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Depression and Stress

Thu Dec 23, 2021 12:31 pm
"This is the best website for people with an Ostomy, hands down. So much understanding. Everyone should join."

     Since my permanent ileostomy surgery Oct/18, I find I have a real hard time dealing with stress, leading to depression. Never had this problem before surgery, but the cause of the stress/depression is not related (directly) to ileostomy concerns. I just find now, after surgery, Stress hits me way harder and have hard time dealing with it, causing depression. 

     Has anybody else experienced this, and what are some ways to deal with stress better/ since surgeries. All responses are much appreciated, and thanks in advance.

Thu Dec 23, 2021 12:53 pm

Yes, the surgery and stoma mess with your mind. I was angry and mad for awhile. Doc sent me for counselling. Once you realize where it is coming from it is easier to deal with. Certainly take counselling if it is available to you. You are stronger than stress or depression.

MeetAnOstoMate - 26,431 members
Thu Dec 23, 2021 2:10 pm

Hello thelesperance.

I agree with xnine. It is quite 'normal' to have this sort of psychological experience after surgery, and it is important to try to understand it so that you can deal with it more effectively. My comments below assume that you have checked to ascertain if there is anything at all physical amiss after the surgery:(It can throw all sorts of things out of balance) 

My own perception of it involves likening it to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Sometimes it'll sort itself out and sometimes it won't without external help.  The condition is well known, documented and can be treated effectively if you get the appropriate help/counselling.  You say that you don't feel it's directly related to ileostomy concerns. However, it could just as well be directly related to the physical trauma of the operation and not so much due to the potential concerns afterwards. Some women go through a similar thing with post-natal depression and it plays similar havoc with  one's mental state. I would concur with xnine and say that if you can get yourself referred to a good (specialist)  psychologist / counsellor you might get the help you need. Research has shown that the sooner people with this condition get help, the better the prognosis. 

I wish you well, as this can be quite debilitating until it is sorted.

Best wishes

Bill 

Thu Dec 23, 2021 2:16 pm

I guess the big question is where is your stress coming from and what can you do to alleviate it as much as possible. I'm expecting no answer to that as it's a personal thing but if you know the root cause, that's where you have to start. 

Fri Dec 24, 2021 3:05 am

Hi

I personally think the above posts have given you the best advice and feel it would be beneficial to seek expert support/advice. Please reach out to us anytime even if it's to vent anger/shoulder to lean on. Remember a problem shared is a problem halved. Good luck and let us know how you are getting on xxy

Fri Dec 24, 2021 4:02 am

Hello thelesperance.
Notwithstanding my previous reply to your post , I have been fishing around my past rhymes to try to find some appropriate ones to share for this scenario.
My choice was between the many rhymes that focussed upon depression and/or those that dealt with PTSD. On this occasion I think that the PTSD ones might be more relevant.
These rhymes were written for people who had a different cause of their stress and depression. Nonetheless, there might be something within the messages that you could benefit from.
Best wishes
Bill

POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Is an emotional marauder.
It intrudes upon your life.
Giving you emotional strife.

A major trauma’s stress it brings.
Or mounting up of minor things.
Unresolved accumulation.
Stressful, mindful mutilation.

It’s when your mind takes a big knock.
As earthquake and it’s aftershock.
Knocking you from your momentum.
Disturbing equilibrium.

This stress’s notoriety.
Is causing great anxiety.
Amazing what a kick it packs.
Both trauma and its own flashbacks.

Post-trauma’s instability.
Shakes up your ability.
After such an incidence.
You start to lose your confidence.

Your perception starts to alter.
Your whole life begins to falter.
It isn’t just the helplessness.
What gets you is the hopelessness.

Your mind just goes all round the place.
You’re in a world that you can’t face.
You focus on the negatives.
And fill yourself with sedatives.

You need to understand these things.
And all the problems that it brings.
Then you need to work it through.
‘Till it no longer bothers you.

