friend with depression & IBS Watch

Anonymous #1
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Report Thread starter 12 years ago
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Hey all!

One of my best friends at uni has just been diagnosed with depression. I'm guessing pressure from her now ex-boyfriend and another medical problem she got probably lead to this - because of it all she's cancled her year abroad and I've offered for her to live with me next year.

Has anyone had depression or IBS and could give me some advice on how to keep an eye out for her/help her out of this despression?

The problems I anticipate are in trying to get her to feel relaxed around the other two housemates who she doesn't know and to get her to join clubs and societies again, since her ex was very controlling and she's got nearly no social life now.

Not sure how to act if she gets back together with her ex or if they try and make it work and it then fails -> major depression?! How could I help then?

Also her medical problem... she has IBS, which means lots of foods irritate her bowls and she has to take medication, but can't always predict when to take it. I've heared that you can work out which foods to avoid and so make it all a lot better for yourself.

She seems to have lost her will to live though. She can't be bothered to even avoid eating food she's allergic to, let alone keep a diary to see what food she should be avoiding. If it was me I'd be doing everything possible to try and fight the IBS, but she doesn't seem to care somehow (although I know she must, but I just can't seem to understand what's going on in her mind at all).

And advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks a lot in advance!!!
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Rainygal
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woah, your friends really does have a lot going doesn't she? she's really lucky to have you to support her and (speaking as someone with both depression and IBS) even if she doesn't always show it, i'm sure she's grateful.
as for help/advice, i can only say what i think helps me which is to know that my friends are always there for me and don't find me a burden/pain in the ass to be around.
i sometimes need people to make me go places etc as i feel like i can't be bothered, once i get there however, things usually go better than i anticipated they would!
once your friend starts to feel better about herself her desire to avoid foods which aggravate her IBS will return, i promise.
hope that's helped in some small way, good luck x
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Rutter knows best!
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get her down the docs pronto, as they can give medication to help.


i had ibs for a couple months , which was definatly a resulkt of my depression/anxiety problems. i got put on martazipine and i don't have the ibs anymore as i'm not really stressed out as it sedates me and has a chemical to get rid of nausia.

does the mind control the body, or does the body control the mind? well its both.
when i was depressed physically i became ill, and when i started getting a grip on my depression the fact that i was still physically ill made me depressed as it was all a bit too much.

as far as being a friend , don't say....... do(your actions speak louder than words)
don't say you care about them , show you care etc etc etc.
when your depressed its the little gestures that you cling onto that make your day better.
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Anonymous #1
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Wow, thank you, all of you for replying so quickly!!!

I might well PM you about this again in the future when uni starts again junglemonkey, as I might have more questions then!

She has been to the doctor and has some medication she's supposed to take, but I know she doesn't take it regularly.

There is not much I can do right now until I see her again at the start of uni when we move in together, but I can't help but think about it now already to work out how to help her best.

She's definitely allergic to milk, oranges and peas (yet still drinks milk!).

Also you said it helped to know that you can get over the IBS. Is it possible for most people to get over it?

Her doctor isn't helping her with motivation. He said that: 'Some people get over it, other's don't. You could have it for the rest of your life.' and that was it (well, that's what she told me he said).

Not very motivating.

Would it be motivating or plain annoying if I tried to make her food for her/offer her some of my cooked meals?

My diet actually avoids white breads and pastas mainly anyway (apart from pizza, haha) and I also try to avoid milk and replace it with soy products when you can't taste the difference (for example in porridge). So I suppose from what you have all said that would be a good diet for her to be on.
Last year at uni she lived off Maccy D's and other crappy ready made meals. In first year however she cooked normal meals, lots of roast dinner etc.

I'm just not sure how to be motivating without being annoying or trying to impose things on her that she doesn't want, because I can't quite understand why she isn't motivated in the first place (as you all said, it's hard to understand it if you haven't been through it yourself).

But from the replies I'm slightly confused ... should I be trying to help her with the IBS? Or should depression be my main focus?

