Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel disease forms can cause many emotional and physical challenges. Many patients feel embarrassed about canceling plans or running to the bathroom constantly and can find themselves feeling overwhelmed or anxious. One way to combat these feelings is to join a support group.
When you build connections with those around you, it’s important to be true to yourself and share what you feel comfortable sharing. It’s also crucial to learn how to regulate your emotions so you can focus on the present moment and communicate effectively. You can do this by practicing mindfulness, meditating, or trying activities like yoga and tai chi to improve your mental and emotional health, or seeking help from a professional counselor or psychologist. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are not easy to discuss, which can lead to a sense of isolation. You can combat that feeling by finding a Crohn’s disease support group. Traditional groups involve in-person meetings where members talk through their challenges and discuss different strategies for managing their condition. You can also find online forums and apps that can connect you with people who have similar experiences.
If you want to expand your social circle, consider joining a Crohn’s support group or a group for those living with IBD, such as Girls With Guts. Both groups have in-person events, such as picnics and meals, which can be a great way to meet new people. In addition, these groups often have a social committee that puts together different activities, such as community volunteer days and family outings. These are a great way to get out of the house and interact with others in a safe environment focused on connecting and being happy.
Ask For Help
When a person with Crohn’s is feeling down or anxious, it can be helpful to ask for help. This can be a call to a friend, going to a mental health professional, or finding support groups online or offline. Nonprofit groups can help people find assistance with medical costs. These resources can be especially useful if someone needs insurance or their coverage isn’t enough to cover their prescriptions. Talking about a chronic illness to others, even with friends and family, can be difficult. Some patients don’t want to share their condition with anyone other than their doctors. Others may be worried about how it will affect their career or social life. Some also fear how others will react when they learn about their condition. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can impact every aspect of a person’s life, so getting the support you need is important. A Crohn’s support group can be a great place to find help and feel part of a community. People can find a Crohn’s support group near them through a tool. There are also plenty of options online, from Zoom meetings with facilitators to Facebook communities. Some groups are designed to address specific issues, such as a child’s IBD or a caregiver’s role.
A Crohn’s support group allows patients to discuss a wide range of topics with others who know the ins and outs of living with IBD. The conversation may include coping techniques, dietary advice, and ways to manage symptoms like diarrhea and abdominal pain. Many groups also host social events like picnics, lunches, and community volunteer days. This connection and gathering can be particularly uplifting to those suffering from digestive disorders. Aside from gaining new friendships and acquaintances, participants often find that their mental health improves due to joining a group. Many struggle with the stigma of inflammatory bowel disease, and listening to how others manage this issue can be very therapeutic. It’s important to remember that maintaining an active social life is just as important as taking care of your physical health when living with Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis. It’s crucial to balance a healthy diet, exercise, and sleep with time spent with family, friends, and a supportive online community of people who understand what you’re going through.
If you’re interested in building connections with your students, try using a writing prompt to guide them to think about the class material and their personal experiences. This is an effective strategy to use in the classroom throughout the semester.
Share Your Experiences
Many people with Crohn’s find that they have more strength to face symptoms and live their lives when they share their experiences with other people who have Crohn’s. A support group is a great place to meet other people who understand what you are going through and can help you cope with your condition. Suppose you need a local IBD community to join. In that case, online groups are a great way to connect with others and hear their stories. A study that interviewed people with Crohn’s and Colitis found that social support was associated with lower psychological distress, even when controlling for age, gender, socioeconomic status, disease activity, and symptom interference.