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Feeling Helpless
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Some major depression this past week. I was traveling in MD for work and lost another 3 lbs cause I didnt have enough time to prepare all my own food the way I normally do..correction...all the same food that I eat over and over again at every damn meal because if i eat anything else i get sick. So i pretty much ate a small meal in the morning and one at night and a few rice cakes during the day.

All my friends are dating now and they keep telling me that i need to start dating, but my self esteem is so low cause I hate the way i look and how I feel and just cant go out into the world with confidence cause I just dont have any. 3 girls i asked out rejected me in the past few weeks..I even created a profile on match.com and no one is responding to my emails.

I took my first course of antiparasitic meds and will start the second one next week...havent felt any changes yet and I got extremely constipated during my trip last week and was using enemas just to relieve myself because the bloat was so unbearable.

This is not an attempt to be dramatic and draw attention, but i am absolutely disgusted with myself. Im disgusted how i look, im disgusted how i have to go to the market every 3 days just to by the same food over and over again, im disgusted how everyone around me has great health and can eat whatever they want and how I feel like im living in a dark cave every day of my life. I cant do anything I enjoy...I cant exercise or lift weights cause it aggravates my reflux, I cant play hockey anymore cause my back is all messed up, I cant bike because my bladder muscles are so weak that any strain or pressure on my pelvis will result in urinary urgency, I cant do anything because everything I ever enjoyed in my life has been taken from me and all the damage i sustained is irreversible and its just never gonna get better...I'm disgusted at how my chances of meeting women are destroyed because of all my problems...you may tell me all it takes is the right girl, but in this day and age no sane girl will want to be involved with me and all my issues..im sorry they just wont. I had to hide so much from the last girl that I dated to the point where I actually sabotaged the relationship just cause i couldnt conceal stuff anymore.

Every single day I think of something positive to prevent me from doing myself in and thats the only thing keeping me alive now...my family, friends, etc...but what will happen someday when my family members are gone and all my friends are married with kids and i'm a lonely grumpy old man with nothing but a life full of regrets? then what? If it comes to that i will probly just start doing drugs every day until i become a vegetable.

Sorry for singing my old tune. I'm sure you are all sick of hearing me b itch and moan...you are all exceptional people and I wish I had all of your strength and courage to go on, but whatever courage I have left is waning by the day. I want to turn this all around believe me..its not like i am unwilling..I just need to feel better

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Hang in there. I feel your pain, frustration and loss of *normal* life. I am fairly new, December '09, but I am beginning to see that everyone experiences days/weeks of depression. I have no words of wisdom, but praying and wishing you peace.

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I meant to tell you that I have a problem of looking 9 months preg one day and not the next

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Jason,

Have you seen a therapist yet? If you haven't, get on the phone now and make an appointment.

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Therapy won't help..I need to feel physically better...thats the only way my mental health will improve

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I completely understand where you are coming from.I've been dealing with this for a year now,but very recently have almost completely lost my appetite.Seems like I react to everything I put in my mouth that isn't fruit,rice cakes,sunflower seed spread, or coffee with goat's milk and honey.Laid on the couch today after a reaction last night,listened to people outside enjoying the beautiful day, and cried.You are not alone at all,don't feel that way.

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I'm fairly new at this gluten intolerance things but I definitely feel your pain. I often go through times where I just wish I was "normal".

Listen have you considered taking your interests and using them in a new way? You say you like hockey, what about coaching a kids' hockey team? I know this may seem like an unattractive option, but I think you will find that a great way to take a break from your own medical issues is to focus on someone else.

I am a new substitute teacher, which is my passion, and when I am at school I rarely have time to stop and think about the pain and bloating in my left side, and I'm too busy and focused on other things to mind that I ate gluten free crackers, grapes and broccoli for lunch for the past three days.

I mean it's worth a try right?

About the dating, sometimes it's better to just focus on self-improvement first. Start investigating new interests and find ways that you can still enjoy life. I know it's hard but you can't let your health issues control you. It's all about finding ways to enjoy your life despite not feeling the greatest. Once you have yourself in a better place dating will happen much more naturally I think.

There is nothing fair about your circumstances, but you can't let them defeat you. I really hope you start to feel better soon, but even more I hope you start to feel happier soon.

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Therapy won't help..I need to feel physically better...thats the only way my mental health will improve

Wrong. Those with chronic physical conditions - especially chronic pain conditions - know this well; you CAN improve your mental health even when you can't improve your physical health. No more excuses.

(I'm the designated "tough love" poster for the day. Or something like that. :P)

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Therapy won't help..I need to feel physically better...thats the only way my mental health will improve

NO NO NO Therapy will help you learn to cope with what you are having to deal with.

