How do you handle stress with having UC or Crohn's?
Keep busy
Not very well
Stay positive
Will I have to live with this all my life? Will it ever go away? Will I always feel like this? See the Answer

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Categories > Ups and Downs >
The Upside of IBD
  • What You Need To Know First
  • Growing Up, Growing Wiser
  • Relationships Change
  • Extra Perks
  • Excuses, Excuses


What You Need To Know First
 

"Excuse me? You say there are POSITIVE things about having UC or Crohn's? Uh...I don't THINK so." 


But yes! Once the drama of being diagnosed is over and you've settled into life with your disease, a funny thing might happen: you might actually find some good in the situation. And once you do that, recognizing the upside of IBD can really help you cope with the day-to-day in's and out's of your illness. 

This upside can be a little different for everyone, but here are some of the "silver linings" that other young people have found. How many can you relate to? 


Growing Up, Growing Wiser
 

Many young people say that overcoming the challenges of chronic disease has given them: 
 
  • Newfound strength and confidence.

  • More tolerance and empathy towards others who are worse off.

  • More maturity than their peers, and perspective on what's really important in life. (Like when our friends are getting all crazy about a pair of shoes or how their hair looks, we might realize that it's not worth sweating the small stuff.)

  • A better appreciation for the routine, normal times in life -- especially when you're feeling well -- that might seem boring to others.

  • A real understanding of how our bodies work and how we can best take care of them.

 

Relationships Change 

When it comes to family and friends, your disease has probably rocked the boat more than a few times. But you might find that in the end, the experience of dealing with your IBD together has brought you closer to the important people in your life. Maybe your parents can drive you nuts, but when you look back, you're glad for all the intense "quality time" you've had together during doctor's visits and procedures, or in the hospital. And while it's true that sometimes friends drift away, most people say they're amazed at the show of love from their peers. Yay for love! 


Extra Perks 

Here are some other surprise benefits that some young people say they've gotten out of their IBD experience:

  • Meeting awesome new friends through UC and Crohn's support groups or camp.
  • Being forced to try unfamiliar foods that ended up becoming new favorites.
  • Getting inspired to express feelings through art, writing, or music, and being really proud of the results.
  • The opportunity to explore other interests while taking a break from sports.
  • The chance to get politically involved on behalf of a future IBD research bill.
  • Getting into movies cheaper because of looking younger!

 

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