As this week is Mental Health Awareness Week and this Saturday marks World IBD Day I thought I would do a post combining the two. When diagnosed with a chronic illness like IBD, mental health problems often come hand in hand. Being told you have an illness that will never go away, spending lots of time in hospital and having to leave your job because you are too poorly to continue working can all trigger depression.
I am a huge advocate of speaking out and talking to someone if you feel you are struggling and not feeling yourself. Opening up is a huge, hard step, but the relief you feel afterwards will start to show you how much better you can and will start to feel with the right help. Your GP can prescribe medication and talking therapy (eg. counselling or CBT) or can have you ‘check in’ on a monthly basis to see how things are going and keep an eye on you.
One of the most supportive places I found were the online support groups. People with the same illness, going through similar things to you are the only ones who can truly understand. There are some great ones about and I thought that today I would share my top ten IBD related ones with you which you may like to have a look at and join.
This is the Facebook page attached to our weekly YouTube show where you can see us post about different things to do with IBD and ostomies, ask questions and see what will be discussed on future shows.
A wonderful bunch of people who are like family to me now. Some amazing, supportive and lovely people here who are always there when you need them.
A support group connected to the Purple Wings Charity. Superb support for ostomates, their motto is recover, adapt and overcome.
A fantastic group for ostomates where I will always go if I need advice about something stoma related. There are knowledgeable people in this group from all over the world so it is never quiet!
I have come across some amazing and inspiring people through his page, which covers all invisible illnesses. Lots of lovely people here and the #youarevisible boxes are a great idea
The name says it all! A fun, sassy group who are always up for a laugh, are proud of their stomas and aren’t afraid to show them off!
If like me, you are based in the Midlands this is a great group to find out about local meets and connect with people near to you.
A lovely group I can always turn to for good advice. A place to be positive despite your illness, but where you can get support if needed.
The IBD Superheroes group is a great place to go for support and have your questions answered. It also links to their Facebook page and the fantastic work they do raising money for the Cure Crohns and Colitis charity
A friendly group where there is always someone to chat to when needed.
I hope this brief round up will be useful to some of you. Meeting other people with IBD and stomas was such a huge help, it has literally, and without trying to be overly gushy, changed my life. My inbox is always open to anyone wanting a chat so don’t hesitate to contact me too if you need someone to listen.