This is true, ask anyone.
But it’s easier said than done!

                                      B. Withers 2012
                                                   (p220)

POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER 2.

How is it affecting me?
This thing they call P.T.S.D.
My mind is working overtime.
But still it’s sinking in quicklime.

In fast forward, stuck in gear.
If I shout, no one will hear.
This stress is never audible.
And certainly not laudable.

The aftershocks of mindful stress.
This causes me the most distress.
They spring up when I’m unaware.
It makes this thing seem so unfair.

The thing that makes me most annoyed.
Is when it makes me paranoid.
There is no one that I can trust.
It’s like my friendship bank’s gone bust.

From everyone I might be harmed.
Unless somehow they are disarmed.
This does not help as in the end.
I’m losing every single friend.

Black clouds of great immensity.
Make way for animosity.
All this bitterness or course.
Can be a most destructive force.

Though from post-trauma it has grown.
It gains a power of its own.
You no longer have companionships.
For it destroys relationships.

I’ve told you what post-trauma means.
As a painter paints his scenes.
And I hope by doing this.
I can come back from this abyss.

                                         B. Withers 2012

                                                     (p221)

POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER 3.

After trauma there’s some time.
When you don’t feel in your prime.
When you have taken a big knock.
There’s bound to be an aftershock.

Trauma does not show respect.
Its affects will resurrect.
It takes you back into your past.
And so the trauma die is cast.

It repeats time and again.
Regurgitating all that pain.
It doesn’t seem to go away.
So it stays with you every day.

You feel okay and then you find.
Your confidence is undermined.
The flashbacks from the trauma pain.
All come flooding back again.

Everything is black and white.
When you’re feeling so uptight.
With everyone you will find fault.
For everyone is an assault.

Your actions are foreseeable.
And very disagreeable.
As you become inflexible.
The damage’s inestimable.

It’s more likely you’ll succumb.
The more dogmatic you become.
For there’s no doubt rigidity.
Undermines validity.

After trauma you should relax.
Let your inner strengths climax.
Move from the traumas and in lieu.
Try some things entirely new.

                                       B. Withers 2012

                                              (p223

In: A Thesis on Constructive Conversations Inversed 2012 )

Fri Dec 24, 2021 5:45 am

I suffer from that disability  too sometimes and a loss of energy. After my first surgery three or four telephone calls would leave me exhausted. Unfortunately, pyschoanalysis of the kind advised here works best in developed countries, where I am philosophy like that offered by the wise man who lives on the top of the mountain works better. Will talk to my Guru and share his advice with you. Best wishes.

Fri Dec 24, 2021 8:28 am

Hi Lesperance what you are going thru is grieving and there are stages, usually starting with why me, then frustration/anger, and hopefully acceptance where you manage your ostomy like its an everyday part of life.  good luck  

Fri Dec 24, 2021 7:04 pm

Lesperance, You use the word and phrase Stress without really saying what "STRESS " is. Do you mean upset over a situation you cannot control??? You have an obvious alteration of body image and changes in " normal body function, Is that stess????? I feel no it is not.  Accept the changes and move on to the next obstacle life present you with. If you want to spend thousands retalking and retalking about your Stress that is your choice  not mine. WHY make therapist rich??? Spe3nd the money and time doing something you love to complete, not making others rich. PICK A SIMPLE ACHIEVEABLE GOAL AND COMPLETE IT> THEN THINK BACK OFTEN ON YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENT!!!!!!!!!! THEN PICK ANOTHER SIMPLE HARDER ACHIEVEABLE GOAL AND COMPLETE IT. THEN RECALL HOW YOU ACCIEVED THAT GOAL>  Take hiking for example or swimming, hike a block then 1/2 mile then further.  If you don't succeed rest up then start again.

