I don’t know what has been wrong with me recently, I have been finding it very difficult to sleep, I cry easily and have been having problems coping with even the most mundane of tasks. I suffer from Crohn’s Disease which has been very unsettled over the past few months, causing me lots of pain and requiring a hospital stay. As well as this, my boyfriend (who is normally pretty selfish anyway) has been very unsupportive and I find that I have no one to talk to about my illness, my relationship problems and my worries about the future – especially with regards to how this disease is affecting my life. I feel very unattractive and sad most of the time, even though people tell me that I’m pretty and have a lot going for me, but I really, really don’t believe them. When I look in the mirror I just see someone who is ill and depressing to be around. I wish that I could talk to my boyfriend but he is very disinterested, and I find it very hard to talk about my illness to friends and family as I am a very private person and some of the side effects are very distressing. I went to see my doctor about the illness but burst into tears during the consultation, which made me feel so embarrassed and ashamed of myself. I really feel like I can’t cope with being ill, having nobody to talk to and also having to put on a front and ‘act normal’ every day, as well as looking after my boyfriend and listening to his worries. I feel like I’m going to explode some days, and I am finding it hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel even though I am still only 24
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You are clearly in a lot of emotional pain right now. Some of this pain may be treatable. Please make an appointment with a psychologist who can help diagnose what is going on. You may be depressed or experiencing some other issues. You are clearly not satisfied with your relationship and you’re pretty down on yourself. There is a lot to talk about and you need an outlet where you can talk in safety and privacy. Please also find a support group for your illness – there may be one or more of them available through the hospital near you – or even internet based support groups that live in the message boards and chat servers of various health sites. You might be amazed to find out that you are not alone in your pain – that many others are out there who also have Crohn’s Disease (or have family who have this illness) and can relate to your experience. People were not meant to suffer in isolation. Please spend a little energy and locate some social support.