Helping you get through tough times

Managing the many side effects of anxiety

I am 21 year old male. I have I.B.S. (Irritable bowel Syndrome) for the last 4-5 years. Lately, I believe anxiety plays a huge role in this.

Becoming uncomfortable

abstract imageI get very scared when going to college or work or even socialising with friends. I find that I have to take up 2-3 hours to get ready before I can go anywhere.

Also, when I arrive I frequently need to use the toilet because I am scared and worried about what people will think if I smell or if I get sweaty.

This causes my mind to go racing and listening to everything around me, in case someone is talking about me. When I’m in a public place or just not comfortable in an area I begin to feel agitated, which then can lead on to a panic attack.

I believe this had been affecting my sleep because I was awake a lot at night watching videos or listening to music.

Feeling safe

When I’m at home, I feel safe. Everything turns back to normal unless my friends are over and something happens which sets me off again.

Recently I was obsessing about having everything tidy and neat, in the right place and order because it helps me to relax when things are in order. Otherwise I get stressed, exhausted and frustrated.

Trying to find a solution

Until recently, only one person knew I suffered from these symptoms other my doctor. This was another reason for my discomfort around other people including my friends and family.

I have been to numerous doctors, counsellors. I’ve tried acupuncture, yoga, and meditation and exercise regularly. I read a few books and DVDs and did some research on internet. I found Youtube helpful. I went to a dietician where I got some good suggestions. But, I still had to find what worked best for me.

What helps 

I find swimming helpful though. I do that a lot; it helps me de stress. Keeping busy; listening to music and being creative and drawing.

Talking, changing bad habits and facing and conquering my fears, made the biggest difference. These are just some suggestion which I found to be very helpful to help me deal with my IBS and stressful situations.

What I found helpful

  • Getting up early
  • Being prepared and plan ahead 
  • Having a good routine 
  • Keeping a food diary
  • Having a good routine 
  • Healthy diet 
  • Keeping a food diary 
  • Regular exercise 
  • Talking to people
  • Keeping positive 
  • Arm yourself with as much information that you can
  • Learning ways to relax that suit you 

To help with some of these, there are some things you could try to do everyday

    1. Write a list of five positive things 
    2. Write a list of things you’re grateful for
    3. Learn to recognise stress and what your triggers are 

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What can I do now?