It can be a rattling experience to be diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis (more common in men) and Crohn’s disease (more common in women) as these diseases are not curable in nature. Moreover, these diseases are closely associated with mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression.
Since these diseases generally lead to loose stools, diarrhea, stomach cramps, loss of appetite and weight, etc., people grappling these challenges in their daily life tend to avoid discussing their problems with others. Being considered as incurable disease, those with such disorders are prone to negative thinking and overthinking. However, one can find solace in the fact that IBDs can be efficiently managed even if it inflames one’s rectum, colon and or any part of the digestive tract.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) may be more common than one might think. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the total number of individuals coping with IBDs are speculated to be around 1 to 1.3 million in the United States.
Here are some important facts about UC:
- It is a chronic condition that can be managed with medications or surgery or both.
- It is a condition where the lining of the large intestine and the rectum is inflamed.
- The precise causes of UC are unknown; however, experts believe that individuals with UC are twice more likely to develop depression compared to others.
Ulcerative colitis may be more than a physical condition
UC is an impartial disease that can take hold and infect anyone’s colon regardless of his or her age, sex, ethnicity or social standing. However, the onset of the disease is mostly common among individuals around the age of 30. According to the CDC, 37 to 246 cases per 100,000 individuals are known to be affected by this disease. While the incidence rate of fresh diagnosed cases was 2.2 to 14.3 cases per 100,000 persons per year.
Looking at the extent to which UC can affect mental health, individuals with UC must pay heed to or take special care of their mental health. Some research highlights that higher rates of depression are witnessed among individuals afflicted by IBDs like UC. Therefore, the need of the hour is to maintain an equilibrium between physical and mental health while treating UC.
Wearing one’s diagnosis as an armor
The diagnosis of UC can make an individual confused due to the surge of an umpteen number of doubt that discourage him or her from accepting this fact and imagining their life with such a disorder that can be overwhelming and quite taxing on his or her mental health. The fact that the diagnosis of UC, which in an incurable disease, does very little to soothe one’s nerves.
Another grim addition is that individuals with UC are at an increased exposure to other diseases, such as bowel cancer and anemia, which can become a source of extreme stress and anxiety. However, one must understand that IBDs worsen when an individual is exposed to the high levels of stress and anxiety that will only aggravate the condition. Instead of victimizing oneself, imbibing or teaching oneself healthy coping mechanisms would be their best bulwark against IBDs.
Practically, a person coping with UC may have to often disrupt their work to visit the loo. Fears related to another diarrhea attack and dehydration may cause some serious worries. Therefore, it is important for the patients to recognize that the aforementioned complications are due to their disease and are not part of their personality. By making peace with their condition, one can make a step toward a fulfilling life.
Recovery road map
If you or your loved one is suffering from IBDs, you may be more susceptible to developing mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. Therefore, it is important to take care of mental health as much as of physical health. By undergoing an effective treatment under the supervision of an expert, one can effectively overcome all fears to lead a stress-free life.
The California Mental Health Helpline assists in accessing some of the outstanding mental health centers in California that is adept at delivering holistic evidence-based intervention plans. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-559-3923 or chat online with our medical representatives to know more about the mental health facilities in California.