This concerns me greatly-

"Every single day I think of something positive to prevent me from doing myself in and thats the only thing keeping me alive now"

You need to stop making excuses and find the strength to ask for help.

As to thinking you would never heal, well if I could heal anyone can. I couldn't even walk across or room unaided, was showing signs of demetia, couldn't use my hands and life was so filled with pain that if I hadnt had my kids I couldn't have gone on. I never, ever expected to feel as good as I do now. Do I still have a bit of damage, yeah but it is nothing I can't handle.

It took me a long time to admit that I needed help dealing with a lot that stemmed from being so ill for so long but I finally did almost a year ago. I am so glad I did. Therapy isn't always easy but it really can help. It took me 7 years to seek it out. That was a long time wasted. I hope it doesn't take you that long.

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(((hug)))

Jason, please look into therapy. You don't think it will help in your current frame of mind, but it will. I understand how you feel--believe me. I think you're stuck--and there's no shame in that. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith--we'll all still be here for you, I promise :)

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...what will happen someday when my family members are gone and all my friends are married with kids and i'm a lonely grumpy old man with nothing but a life full of regrets? then what?

Therapy won't help..I need to feel physically better...thats the only way my mental health will improve

Jason, in light of the above, what do you have to lose? You're already miserable and depressed. Therapy won't make you feel any worse than you already do, so it's worth taking the chance that just *maybe* it can help. Please, for your own sake, make the call ASAP. It may be the difference between a life of misery and one in which you can regain the confidence you've lost in your current condition.

BTW, I haven't followed all of your story but you made reference to all of your damage being permanent and I'd just suggest to you that doctors don't know everything. My husband's grandfather was told he'd never walk again after a farming accident and he was still walking well into his 80's. Even if you don't believe in miracles you can have hope that the doctors could be, and often are, wrong. They're just sharing their best guess based on their training and experience.

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Jason!

I have been on vacation skiing which was some fun & very depressing - no stamina, food & beer everyone else enjoying, & my Hub saying things like : "Remember, we used to sit on that deck of that restuarant with the lovely view & enjoy glutenous & unhealthy beverages & junk food. What fun that was!"

Anyway, enough about me.

I'm sorry you are having a tough time. Remember, you have friends here.

Also, I think that when you can get those stupid, monsterous creatures out of your insides, you will start to feel better & deal better. :)

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Alright Jason, you're not gonna like this, but I am going to say it anyway. You have to get some help from a professional. Anytime someone makes a suggestion that would do you a lot of good, you blow it off as if you know all the answers. You obviously don't know all the answers. And if you stopped for a minute and listened to all the wonderful people here, who are truly concerned about your welfare, you would be so much better off.

You post about all your woes, and the kinds people here offer advice and what has worked for them. 9 times out of ten, you think it's phooey, ie wheat shampoo is ok for you.

And part of this community is helping each other. You post only about yourself and your issues and won't take any of the helpful advice. Therapy is what you need right now, not a woman. How on earth could you possibly function in a relationship when you say you're thinking of doing yourself in?

New people here, please do not take this the wrong way. I am trying to help someone who will not listen, but keeps asking for help. The first step is to help yourself! Get on the phone and call a therapist for an appointment, and stick with it. All of the emotional turmoil is making your physical issues worse!

I just can't sit by anymore and watch you go down, down, down. Don't you think you're worth fighting for?

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Jason, listen to all of us. PLEASE. You have to get therapy. You have to. Read your post and look at what you are saying. Doing yourself in. Growing old and alone. These are not safe thoughts to be having and you are in a very BAD place right now.

You CAN get past this and you can get better. But you need mental and emotional strength and stamina to get through this. You are still young! You still have lots and lots of life left. You are worth fighting for. Your life is worth fighting for!

We are not tired of hearing you jerk and moan. We are all concerned for you and we feel your pain Jason. You are enduring such difficult trials with your help and what you are going through would crumble any of us.

Going for therapy doesn't make you weak. It doesn't make you less of a man or anyting like that. A therapist can help you find the inner strength to not only survive but to triumph.

{{HUGS}} I am praying for you and I will continue to pray for you. Please be safe and take care of yourself. If not for you, then do it for your family and friends.

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I was just thinking that severe caloric restriction like that when you didn't have enough to eat can also contribute to your depression because of blood sugar issues, etc.

