Your Mental Health is Equally Important

Holidays can be a fun and happy time of the year, but for many people, it can also be very stressful. To be honest, this can happen at any time of the year. As people living with chronic conditions, we live our lives trying to navigate everyday stressors along with stressors like doctor appointments, specialists and medications. We're constantly in a battle to simply live a semi-normal life.

Living with an invisible illness

As people living with inflammatory bowel disease, life can be especially stressful for us. We're living with a condition that is not visible to the naked eye and many people just don't know or understand much about it. We're constantly faced with the choice of explaining what our condition is and how it affects our bodies, continuously, or simply saying nothing and continuing to suffer in silence. A hard decision indeed. On one hand it's helpful to explain so our peers understand.

We're also raising awareness every time we share factual information about IBD. But the downside is doing this all day every day can be daunting. You are also left wondering what your peers think of you, if they are judging you, or if they will treat you differently. Suffering in silence is an option, but that's a hard task too. Although it seems like it may be the easy way out, it's not.

It's hard to live with a chronic condition and face it alone, especially one as terrible as IBD. These everyday decisions are important and play a vital role in how others deal with your physical health. This also plays a role in the accommodations you get. Things that make living with a disability a little easier. As important as it is to focus on your physical health and raise awareness, your mental health is equally as important.

Your mental health is equally important

Living with IBD can be like living life in the fast lane. You have to make decisions fast in order to avoid uncomfortable situations. Taking care of your body can become daunting. Trying to live a normal life is tiring. Mentally and physically. Just like you talk to your doctor about your physical concerns, you have to address the mental ones as well.

No one wants to live a life full of stress and worry. No one wants to be depressed. But, unfortunately, it happens. It's okay to not be okay. It's okay to feel sad and get down. It's okay to allow yourself to have emotions. It's okay to allow yourself to feel. You're not perfect and no one expects you to be.

Living with Crohn's or colitis is stressful

Living with inflammatory bowel disease adds a lot of extra stress to your plate. You need to address that. Whether it's taking a vacation or talking to your healthcare provider about taking medication for a while, it's okay. Whatever you need to do to take care of yourself. Make your mental health a priority, just as you would for your physical health. You didn't deserve IBD. No one deserves a disease with no cure, but you do deserve to be happy.

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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.

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