Don't pay the therapist but buy good hiking shoes for example.

do382818

Sun Dec 26, 2021 3:25 pm

Mostly great advice here. I was "shell-shocked" in my late 50's, and looking back, wow, was I depressed! As for adjustments, read on:

I'm 65, now 7 years w/ colostomy. Didn't even join here until this year. 
I haven't written about it here, but my family rejected me post colostomy. My marriage (then 37 1/2 yrs) ultimately broke up; but worse, my oldest daughter was crazy, uninformed. She wouldn't let my grandchildren HUG me because she said I would "smell." I didn't smell  then, don't now. (I've had incredible luck w/ the Convatec supplies I use. No blowouts, a handful of leaks over the years. Maybe the universe making up for that part of my family!)

I'm fine now, after some therapy, but also after gradually realizing how much healthier I am, and BEST: "losing" that part of my family (tragic, I know, took years to sink in and accept) that refused to be enlightened about this very common situation. My present friends (and plenty of past friends, plus my amazing other Family) must know about my colostomy, must accept me and my colostomy (gas noises, bathroom visits to empty, etc.😂), or they can't be in my life.

Appreciate all the good you have (I hope there's some!) You'll progress. Again, get therapy if you need it, as opposed to going deep down the rabbit hole of depression. There's an amazing group of people here for support. The very best to you, my prayers. 

Sun Dec 26, 2021 5:25 pm

I'd say since you're recently post surgery, it's natural to have the feelings of why me and all of that.  Definitely take advantage of some therapy as it will help you to discuss and explore your feelings.  Also know yoy're not alone.  It helps me to know that.

Sun Dec 26, 2021 5:34 pm


stolencolen wrote:

I'd say since you're recently post surgery, it's natural to have the feelings of why me and all of that.  Definitely take advantage of some therapy as it will help you to discuss and explore your ...

I think some of us are a little confused. I believe he's had his ostomy done in 2018 so it's not very recent. I also believe having an ostomy isn't the stress point but since having the ostomy, he gets stressed/depressed very easily. So, I think the real question is...does having an ostomy somehow create more stress/depression more so than not having an ostomy. Or, I read the original post all wrong and I'll go hide in the corner now. 🤷‍♂️ 😬

Sun Dec 26, 2021 6:42 pm

I guess for me any ostomy younger than 40 years is relatively new...

Sun Dec 26, 2021 9:05 pm

It takes some people longer than others to come to terms with the whole experience of having the ostomy in the first place. To begin with, there is the loss of autonomy - someone or something else is taking over and making decisions about your body - which is something many of us struggled with when we first got our ostomies. Some people went into surgery and came out with the ostomy with no warning or discussion or permissions. At least I had one evening to come to terms with it before it happened. Then there is the feeling that your body - your most intimate SELF - has betrayed you, leaving you angry and fearful of what else will fail next. There is the shattering of your self-image as a strong, healthy, WHOLE person (which is something many people on this site have expressed, even years after their ostomy surgery). There is the worry that you may never again be the person you were before, leading to anger, fatigue, and (yes) stress and depression.

If you have a close friend/spouse/significant other, that can help enormously in getting past that point. If you don't, and are trying to battle this alone, please take the advice and find a trusted professional to help. If you can get to the point where you can accept this as a "new normal" part of yourself, your stress and your depression will lessen.

In point of fact, as we get older, we are ALL going to have to learn to deal with things we didn't have to when we were younger. For you and me, it's a colostomy. For my (younger) sister, it was crippling arthritis and a hip replacement at only 63! My brother passed away earlier this year at only age 66, because he refused to go to a doctor after a cut hand got infected and he treated it with aspirin. We all know someone in better shape than we are - and we all know someone in worse shape. But it is something we all have to come to terms with, not just us, but EVERYBODY.

Good luck, and I hope that by next year this time you will have a better Christmas post because you are doing much better than right now.