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Jason,

Wow. I was really moved by your note. I can totally relate to how you are feeling; I think many of us can. GI/Celiac Disease is totally life altering... mentally, physically, and emotionally. It's tough to deal with...for all the reasons you mentioned. It stinks...no doubt about it. I hate having GI. I hate that all my kids have it...some with serious problems. But I can't change any of it. I have to accept it, deal with it, and learn to look forward to all the same meals with all the same food, day after day. But I now I eat to live, instead of living to eat. I used to be a gourmet cook...it was my passion. Now I channel that passion into being able to create a meal without gluten, casein, corn, soy, eggs, or yeast and actually have it taste like something I want to eat.

You need to take control of your condition and learn to help yourself. You are so young and have your entire life ahead of you. Sure you'll have to make some adjust-ments and, no, it won't be easy...who ever said life was easy? But, I agree with most everyone else in suggesting/advising some counseling. It will help you put things into the proper perspective and see what really matters. You need to concentrate on healing yourself before becoming involved in a relationship that will stress you out in your current state of health.

Also, maybe a nutritionist could help you plan some of your meals; maybe offer some suggestions about food variety. Jason, for your own good, you should try to be open to the suggestions from those of us who are in the same boat as you. Some of us struggle with it every day...just like you. You really aren't stuggling alone. We're all here to support you.

