ImproveCareNow psychosocial


Waiting for the Glass to Break

Growing up is hard. School is hard. Managing friendships and reaching goals is hard. And, living with IBD is hard. There is no question that kids and teens today have a mountain of responsibilities and pressures without worrying about managing a life-long condition. With all the school assignments, sports, activities and just trying to have fun, having to add in one more thing might make it feel like the glass is going to shatter.


Making time for everything else.

What do you fit into your average day? Meals, school, sports, work, music, time with friends, gaming, talking on your phone? Have I left out 5 or 20 other things on your list? If you’re like many teens I have met, the idea of adding even one more thing to an already jam-packed day isn’t necessarily a happy thought. In fact, you’re probably hoping for a few less things to do, and maybe simply looking forward to getting some extra sleep this coming weekend!


My Journey of Acceptance and Healing

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My name is Zehra and I am 20 years old. I began experiencing symptoms that were probably resulting from IBD as early as five years old. I was not officially diagnosed until I was 14. After multiple severe relapses, consisting of profuse blood loss and dramatic weight reduction, my colonoscopy/endoscopy revealed I have Crohn’s disease. Unfortunately, my diagnosis happened at a time of severe disease relapse, which impeded my education significantly. I took several years off during high school to cope with my disease and multiple life challenges, which merited the need for self-care. During this time away from school, I explored my passions further to give me a sense of purpose, productivity, and victory over IBD. After so much struggle, I am finally in my last year of high school, and I'll be graduating in June if all goes well!


Mental health is just as important as physical health

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My name is Andi and I’m a freshman at Indiana University-Bloomington where I study Biotechnology, Chemistry, Spanish and Pre-Med. I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in April of 2008. I currently take Methotrexate, which has kept me in remission for about nine years now. A fun fact about me is that I collect snow globes.

One of my greatest struggles in dealing with a chronic illness, is the mental side effects that come along with it. I can be moody or withdrawn and I find it affects those around me.


I May Struggle At Times

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Like most people, I’ve had my share of challenges in life. However, in March 2017 I was met with my biggest challenge to date. I started to feel sick with bad stomach pain. As time went on I noticed the pain was getting worse. I started to lose my appetite and was vomiting multiple times a day. My parents called the doctor, and they said it was probably a stomach bug. They recommended waiting two weeks to let the virus run its course.


It's Okay to be Different

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A few years ago, I gave one of my older brothers a children’s book called “It’s Okay to be Different.” The book was downright hilarious. It contained colorful pictures of people “being different” and being okay with it. Didn’t you know that “it’s okay to come in last?” Or, my favorite, “it’s okay to eat macaroni and cheese in the bathtub.” As you might guess, I gave this book to my brother to poke fun at him, not on a serious note. However, the book had a good point. IT IS okay to be different. In fact, it’s pretty flippin’ awesome.


Tools To Get Through A Flare

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My name is Lexa, and I'm 17 years old. I'm currently in high school and I love to travel. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (pancolitis) in April this past year.


New PAC Videos - Why it's important to talk about IBD

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IBD is hard and it comes with a lot of baggage: painful symptoms, frequent colonoscopies, and expensive treatments. 

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (IBD) don’t just affect the physical body though, they affect the mind too. Living with the symptoms of IBD can cause frustration and fear. Remaining silent about these struggles can cause social isolation and feelings of loneliness.

Members of the Patient Advisory Council (PAC) have filmed a new video series - sharing why and how they talk about IBD and encouraging others with IBD to also talk about their disease with friends and family.


29 reasons I may be unintentionally ignoring you

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I’m Wendy and in addition to being a baby/child sleep coach (I love helping families sleep), I care for my 5 year old daughter who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in September 2016. As we have been adjusting to life with IBD I’ve been journaling how I am spending my time. When our pediatric GI introduced us to ImproveCareNow I wanted to share my story to support others who may be going through a difficult time and to hopefully explain why I may be unintentionally ignoring friends and family.

Here are 29 ways I have been spending my time:


Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy and pediatric IBD

Did you catch the article in HuffPost Health News about a large-scale comparison between the efficacy of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and anti-depressants?

This area, MBCT, is a growing interest of mine and I’m hoping to attend some trainings on it. I have informal training on mindfulness and use it myself, to great benefit! Here’s what I would say to someone else…


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