Five Tips for Coping with the Emotional Impact of Ulcerative Colitis
UC and other forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, such as Crohn’s disease, can have severe physical symptoms that must be treated. Those debilitating and sometimes unexpected physical effects can also have an emotional impact. Here are some tips for dealing with the emotional side effects of UC.
Be prepared: An UC flare is very difficult to predict and much of the unease that comes with the disease is not knowing when a flare will happen. A good way to reduce this worry is to always be prepared for an UC flare. This means having the proper supplies and medications on hand, along with foods you can tolerate in the pantry, and your doctor's number close by.
Establish a support system: UC presents a set of lifestyle challenges that are difficult to cope with on your own. Find a trusted friend or partner to open up to about stresses UC places on your life. Be as honest about the needs you will have during flares and accept the help that is offered to you when the stress becomes especially difficult.
Stay active: Establishing and sticking with an exercise regimen is vital to a healthy lifestyle. However, UC and other forms of IBD can present road blocks and challenges to physical activity, especially during a flare. Talk with your doctor about physical activities you can do to help keep your mood high and improve your overall health.
Talk with your doctor: If you have questions about your diagnosis, your condition, how to live with your condition, your treatment, or anything else related to UC, raise them with your doctor. He or she will be your best source of information, especially if you are newly diagnosed. The more information you have, the more control you will have over your condition.
Seek help when you need it: Living with any chronic illness can be very difficult to manage mentally and emotionally. Family members and friends will try, but may not always understand the difficulties UC adds to your life. Talking to a professional can be very helpful.