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    • I get these crazy cravings for some things I can not eat anymore. Not only am I diagnosed with celiac but I also have a allergy to corn, olives, sesame, peanuts, and intolerance to yeast, soy, dairy, and a very low tolerance for carbs/sugars, Top it off with I can not digest meats or egg yolks, they just give me the burps and come up later.
        To deal with these I find myself turning to Republic of Teas (They have a great desert tea line up all certified gluten-free) and sweetening them with monk fruit extract, or stevia. And I find myself making Puddings bases that I use for shakes, dips, and ice-cream for meals. The puddings are normally a blend of cashew, or almond milk with a thickening agent like agar agar, pectin, or knoxx gelatin, blended with a sweetener like xylitol, swerve, stevia, monk fruit or a combination. And flavored with Lor Ann Oils (all gluten-free certified and you can find the kosher ones listed as such) super strength flavors or fountain syrups to match something I can not eat normally a combination of two flavors (Strawberry Cheesecake, Banana and Carmel, Cookies & Cream, etc) Then I add a fat that matches best, like almond butter, cashew butter, hemp butter, ground flax seed, coconut flour, chocolate, Pumpkin seed butter or a combination) These bases are normally blended up and consumed with 1-2 scoops of protein powder and eaten with steamed vegges as a side dip or loaded into a ice cream maker for a desert after my meals.      Also found myself making desert soups....like a pumpkin soup that taste like pumpkin pie. I am sure we all have our little quirks but this is one of mine for getting that sweet craving taken care of. Most premade items are off my list due to the allergies and it seems most companies use the oils, starches I am allergic to as non stick or thickening agents, Even the semi safe ones tend to put way to much sugars in them and I find myself only being able to nibble . There is also my little binge issues with almonds, pumpkin seeds, and, cocoa but that was explained to me as normal And on my most craving for peanuts I have found sancha inchi powder to work great, The Powder itself taste like the girl scout peanut butter cookie sandwich from my childhood, And is great mixed with a bit of almond milk into a butter or used in baking and smoothies. Before this I have been making Artisan blends of almond butter for years and even made a market selling them to pay  for my own consumption. Baked goods wise I have a bunch of recipes I make for others and sell at markets and this allows me to nibble on a sample to check it, as most contain a bean or gluten-free Harvest Oats/Flour in them and the carbs from that and the coconut sugars bother me. Still helps with cravings there, I only have 2 recipes that sell good and are safe for me to eat full servings of but are so expensive as they use almond and coconut flours, low sugars/xylitol and are paleo that I only can afford to make them once a month. Posting to hear about some odd and out there ways others deal with substitutions and cravings. Please do not bash mine as odd as they might be as they keep me from going crazy. (Yes I know DROP THE OATS, fact is I only get them when tasting stuff and they are gluten-free Harvest, the only ones I have never gotten glutend with)  
    • After suffering pretty much all year with one illness after another I've finally managed to get a diagnosis and it turns out to be celiac. After my doctors consistently failing to even consider the possibility it might be that (as opposed to "IBS" or "stress") I kept pushing for the Iga TTg test and it was off the charts with a score of >128... may as well fail it in style I guess. So here I am at the start of what feels like the end of my life as I know it. Been doing nothing but reading for the past week and frankly it's terrifying. Here's a few things that are going round in my head and I'd really appreciate your thoughts with. Apologies if it's a bit of an essay  Diagnosis I'm still furious at my doctors for not even entertaining the thought that celiac could be the root cause of all my ills. Given the blood test is so simple it feels almost negligent that they don't run this right at the start to rule it out. Instead I got subjected to poisons like Omeprazole which made me even more ill, whilst being told the physical symptoms were all in my head. Just as well I knew better and kept hitting up Google until my self-diagnosis was proved correct... to think these people get paid highly to be so incompetent makes my blood boil. Does feel good having outwitted the so-called professionals though. Seems 9 months is comparatively quick from symptoms to diagnosis compared to some others that have gone years with the problems so could be worse I guess. Food and diet I'm male vegetarian (non-negotiable) which makes this even harder as so many of my protein sources are now ruled out. Seems many with celiac were having trouble losing weight whereas I'm in the opposite situation. Already lost best part of a stone in the past few weeks and it's becoming noticeable now. The MyFitnessPal app reckons I need 2600 calories a day to maintain \ gain weight - no idea where that's going to come from. On top of that I read sites like Gluten Dude where even the Gluten Free foods are seen as poisons and going on extreme diets like Paleo \ SCD are the only real way forward. Again being veggie makes that practically impossible and if I'm unlucky enough to end up with the dairy issues as well I'm well and truly stuffed. Right now I'm trying the gluten-free Quorn products to see how I go, as well as more eggs etc. Porridge has been my go-to breakfast in the mornings for a while after I cut out bread whilst self-diagnosing but depending on where you read even that's a potential problem (currently using gluten-free porridge oats and seeing how it goes) Seems many gluten-free people have to go right back to basics and cook everything from scratch. That's a problem for me as I'm utterly hopeless on that front and time doesn't permit waiting hours just to prepare one meal. Seems nigh-on impossible to do day-in, day-out. Health Rightly or wrongly right now I see this diagnosis as a death sentence long-term. Looks like it brings other associated illnesses with it and this particular article really scares me: http://scdlifestyle.com/2012/03/the-gluten-free-lie-why-most-celiacs-are-slowly-dying/ I've only really had noticeable symptoms for the past year or so but wonder how long this has been going on for and what damage has already been done. All seems to have started from when I turned 30 (knew I was dreading that age for a reason) and right now I wonder how long I'm going to last before the really bad stuff starts. One of the other illnesses I'd considered as a possibility before getting diagnosed was Hashimoto's Thyroiditis; now it seems that's closely linked with Celiac so may not be out of the woods with that yet either. Just seems to be one big list of illness all triggered from the same point One positive change I've noticed thus far since cutting out gluten is that bloating seems to have gone down and bowel movements are better. Still getting headaches and muscle twitching, which could be as much a withdrawal symptom from gluten as anything else.  