Colitis and Anxiety: How to Handle It

Erica Sanderson | Sep 16th 2015 Feb 22nd 2017

1 of 7
1 of 7

Living with ulcerative colitis (UC) can lead to a life full of anxiety. People with UC often worry about when their next flare will happen and how UC will affect their future. Here are some tips for how to handle the anxiety to have a happy, fulfilling life.

2 of 7

Understand anxiety is normal

First, know that what you are experiencing is normal. In fact, up to 40 million adults in the U.S.  live with some form of anxiety. People with chronic conditions have an increased risk of living with anxiety and depression. UC is a serious condition, so developing anxiety around it is completely understandable and justified—you’re not being dramatic or unreasonable.

3 of 7

Don’t dismiss or ignore it

Recognize what you’re feeling is anxiety. Ignoring your feelings will only make your anxiety worse. In order to address and cope with anxiety, you must first acknowledge it before you begin dealing with it and improving it.

4 of 7

Find the right coping tools

What works for some people might not work for you. Whether it’s letting out steam at the gym, a relaxing massage, writing a blog or talking to a professional, figure out what skills and tools help take the edge off your anxiety and help you handle it in a healthy manner.

5 of 7

Live in the present moment

Dozens of ‘what if?’ questions can arise about your UC. Worrying about the future and things you can’t control will worsen your anxiety and even your condition. Instead, focus on what you can control and live in the present moment. Take things one day at a time.

6 of 7

Learn to manage your thoughts

Here’s a secret: you have the power to change your thoughts and outlook. Instead of taking a negative view, try to think of the positive in any situation. The more often you think positively, the more likely your brain will gravitate toward positivity in the future. Focus on spotting when thoughts turn anxious or stressful then take a deep breath and release them.

7 of 7

Use your resources

Oftentimes worry and anxiety comes from a lack of understanding. To help ease your fears, do your proper research. Learn what to expect with UC, how to manage it, and steps to take. Find UC support groups and resources you can use either locally or online. Talking to others who understand what you’re dealing with can help relieve anxiety.

NEXT: Maintaining a Positive Outlook with Ulcerative Colitis
More on this topic

Can This Spice Help Your UC?

Nir Salomon

Maintaining a Positive Outlook with UC

Erica Sanderson

Using Biologics to Treat Colitis

Jennifer Rackley

Why You Should Try an Elimination Diet

Tracy Davenport, Ph.D.

Do You Know the Different Types of UC?

Dr. Constance Pietrzak, MD

Should You Share Your Condition at Work?

Jackie Zimmerman

Treatment for Ulcerative Colitis

SSuchy

The Domino Effect of IBD Flare Ups

Jackie Zimmerman

Learning to Live with UC

Jackie Zimmerman

IBD & PTSD

Elizabeth Roberts

Navigating IBD Financial Costs

Jackie Zimmerman

How Technology Makes Living with IBD Better

Jennifer Rackley

Living 'Healthy' with IBD

Jackie Zimmerman

How to Eat When You Have Ulcerative Colitis

Dr. Constance Pietrzak, MD

How to Find an Ulcerative Colitis Support Group

Dr. Constance Pietrzak, MD

How I Let IBD Define Me

Jackie Zimmerman

Probiotics and Ulcerative Colitis

Dr. Constance Pietrzak, MD

Yoga For IBD

Jennifer Rackley

6 Ways to Do Away With the Dark Clouds

BrianIBD

For Chronic Illness Patients, Why Is It So Hard to Say 'No'?

Jackie Zimmerman

The Power of IBD Friendships

Jackie Zimmerman

FashOstomy: Looking Fabulous is Still Possible with an Ostomy

Brooke Bogdan

Living With Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis in Changing Seasons

BrianIBD

Eliminate Worry When Eating Out with UC

Jennifer Rackley

Motherhood and IBD

Dr. Constance Pietrzak, MD

Prepping for Flares: A How To

SSuchy

Managing Your UC

Erica Sanderson

Biologics and Ulcerative Colitis (UC)

Dr. Constance Pietrzak, MD

Coping with Fatigue from IBD

Jackie Zimmerman

Travel Tips for Ulcerative Colitis

Jennifer Rackley

Early Use of Biologics in IBD

Jennifer Rackley