anyone and can wreak havoc on their mind.
But unfortunately, this emotional impact of Crohn’s (or any other disease, for that matter) is not generally recognized, and there is not enough support available to help you deal with the mental trauma. The physical symptoms of Crohn’s take full attention as we try and find a better way to manage the disease and control its symptoms. It shouldn’t be the case, though. One needs to be mentally strong to effectively deal with Crohn’s disease, which is a lifelong journey. Here are some tips to help you deal with the emotional trauma that often comes with Crohn’s diagnosis:
● Seek Professional Help
It’s high time we stop stigmatizing going to therapists, psychologists, and counselors. The diagnosis of a chronic disease can be a life-altering experience and can cause mental distress. A mental health specialist can help you deal with unexpected situation as well as prepare you for the challenges ahead.
It’s common for people to seek strength and support from their family and friends, and there is nothing wrong with it. But, professional help can be just as important. A therapist or psychologist can save you from falling into depression, which is very common with IBD and can also help you stay on top of things mentally.
● Go Out
When you get to know that you have developed a lifelong disease, all you may want is to curl up in your bed and perhaps, cry your heart out. Do that. But, once you have shed all those tears, get up and go out. Get sunlight, breathe fresh air, go on a walk, hit the gym, or take a swim. These little things can help reduce the intensity of emotions you’re experiencing, make you feel better, and improve your mood. You may not notice drastic changes in just one day, but incorporating these into your daily routine can really help.
● Talk to Other Crohn’s Patients
You may not want to talk to anyone about your disease, and we totally get it. Not everyone may be able to help or offer you much support. But, talking to other Crohn’s patients can help you make sense of things. There are several digital communities of IBD patients. Join them, and talk to people over there. They have been or going through the same situation as you, so they would understand how it feels. They would understand all your concerns and fears and can also offer tips and advice on how to better deal with the situation. Moreover, being a part of a community where other people are also going through more or less a similar situation can make you feel less alone.
The Final Word
Crohn’s diagnosis can be overwhelming. If not dealt with properly, it can disrupt your mental health and cause stress, depression, and anxiety, all of which will further worsen your condition. We understand it’s not easy to deal with such news, especially when you didn’t see it coming, but you need to hold your nerve to better deal with the situation.