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Heightened Anxiety with IBS


mlittle764

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Hi! I have been newly diagnosed with IBS, which was a relief to know that I was going crazy, however, my anxiety has been over the top heightened. I've suffered with anxiety my whole life, but the anxiety that is coming from my IBS is like nothing I've ever experienced before. I am shaking and trying to find the route cause of my anxiety, even though I know its from the IBS. I've been dealing with flare ups for roughly three weeks, and I feel like there isn't an end to this madness. I woke up in the middle of the night last night in a panic and absolutely uncontrollable shaking. I've never been so scared and lost in my life. 

I don't really know what I am trying to get out of this, but I just feel like this is my life now and I am never going to be back to normal. Any suggestions on how to calm or manage this heightened anxiety would be helpful. My doctor gave me Xantax, but I prefer not to take such a strong medication that I could get addicted to. 

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Jeffrey Roberts

Dear mlittle,

It's a complicated path many of us take with anxiety and IBS. I have always wondered if anxiety contributed to the development of IBS or whether IBS caused us to be anxious. Nonetheless, I agree about the xantax. You can only take that for so long before it becomes addictive. There are many other medications which might help you manage your anxiety. Still, there are other things which you could explore - namely cognitive behavioural therapy with a therapist or with the FDA approved app called Manaha IBS. The other approach is via hypnotherapy again with someone directly or via the FDA approved app called Regulora. Both of these treatments require a prescription.

I hope it gives you some comfort that you are not alone.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi. I am new here and want to respond to both. The chicken or the egg (anxiety loop with IBS-D) is something I struggle with all the time. As far as meds go, I am now on daily Lexipro and I have found that together with accepting that my condition is something I have to deal and cope with, that is helping VERY much with my coping (if not with the actual symptoms). I am happy to have found this forum and hope to connect with people. Just reading a few entries have already helped. 

I also feel that I've struggled with "which route to take" (hypno, medicinal options, meditation, exercise etc.) and the many options have me taking a hit and miss, sporadic approach. My latest idea is to FINALLY (after failing to find solutions with multiple visits to the gastroenterologist) look for a IBS clinic here on Long Island. 

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  • 5 months later...
On 10/19/2023 at 11:45 AM, mlittle764 said:

Hi! I have been newly diagnosed with IBS, which was a relief to know that I was going crazy, however, my anxiety has been over the top heightened. I've suffered with anxiety my whole life, but the anxiety that is coming from my IBS is like nothing I've ever experienced before. I am shaking and trying to find the route cause of my anxiety, even though I know its from the IBS. I've been dealing with flare ups for roughly three weeks, and I feel like there isn't an end to this madness. I woke up in the middle of the night last night in a panic and absolutely uncontrollable shaking. I've never been so scared and lost in my life. 

I don't really know what I am trying to get out of this, but I just feel like this is my life now and I am never going to be back to normal. Any suggestions on how to calm or manage this heightened anxiety would be helpful. My doctor gave me Xantax, but I prefer not to take such a strong medication that I could get addicted to. 

You don't need drugs to get you through the anxiety. Walking, rock climbing and other activities to keep active and involved, have helped me immensely. Try to avoid drugs. They have several side effects which can make you feel worse.

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