MIND YOUR MIND.
UC may affect many aspects of your life –
mental health is no exception.
Having ulcerative colitis (UC) can be emotional and may cause stress in other aspects of your life. Although there’s no proof that stress causes flares, it’s hard to deny the emotional distress that may result from some of the symptoms of the disease.
Did you know? 34% (n=102/301) of adults with UC in the UC Narrative survey wish their GI better understood how much UC affects their mental health.*
*Based on the U.S. portion of the 2017 UC Narrative survey, created by Pfizer in collaboration with patients, providers, and patient organizations. Data on file.
Studies have even shown that people with ulcerative colitis are at a higher risk of depression. It’s important that you and your healthcare team work together to keep a close eye on your overall health and try to catch any feelings of depression or anxiety as early as possible.
Just remember, you’re not alone. Others are dealing with UC and the impact it has on their lives as well. Seeking out other patients who understand what you’re going through may help you in dealing with your UC.
Connect with other patients who understand what you’re going through. This can include online communities or in-person support groups.
Talk to a support group. Open up to family and friends. You might also consider talking to a therapist who is knowledgeable about IBD or chronic illnesses. Your gastroenterologist may be able to help you find one.
Of course you’re going to discuss your physical symptoms with your gastroenterologist, but don’t stop there. Talk about how you’re feeling emotionally as well. Your doctor is there to help, but they need to know what’s going on, and they can’t read your mind. If you’re looking for some suggestions as to how to better communicate with your GI, you might read the article Open communication is key.
Don’t just accept feeling stressed about your condition. Look for ways to channel the stress and anxiety instead. In addition to talking with others, consider exercise, meditation, or listening to relaxing music.
Remember to always talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program.