Some sites were suggesting stopping exercise whilst withdrawing but I can't face that as it's the only thing keeping me going at present. Again will keep going as-was and see what happens. Then to top it off it sounds like the next step is the biopsy - I'm scared of being put out for the procedure as a member of family went into hospital a few years back for something supposedly routine and never came back out. From what I've been told it's important to have done though as it shows just how broken the villi are so another thing to worry about in the meantime. I've just read on another thread that you have to be on gluten to have the test, that's another kicker after having started to cut it out the diet. With such a high blood test Iga-TTg score isn't it almost certain that celiac is the cause and the endoscopy in this case is just confirming levels of damage? OK means I can have a final blow-out eating all the "bad" foods but no doubt with all the side effects that come with it... Social life Seems like despite there being some gluten free options in certain restaurants (granted better now than years ago) I'm going to be hugely limited in food options. Either sitting on the side looking on or just plain not able to go out much anymore. Already had the first hitting-home moment watching colleagues eating pastries that were brought in while I just have to look on... then it dawns that this is never going to get better... urghhh Family life I'm really struggling to accept this lifelong illness and loss of health and it's taking a toll on the people around me at the moment. They won't be going gluten-free so will have to take my chances with the mixed kitchen environment; already gone with split toasters etc. so can't do much more than that. Dating Basically seems game over on that front, unlike many who are diagnosed with understanding partners \ spouses I'm still in the dating game, which is judgemental enough as it is without all the complications that the gluten issues bring. I'm reading even kissing someone with lipstick \ make-up is apparently a big no-no... once any date hears that they won't be coming back... forever alone status confirmed is how it looks right now. Overall feelings I still can't quite figure out if this illness was in me all along and just hasn't flared up enough to notice until now or whether the extreme stress I've been under for the past year or so has triggered it. If the second scenario is correct I can't stop thinking about the events that all led up to this almost year-long bout of ill health and life-changing diagnosis. Can celiac be brought on by stress alone or realistically was I always a ticking timebomb just waiting to be set off? For every person I see that's had a positive change after cutting out gluten (and getting by with reasonably achievable adjustments) there seems to be 10 others with horrible side-effects and long-term complications. Right now the future feels rather bleak - like all hope just been taken away. Help???
    • It sounds like you're doing great. That's amazing that your anxiety has decreased like that. You're obviously doing something really good for your health. With the other things I'm sure they will get better in time. After I gave up gluten I had a bad year but overall it got better. Things like anxiety and insomnia massively improved over time with being gluten free. However, going Paleo (which you are on your way to with the no dairy too) really helped my anxiety, as did running and self-taught acupressure. In particular I found processed gluten free foods were awful for my mood. I know you have to find your own way but I really want to encourage you to see how you feel without that if you haven't already. I also can't afford therapy but when I did have it, that helped too but just being well, gives you the chance to sort your own thoughts and feelings out even without a therapist. Good luck
    • Thank you so much guys. Reading that last response and those from forum members who seemed to be mind-bogglingly sensitive to gluten at times helps me feel like less of a freak  Perhaps worse than the symptoms themselves was my fear that I'm the only person on earth who has gone through this and that if it continues, I will end up with all of my friends and family washing their hands of me because it would look to them like I'm the only one with this and so I must be crazy. It's really good to hear that the sensitivity can go down too. I've been holding onto this idea through the tough times, reminding myself that I also had really bad hayfever for a few years, and asthma at a different time and they both got better.  It has been a whole month since I had a bad reaction to gluten. It has also been two weeks since I even had a small reaction and I'm feeling SO much better. I'm still going to take every precaution I can but this feels worlds away from how it was. At my most risk averse, I had a day on holiday where I only ate bananas and avocados because I could eat them without them having been touched by human hands, even my own! (This was straight after getting sicker and sicker and hunting down what it was that made me ill. I found the refill bottles of soap in the house where I was staying and read that they had wheat in them - not an airborne reaction I imagine but when I washed my hands to prepare food it was probably contaminating my food. Plus because I didn't speak the language, I couldn't be sure the new soap I bought was gluten free.) Now, I am still avoiding environments with lots of gluten and staying clear of grains, but I have reintroduced rice using the food challenge method as directed by my dietician (since I understand that rice is, according to Dr Fasano, the lowest risk of gluten contamination of all the grains) and I am building my weight back up. My Paleo+Fasano diet has been assessed by a registered dietician to include every nutrient and micronutrient that I need so I guess having a really good diet is helping too. My husband has been able to see also that the last time he cooked gluten in the house was the last time I got ill. So it is reassuring for him to see that the sacrifice he is making is making such a difference to me. I also took the advice about new cooking utensils - thanks! I have my fingers crossed for me. I want this better health to continue but right now I'm happy to know that there is a break in the clouds and to know that I can feel like me again. A lot of the steps I have taken to avoid gluten would be seen by some as over the top but I can say that for me, when I introduced these steps, that's when I stopped getting reactions and it's all worth it. Good luck to everyone, sensitive or not, who gets into a bad place with managing their reactions. Hang on in there!        
    • Hello all  I have been living gluten free now for 6 months, as directed by my family doctor after a 6 week elimination diet revealed that I may be celiac or gluten sensitive. I was tested by blood work,  which showed nothing, and am awaiting a specialist to get a biopsy done. I am no where close to getting into see her as it is cased as a non emergency. I have been constantly having bowel problems, rashes all over my body, low iron, weight fluctuations, no energy, depression  and anxiety now for 6 years. Have been a huge nuisance(imo) to my doctor requiring constant antibiotics for this,  creams for this "mystery rash" and either laxatives for constipation that would sometimes go on for over a week to diarrhea that would keep my home- no in between . It hasn't been easy, especially whenever doctors are so quick to blame all symptoms as mental illness. Even though I have continuously told them I feel my issues are something simple...  not a mental illness. Anyways long story short, after going gluten free I have had somewhat Nnormal bowel functions, less rashes around my stomach, been able to cut back drastically on my depression medications and anxiety meds, and energy has taken a huge improvement  which all is great! But .... I am constantly HUngry have gained 20 lbs and can no longer fit into most of my clothes. This is really bothering me because I am afraid I am approaching a weight problem.  At only 5'5" weighing 165lbs is large to begin with. Especially whenever I have two children and have only EVER weighed this much while being pregnant with them. I am 26 years old and just tired of not being myself. I am physically healthy and just would like my body to act it. Any help would be greatly appreciated, as I said I am only 6 months into my journey and have definitely re exposed myself to gluten (accidently) many times in between. Much love. 
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