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Topic: What should you do if you can’t remove the main source of stress and it might be causing health problems?

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. Kairos
    Kairos avatar
    3 posts
    7 July 2020

    I’ve never been diagnosed with anxiety and don’t want to self diagnose or self proclaim, as a disclaimer.

    Ive had stomach digestion problems for the past 2 years (I’m 15), and it may be IBS or another health condition, however I strongly believe it’s anxiety. It flares up when I’m in stressful situations or I’m anxious. The problem is, I am always anxious for the smallest things. For example, a tennis lesson two weeks in the future or school in the mornings will give me cramps, bloating, diarrhoea, and the sorts. Sometimes I can’t sleep when all I have is just a tutor session the next day. Therefore, I’m assuming my stomach is especially sensitive to stress and anxiety. However, the main source of my stress is my dad. He gets easily angered and I’ve always been scared of him, I can’t meet his eyes and feel uncomfortable in his presence. He gets angered at me when I tell him I need to go to the toilet frequently or my stomach is hurting so I can’t eat. I feel stress when he does this to me, so my stomach gets even worse and it’s a cycle. How do I stop this? As I’m still 15, I don’t think I can remove him from my life easily, and my parents don’t bother to get medical feedback on my stomach, as they think it’s all my bad mentality and I just need to ‘fix’ it by myself. Any help would be appreciated.

  2. Aaronsis
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Aaronsis avatar
    2021 posts
    7 July 2020 in reply to Kairos

    Hello Kairos

    I am so sorry that you are going through this, it sounds absolutely horrible and like it is so much to get through each day. I have a suggestion that may or may not work for you, that is, what if you agree with your parents, and that these issues are induced by your "bad mentality".. would they take you to see a GP so that you could have your "bad mentality" addressed and have someone to help you "fix" it? This may be the way to get the help that you need from a GP and to have some tests done that eliminates any stomach or digestive issues and that they can suggest it might be to do with anxiety and stress and can help you with that. This way you get to see your GP, you get the help you need to see if there is an issue internally and also some help with coping with these anxious moments in your life that you live with each day.

    You are so very right in that you are not able to remove your father from your life easily, well not just yet but what you can do is perhaps change the way that you interact with him and communicate with him for a better outcome. You could even write your father a note if you feel too scared to talk to him and let him know that you do feel this way, that you are scared and that you do feel uncomfortable, that you are trying to manage your feeling ill but the pressure of managing it with no support makes it worse. That you are not intentionally going to the toilet all the time to upset and anger people and you are being made to feel like it is something that with a click of the fingers it will all go away, that being the case you would have done that by now. What you have written here explains very well how you are feeling and what you deal with each day, is it possible that they actually don't know the extent of your pains and your symptoms? Maybe you could even write to them something similar to what you have done here.

    I think you are in very much need to chat to your GP and I hope you can get an appointment so you can get on track to starting to remove these things from your life.

    I am so pleased you have reached out for some support and I hope to chat to you some more, if you feel like it, I would really like to know what you think of my comments.

    Hugs to you Kairos

    Sarah

  3. Aphador
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Aphador avatar
    71 posts
    7 July 2020 in reply to Kairos

    Hey Kairos! :)

    This sounds awful! Well done on being able to reach out, however!

    I would like to echo Aaronsis's sentiment: I believe you should discuss what you have described with a GP. You are entirely correct that anxiety and stress can 'manifest' in the stomach in ways you have specified. In discussing this with a GP, you can isolate your problem (whether it is anxiety, or perhaps IBS or something else). Your GP will know the most appropriate next step.

    I understand it may be difficult to talk to the GP with your parents present, and you certainly wouldn't feel comfortable telling the whole story. You have the right to see your GP privately- you could ask your parents to leave during the appointment. Alternatively, you could phone the practice before your appointment and tell the doctor that you would like to speak to him without the witness of your parents. This way, it might seem like the GP has inferred that you have more to say.

    You can read more about seeing the doctor without parents here:
    https://yla.org.au/qld/topics/health-love-and-sex/your-rights-at-the-doctor/

    If you have any more questions- or do not understand something on the above website, feel free to ask! :)

  4. pinwheel23
    Mentor
    • Masters of Psychology student on placement
    pinwheel23 avatar
    35 posts
    8 July 2020 in reply to Kairos

    Hi Kairos,

    I'm sorry to hear that you're going through this. It sounds like your parents also believe that your stomach problems are related to stress, but they think you should deal or "fix" your anxiety on your own - is that right?

    It would be good if you are able to see your doctor on your own to figure this out and get professional support - whether it is a physical/medical issue or about your anxiety. But I understand if that isn't something that you'd be comfortable with or feel like you can't do at the moment.

    Perhaps it would be helpful to try and find ways to try and manage the stress that comes with dealing with your dad and thinking about situations that make you feel nervous? A lot of people find it helpful to journal/write their thoughts out. Something about putting your nervousness down on paper or typing it out can relieve some of anxiety. I hope starting this thread helped you even by just expressing what's been going on.

    It can also be helpful to remind yourself that you've gotten through every day of school and tutoring sessions so far, despite how anxious you were in the morning or the night before.

    I hope you are able to contact your doctor and get the support you need. Everyone on these forums are supportive and understanding, and we hope to hear about how you go.

    Take care,
    pinwheel23

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