Mon Dec 27, 2021 9:27 pm

Hopefully I don't make you more depressed by my response, but your question struck a nerve in me.  I've had a permanent ileostomy since 2008, when I got it at about age 36.  It was very difficult for me for years in terms of being self-conscious about my physical appearance now, for instance while initmate.  Not to mention this was a time that I was just starting to establish a good balance between a job that was going well, a social life that was going well, and plenty of future ahead.  I won't say that I've become that much more resilient as a result, it's probably more that I've just avoided playing the relationship game for the most part since the operation.  I'm guessing that's one of your main concerns, how it will be when intimate.  I wish I could give you an encouraging answer, but seeing as I more or less quit the game after getting my ileostomy, I can only really provide support as another of us who were backstabbed by UC or Crohn's.

G.

Mon Dec 27, 2021 10:16 pm

Hi. I understand 100% how you are feeling. I got an ileostomy 10/2010, basically 11 years ago. Since the initial ileostomy, I've had complete coloectomy with rectum removed as well. So there's no going back. I've really hated it from day one. I would like to say it gets better, but that's only marginally true. I was 53 at the time. I gave up on romance at all. I couldn't stand the site of the thing, so how could I ever let anyone else see it! Forgot being intimate. I'm afraid of being touched. I was never like this pre ostomy. I really feel for you being so young. Your 36 & I'm now 64. Your do young to give up on romance. I really think unaffected females will be receptive to a male regardless of an ostomy if he excels in other matters of life. The reverse is not true. Blessings, Teresa

Wed Dec 29, 2021 1:56 pm

Appreciate all the responses. Still trying to deal, this group is a great resource. 

Thu Dec 30, 2021 3:35 am


AlexT wrote:

I think some of us are a little confused. I believe he's had his ostomy done in 2018 so it's not very recent. I also believe having an ostomy isn't the stress point but since having the ostomy, he ...

Good question.  I think the answer really has to be yes, having an ostomy is something that can and often does increase the incidence of depression IMHO, and I'd imagine the frustration that often accompanies having to live one's life in this condition could be considered a direct form of stress.  I think it has to do with a person's social proclivities, and a lot of it depends on one's psychological make-up, but it's tough to argue that those of us with permanent ostomies would probably be happier if we hadn't had to undergo the procedure in the first place and didn't have to walk around with a plastic bag stuck to our belly.

Thu Dec 30, 2021 3:18 pm

Some of the posted comments make me depressed. "it's tough to argue that those of us with permanent ostomies would probably be happier if we hadn't had to undergo the procedure in the first place and didn't have to walk around with a plastic bag stuck to our belly." please delet youy post if able.

THANK YOU

Fri Dec 31, 2021 4:26 am

That's a bit rude don't you think? Asking people to delete thier post, not sure if you are aware but this site is for everyone to express one's own voice and give people advice and support on their personal journeys and what helped them. What makes you feel that your post is the only one people should read?? 

Fri Dec 31, 2021 5:47 am

Who are you referring to as I would never dream to ask someone to delete their post?

Fri Dec 31, 2021 5:57 am


do382818 wrote:

Some of the posted comments make me depressed. "it's tough to argue that those of us with permanent ostomies would probably be happier if we hadn't had to undergo the procedure in the first place a...

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion & wish to talk open about their experiences & journey so why should you have to delete a post because someone takes offence to it & others do not as they only know every ones story is different how we arrived in this boat & the majority of survivors are interested in the variety of it all & not a one track boring sob story probably likes yours or your so thick skinned that you think it's too degrading having to change just one bag a day & carry it around with you & why me?? Why not?? Shit happens but most people I've met on here are upbeat & love life & glad to have a bag or two in exchange for life! Selfish & self centred comes to mind! Have a good day if you can try!

Fri Dec 31, 2021 6:56 am

If you do not like something, just skip it. Enough ragging on people. Just skip it.

Sun Jan 02, 2022 11:40 am


do382818 wrote:

Some of the posted comments make me depressed. "it's tough to argue that those of us with permanent ostomies would probably be happier if we hadn't had to undergo the procedure in the first place a...

