Effect of gastrointestinal diseases and disorders on mental health

mental health
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These are just a few of the phrases heard over and over by people with gastrointestinal (GI) conditions. This is partly because gastrointestinal diseases and disorders are not visible, so people find it hard to believe they exist. These widespread attitudes and beliefs can trigger feelings of discredit, shame, guilt, and loneliness. The physical, emotional, financial and social burdens from GI diseases further exacerbate these difficulties. These can become overwhelming and lead to mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. Embarrassment and helplessness, as well as mental health issues, can cause feelings of humiliation and loss of identity.

Stigmatized conditions can include irritable bowel syndrome , inflammatory bowel disease ( Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis ), gastroparesis , obesity , liver disease, and infections such as Clostridioides difficile .  Ostomy patients may also be exposed to stigma.

  1. Useful links
  2. Click on the links below to read articles with tips on reducing stress and improving your mood.
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  9. Isolation and how to counter it
  10. Jonathan Dugrenier

This article was written in memory of Jonathan Dugrenier, known as Jo (1997-2020), a young man from Quebec who had a normal and happy childhood. He had a sense of humor and enjoyed the company of many friends. Jo had many passions and lived her life enthusiastically. No matter what the weather — rain, snow or shine — he enjoyed riding through the village on a motorcycle or ATV. He was a video game enthusiast and he was increasingly interested in computers. Working at a job he loved, he began to plan for his future. However, that all changed when he started showing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.(II). By the age of 20, painful abdominal gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation plagued his daily life. Jo began to withdraw from the social activities he used to participate in willingly. He lost weight due to IBS dietary restrictions. He was unable to work due to the unpredictability of his symptoms and eventually lost his job. He suffered from lack of sleep and felt a lot of physical and mental pain. He shared his difficulties with his parents, who did everything possible to help their son fight against this disease. Despite his overwhelming and incessant symptoms, he remained considerate and considerate of others. Then he stopped sharing his pain. Unfortunately,

So what exactly is stigma? In 1963, a Canadian sociologist named Erving Goffman identified this social concept, describing the term as the “situation of the individual who is disqualified from full social acceptance” because of an attribute he possesses.  1  In 2001, researchers expanded this theory of stigma to include an interaction with cultural beliefs, isolation, loss of social status, and discriminatory experiences. 2 Today, stigma is generally seen as a negative set of beliefs or attitudes that lead to discrimination. Recent progress has been made in identifying and addressing obesity-related stigma.3 Although GI conditions are better understood, research lags behind regarding the effects of disease-related stigma.

Isolation and withdrawal

If you have ever experienced stigma, you may avoid talking about your condition with other people. The unpredictability of your symptoms and the lack of public restrooms can also heighten your desire to avoid social interactions. You may feel safest at home, where you are free from judgment and have the resources and tools you need to relieve your symptoms at your fingertips. Changes in diet, as well as symptoms and side effects from medications and surgeries, can also lead to loss of self-esteem, especially with regard to body image. This can make you isolate yourself more. social activities,

However, staying at home is not a solution. You may have difficulty keeping your job, finding an employer who is understanding and flexible with your condition, or even carrying on with your daily activities. It could break your heart not being able to spend time with your loved ones, for example, to play with your children or go on an adventure. You may be estranged from family and friends due to conflicts and misunderstandings about your illness.

Studies have shown that people tend to stigmatize diseases that not only can be hidden, but have some variability and unpredictability, or cause a change in the appearance of the affected person.  4It is therefore not surprising that many of the diseases and disorders of the gastrointestinal tract are stigmatized. You might pass yourself off as an ordinary person living without physical difficulty, and you might succeed in minimizing your symptoms so that others might not notice them.  Also, when you have a chronic illness, you avoid socializing or going out when your symptoms are severe, so others don’t really see how you feel when you’re very sick. Therefore, if you have not been personally affected by such a condition, you might not fully understand what those who are afflicted with it go through.

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