Thanks so much for everything so far!!!! You're all amazing!
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hannah_dru
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Some people with IBS need to avoid a lot of fibre. However sometimes it can work the other way. I also find that too much rich food like chocolate doesn't help.
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punktopia
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IBS and depression/anxiety etc. is very much a vicious cycle. IBS can be triggered by stress as well as (or instead of) certain foods. Personally I tend to ignore the foods I suspect cause it and just eat them anyway - and I'm still alive. Best way around it is curing the depression and/or anxiety, which are usually linked. Advise your friend to try cognitive behavioural therapy - you can get a referral through your GP. In the meantime, some stress-reducing exercises might help, such as stomach breathing or meditation. Regular exercise also helps combat depression.
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rebekahn
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a non-drug help for IBS is the Heat Patches specifically for IBS which relieves the pain for up to 12 hours. So if she eats the wrong food and is in a lot of pain, the medication would take a while to actually help, so these patches (available at any chemist) would at least provide instant temporary relief.

as for the depression, its best she gets out and about as much as possible! theres nothing worse for depression that just staying indoors. With the medication for depression she'll be more than likely suffering some other side effects so i imagine she feels sick quite a lot, which will make her want to stay inside. it is hard to combat but it can be done! try to coax her out for a walk or to see a film or something that doesn't involve her being in a crowd of people socializing!!

hope that helps!
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Anonymous #1
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Thanks! Maybe I can get her to come out and join me going swimming early in the morning. She used to go swimming with me before she got with her boyfriend. She hasn't done any sport since then. And I reckon if I'm living with her I might be able to help with the socialising as well... maybe it would be best to organise a few dvd nights and other activities like that at home, so that she doesn't have to feel like she has to go out clubbing with us.
Thanks for all the advice!
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by punktopia)
IBS and depression/anxiety etc. is very much a vicious cycle. IBS can be triggered by stress as well as (or instead of) certain foods. Personally I tend to ignore the foods I suspect cause it and just eat them anyway - and I'm still alive. Best way around it is curing the depression and/or anxiety, which are usually linked. Advise your friend to try cognitive behavioural therapy - you can get a referral through your GP. In the meantime, some stress-reducing exercises might help, such as stomach breathing or meditation. Regular exercise also helps combat depression.
Thanks for the advice!

rebekahn, I'll let her know about the heat patches!
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Anonymous #2
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if she can get over her ibs (which is by no means easy and for some people impossible) i think it will help a lot with her depression.it really can feel like its ruiling ur life.
if u want to help her you could also many watch what she eats and notice when shes bad the next day and just sort of mention to her oh maybe it could have been that whatever that u ate last night. but i wouldnt push it too much.
and also if u invite her out if she says she doesnt want to then dont pressure her. none of my friends know about my ibs and since mines caused by stress and nerves (even when i dont feel nervous) it makes me not want to go out as much as i used to and since my friends dont know the real reason behind it they can sometimes give me a hard time about never wanting to go out.
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Anonymous #2
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(Original post by junglemonkey)
It's important to know that you will have IBS for the rest of your life for most people, but it can definitely be controlled with effort and the right help!! Don't let silly doctors tell you otherwise, they tried to tell me that. You really need to push for the right treatment and not give up.

what treatment did u receive that helped if you dont mind me asking?
mines caused by nerves (even when i dont realise im nervous. but its an endless cycle of ibs makes me nervous so therefore causes itself).

i know you said uve had citalopram, mebeverine and movicol but what symptoms were they for?

hypnotherapy is next on my list to try after accupuncture failed to do anything.
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Anonymous #1
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Thanks for the replies!
I will have to see exactly what the situation is like when I see her again in a week and we go looking for a house. Everything said here is really helpful, I feel like I know a lot more now and understand what's going on better too. Might need to revive this thread when I know more though of course.

I know she has IBS and won't push for her to go out socialising. I don't know exactly what causes her IBS and I think the doctors are only guessing. At the time she got it she'd been on a diet of Maccy D's and other junk food because her boyfriend wasn't a good influence. Also eating foods the doctors had told her she was allergic too. Her boyfriend had also broken up with her (they then got back together), but it involved a lot of shouting and cry and so she was definitely stressed... and then she got food poisoning too around that time. So all that at once and a few weeks later the doctors said she had IBS after ruling everything else out.
The depression diagnosis only came very recently though, a few months after the diagnosis. But I reckon she's been depressed for quite a while.

I won't push her to go out and socialise. I don't know who else knows that she has IBS and depression. Most just know that she 'was' ill for a long time, but think she's ok now as far as I know.
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