Therapy to Tackle The Uncertainty of IBD

Tracy Davenport, Ph.D. Health Guide
  • One and a half million. That's how many Americans are living with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. And yet, there is so much uncertainty surrounding these conditions.


    When things were at their worst with my son with a gastrointestinal disease, sometimes the only thing that helped our family was our weekly dinners with a group of three other families who were living with more uncertainty than most others we knew. One of the families we met with was adopting a child with emotional issues, the other family was living with recurring breast cancer, and the third family was waiting for military orders for deployment to Iraq. Even though each of these situations may seem far removed from gastrointestinal issues, the commonalities and comfort we all felt when we got together was palatable.

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    We each understood what it was like not to be able to make a family budget (there were just too many uncertainties each month), and none of us dared to plan the simplest of summer vacations (time away had the potential for huge disappointment). It was better for all of us to just enjoy each week the best we could, and leave the art of "planning" to other families.


    As I review the questions you have submitted on this site, one theme is clear - UNCERTAINTY. Uncertainty of  when there will be a flare up of IBD symptoms, how long the flare up will last, and even whether or not a correct diagnosis has been given for the symptoms you are reporting.


    If you are living with a gastrointestinal disorder, and the uncertainty of it all is beginning to take its toll, I encourage you to find someone to talk to on a regular basis. This may be someone from a support group, a church elder, or a professional therapist. If you are lucky, maybe you can even find a group of friends who understand what it is like not be able to make plans well into the future, and can somehow even laugh (and cry) right along with you.

Published On: June 11, 2008