IBS irritable bowel syndrome and depression – Why they go hand in hand

It may be a little strange to link a problem with your intestines to depression, but many people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome also deal with depression. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic illness that can cause big changes in your lifestyle.

Having problems with pain and diarrhea can keep you from being able to enjoy life too far away from a restroom. You may find that you’re missing work, having to turn down social engagements, and that you’re becoming more and more isolated.

Anxiety can be a major problem for you if you have IBS. You may be worried about what will happen if you have a flare up when you’re outside of the house. You may miss work because you fear you might have an accident.

While social support is something that can really help you if you have a chronic illness, people with IBS often retreat from social activities and spend more and more time alone or at home. It’s also possible that the underlying anxiety and depression you feel can contribute to your problems with IBS.

In fact, it’s found that more than half of people who have IBS actually have another psychological issue such as anxiety or depression. Stress is a known cause of problems with proper bowel function.

That means that it’s possible having anxiety or depression can actually cause some of the IBS symptoms to occur. This adds a double layer of frustration for someone dealing with mental health problems along with physical ailments.

The good news is that you can get help for your depression or anxiety. This can both relieve some of your IBS symptoms as well as help you to cope with life having a chronic health condition.

Antidepressants have been shown to help both depression and IBS symptoms in some patients. If you feel that you may be suffering from anxiety and/or depression, it’s important to speak with your doctor and see if antidepressants help you.

You may also want to seek counseling to work on learning to manage stress, anxiety, and relieve depression. In most cases a combined approach works best to help you to feel better and improve your symptoms.

Irritable bowel syndrome goes hand in hand with depression both because it can be caused by it and because it can be the source of the problem. By addressing your mental health, you’ll only be doing something good for your body and mind.

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