Hi, my name is Emily and I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in December of 2023. Something interesting about me is that I met my idol, the voice actor of Ahsoka Tano from Star Wars, Ashley Eckstein. I joined the PAC in February 2024.

One of my greatest struggles includes attempting to overcome my anxiety, which is a trigger for my Crohn's. I have struggled with stress and anxiety my whole life. That being said, having IBD causes my brain to overthink. For instance, like what I’ll eat today or is my digestion okay. It’s exhausting fearing that one day I’ll have another flare. All those simple thoughts cause my anxiety to go through the roof. It’s ironic that something that causes me anxiety gets worse from anxiety. It’s an endless battle.

I have been more open with my physical and mental feelings to my parents and I have started therapy. It helps put everything in my head out in the open. I have learned I'm stronger than I could have ever imagined. I have been through a lot even in a short amount of time but having Crohn's disease doesn't define who I am; it just adds what I like to call character.

I have been through a lot even in a short amount of time but having Crohn's disease doesn't define who I am; it just adds what I like to call character.

I was attracted to the community to find others with IBD and people who have shared the same experiences that you don't truly understand until you have them yourself. The PAC reminds me I’m not the only person living with IBD and that you can live a normal life. One of my goals is spreading awareness for IBD. Since I was diagnosed, I have realized that not too many people know what it is or even have heard of it. For something so common, it’s so rare. Another goal is helping others who have been/will be diagnosed one day with Crohn’s. I felt very alone and isolated in the beginning and that is something no one should be put through. The IBD community should stick together. 

❣️ Psychosocial health is an important part of taking care of the whole you, and it is important to find reputable and personalized information. If you have questions about your psychosocial health, please reach out to your GI team and ask if there are any psychosocial resources available to you/your family. You can also learn more about how to find a psychosocial clinician by reviewing this resource

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