Nighttime Anxieties.

Nighttime Anxieties

While anxiety is very common in today's society, it is even more prevalent among people who suffer from a chronic illness like Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis. While sometimes the reason for our anxieties are obvious, other times it can come out of nowhere for seemingly no reason at all.

I have been struggling with anxiety for about 14 years now

It began about four years after I was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease and has progressively gotten worse over time. I do notice it can come in waves, but for the most part, I have needed medication nearly daily to help manage it. I do notice that when things are a bit more quiet with my IBD, my emotions tend to take over. I suppose it is because it is difficult for me to handle both physical issues and emotional at the same time. Have any of you noticed that to be true for yourself as well?

My heart is beating so fast

For months now, my anxiety has presented a little differently. The symptom I am having a hard time controlling is my heart beating so fast I can feel it in my back. While increased heart rate is obviously a common symptom of anxiety, it is never been so bothersome before recently.

I have noticed that regardless of what I do, I am not able to stop that particular symptom from occuring in the middle of the night or morning. I even take a small dose blood pressure medicine to see if it can slow my heart rate down and while sometimes it does, it won’t prevent it from returning unless it is the daytime.

Our demons come out at night

This led me to remember something my mom always said which is that our demons come out at night. This happens because our defenses are down during the time our bodies are trying to sleep. While we can do things to distract ourselves from the issues plaguing us during the daytime, it is much more difficult, if not impossible, to escape them at night.

As much as I hate my body for all it is as put me through since I was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease, I am also amazed at all it can do at the same time. I think our brains know that there are some issues that cannot stay buried so it does it's best to get you to face them whenever possible. I also know that living with IBD has given me a chance to get to know my body inside and out, as I am sure is the case for a lot of you reading this.

Because living with a chronic illness like Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis forces you to really be in tune with your body as much as possible. It can give you a unique perspective on your mental health status as well. In addition, given stress can aggravate {not cause} some people’s inflammatory bowel disease, a lot of us work extra hard to try and manage it whenever possible.

I wanted to share this today because…

I know I can’t be the only one who is dealing with unresolved issues that are impacting their lives and health.

I know I can’t be the only one trying to bury certain feelings because it is just too much to deal with or say out loud.

I know I can’t be the only one who does anything and everything possible to distract and be a productive member of society, only for those deep seeded issues to haunt them at night.

I know I can’t be the only one struggling with such paralyzing anxiety while living with inflammatory bowel disease.

I know the topic of anxiety is talked about a lot but I don’t think the little facets, like how much it can creep in at night, are brought up enough. Feeling such intense anxiety overnight and having it impede on your sleep is very depressing and lonely. It is hard watching or knowing everyone else is sleeping and getting their much-needed rest in order to have a productive day tomorrow. But you are just lying in bed, unable to stop yourself from feeling such intense worry and/or panic.

I hope you know you are not alone if you deal with this

I understand how difficult it is to live with and to explain to others (even mental health professionals) just how or what it is you are feeling. Please know so many of us understand it and would love to hear some of your experiences. The more we share, the more we not only help others but expunging some of our feelings/fears can be therapeutic in its own way.

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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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