The power of stress: do not underestimate it! - a personal journey

Everyone goes through stressful times.” “Come on, don’t take it to heart.” “You are not alone. We have been there, we understand.”

“You seem stressed out. Why don’t you try meditation?”

Does this sound familiar? Haven’t you heard these statements before? While people may think they are trying to empathize and offer solutions, the truth is, that it is impossible to generalize the impact stress can have on an individual. Be it, physical, mental, or even beyond at times. It can catch you unawares and take you on a whirlwind ride!

Here is a diary of one woman describing her journey with IBS, urinary incontinence, and stress.


The Beginnings

I was just then receiving appreciation from the family for handling a health emergency with poise and calm. But, before I was even back in my den, I could feel dull pressure in the lower abdomen, which became frequent over the following weeks and painful at times. On some days, the pain was focused at one point, while on others, it was spread over the abdomen but intense enough to even wake me up at midnight. Moreover, I could feel my bowel movement more prominently than usual. This was intimidating and I could not concentrate even to get my daily routine or mundane chores done.

The prominent pain location suggested that there could be multiple underlying conditions (Thanks to Lord Google!). Panic mode on!!

Fear of the Unknown - Stressed induced IBS

The fear of the unknown had engulfed me. I was visibly lost, frustrated 24*7 and anxious. Yet, I was not ready to go for a diagnosis, arguing that the pain wasn’t intense enough for medical intervention and all sorts of excuses. Worst of all, I started overeating assuming that it might ease the bowel movement. Sadly, I only ended up with a few more pounds, which led to extreme fatigue, further worsening the situation. Little did I know it was a vicious cycle!

Thankfully, about a month later, I was dragged to a specialist and found the answer to the zillion questions in my head-it was stress-induced IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) powered by anxiety! Besides a few drugs, I was prescribed stress management strate