I am a new member.  Why should someone delete their post because it makes you depressed?  Everyone in a forum such as this should have the right to sy wht they feel they need to.  And, we do walk around with a plastic bag stuck to us.

Wed Jan 12, 2022 8:27 am

My niece is a nurse in the community & does home care, she & I are very close & when she knew of my operation & having 2 bags she knew I would be down & depressed which I was not too mention my partner was dying from pancreatic cancer at the same time, well when I managed to get back home she told me of one of her patients who is an ostomate & he is blind & only in his 40s, it soon brought home how lucky I was to be alive as being on ostomate & blind I could not imagine & not sure I could live that life? Be grateful for what you have.


Wed Jan 12, 2022 8:48 am


Panko wrote:

My niece is a nurse in the community & does home care, she & I are very close & when she knew of my operation & having 2 bags she knew I would be down & depressed which I was not too mention my par...

So true. There is always someone worse off. I am grateful. 💓


Sun Feb 06, 2022 10:47 am


thelesperance wrote:

Appreciate all the responses. Still trying to deal, this group is a great resource. 

I too have had bouts of depression since getting my ostomy. Reach out any time if you just want to talk. {{{hugs}}}

Sat Feb 12, 2022 4:46 pm

Why would anyone not be depressed? Just thinking back I remember the following:
My friend says, “Ya know John’s father has a bag he poops into”.
I answered, “That would never be me. I couldn’t live like that”.
The doctor said, “You have a pretty big tumor in your colon and I think it’s cancerous”. The Oncologist said, “Yup, it’s cancer and BTY, during the X-ray your colon tumer was hiding the bladder tumor. That’s cancerous also”. I said, “Oh”. The technician said, “The reason your anus hurts so much is because it’s burned from the 28 radiation sessions”. The Oncologist’s nurse said, “The reason you feel so rotten from the 5FU chemo is ‘cause that how it makes most folks feel. Why do you think they call it ‘FU’?” I said, “FU” very quietly. After surgery to remove the bladder and colon tumors and reconnect the to colon to the badly damaged (from radiation) rectum the Dr said, You have a stricture but you’re connected. Let’s just see”. I said, “Wow, I need to find out what a stricture is”. About two years later, after spending many hours every day on the toilet, taking pain relievers which didn’t eliminate the pain, more bladder surgery then treatment for some kind of bladder cancer, my surgeons agreed with each other that they couldn’t let me continue this way. I think they gave me a throat exam through my butt and decided I was going back in surgery for an ostomy. I was speechless trying to figure out how he got his hand in his pocket with a three foot long finger; or was it his thumb?
That all started almost twelve years ago. During that period I got the Pneumona, Flu and Shingles shots. During that period I got Pneumonia and Shingles so I guess those shots worked. I could go on but I don’t want to get depressed.
Now, for the good part. My stoma is around nine years old and works just great. I haven’t named it because I’m not sure it’s considered “documented”. I’m 81 years old, cancer free for all those nine years and I do mostly all the things I did before all this crap started. I think my short game is even better than before.
Relatively thinking, because all things are relative, it’s all good.
Respectfully,
Mike
PS: I believe there’s better therapy from folks here than those in private practices.


Sat Feb 12, 2022 4:55 pm


iMacG5 wrote:

Why would anyone not be depressed? Just thinking back I remember the following:
My friend says, “Ya know John’s father has a bag he poops into”.
I answered, “That would never be me. I couldn...

Thanks Mike. I think there is great therapy from folks here also. {{{Hugs}}}

Mon Feb 14, 2022 12:19 pm


Bill wrote:

Hello thelesperance.
Notwithstanding my previous reply to your post , I have been fishing around my past rhymes to try to find some appropriate ones to share for this scenario.
My choice was betwee...

What a great writer you are. I've written a few about PTSD. I had it before surgeries but it's gotten worse sence. Your words hit deep and true. Therapy only helps a little bit so far. I've pushed away everyone when all I really want is someone to pull me close. To actually understand what's happened to me physically and mentally 

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