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You Can’t Force Someone To Help Themselves

This is a little off of traditional IBD talk, but I felt it was important to bring up.

Living with a chronic illness like Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis can make you ultra sensitive or worried about your loved ones’ health. It definitely has for me. Because I know that no one is invincible , I have become increasingly concerned about the health of those closest to me.

I have recently come to the realization and borderline have accepted the fact that we are all brought up differently.

Meaning, the values and priorities that are ingrained in me are not necessarily ingrained in everyone else. Some things that I may seem as “no brainers” (ex, getting a physical once a year whether you feel it’s needed or not) aren’t looked at that way in the eyes of some other people.

I have been a little rattled about this to be honest. I have felt like I’ve been forcing something on someone close to me for so many years and it hasn’t had the desired result. In fact, I think my pushing has made things worse.

Regardless of the fact that I have good intentions, I am slowly realizing that no one can be forced into living a healthy lifestyle any more than I can be forced to get rid of all medications and just treat my chronic illness naturally. The latter is something I don’t believe in. I believe in a combination of western and eastern medicine for treating Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) but I don’t believe my body would ever respond well if I just focused on holistic approaches.

I bring this up because as I continue to go through life while trying to instill some of my beliefs about health to others close to me, I feel as though I’m banging my head against the wall. This only causes more stress, anxiety and sleepless nights. As we all know, none of those things are good for anyone but they are especially negative for someone with a serious chronic condition like Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis.

I am slowly trying to look at things from a different perspective for my own mental health.

The bottom line is: if you are trying to share some of your insights or key values with someone who doesn’t agree or believe you, you may never be able to change their mind. People change when they want to change. No exception. That is true for not only health related matters but for pretty much every aspect of life.

Can you relate to this article at all? Have you gone into overdrive worrying about your family and close friends’ health because you know how bad things can get? Has it improved your relationships or hurt them? Any advice for others? We would love to hear any and all thoughts!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    6 months ago

    I can definitely relate in the fact that I am always trying to educate my close family and friends on digestive health. I see some of them eat the most unhealthy things and I guess having IBD has made me hyper aware of other’s food choices.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

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