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Overwhelmed by guilt that is hard to overcome.

Well, I'm back again! And again I'm misearable. GI doctor told me that almost for sure I have IBS, and it's because of those goddamn antybiotics that I took for acne. Again i feel overwhelmed by guilt. This guilt and emotional rollercoaster is almost as bad as daily pain, cramping, diarrhea and other physical symptoms. I'm trying to let it go, but I just can't. If I had this IBS or whatever it is because of genetic or bad luck or something like that I think that I could be at least a little bit better. But all I can think again and again is that I could avoid it... Yea, I know that I'm whining, but god I want so bad for this guilt to go away. I'm dwelling on the past and rehasing those events that were reason I'm now sick. I was fired in last job, because I couldn't concetrace enough because of this daily pain... But I think that my mental attitude has something to do that too. Is anybody here or was in similiar situation? I mean, when guilt was literally consuming you? Any advices how to... let it go? I'm in a little bit better situation that few months before, but I feel that I have work not only on my physical symptoms but also mental status. I HAVE TO LET IT GO, I just don't know how. I quess I'm kinda this type of person, but I hope that everybody can change their attitude. I mean I try by using logic let go of guilt, but emotion are just so strong. I fear that I'm blame myself my whole life for one action, which is not logic... But I can't do anything to change that! It's so strange when youre young, everybody you know is healthy, and you're the only one with daily pain and symptoms that destroying your life... and what worse it's your fault...
If anybody is patient enough to read that - or even respond - thank you. I'm in bad place but I feel that posting here helps me at least a little bit...

Here are my previous posts http://www.crohnsforum.com/showthread.php?t=28693 (at the end of the thread)
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my little penguin

Staff member
Have you seen a psychologist or therapist who deals with medically complicated people?
This helped DS a lot. He is 11 and was dx at 7.
Few kids in the first grade even knew what a disease was let alone crohns.
You didn't "do" anything wrong
There are many different versions of "crohns" and docs/scientist are still figuring it all out.
Grieving when one is dx is normal
Btdt many times over for myself and DS.
But the thing is it does get better and you do find a new normal
It just takes time and the right meds.
DS swims plays with his friends and most don't even realize he is sick .
He is currently in a minor flare but overall has been very well for the past two years.
We have no family history of crohns
DS started with Gi issues at age 2 weeks wasn't dx till age 7.
His DNa test shows lots of crohns related genes -
I could chose to blame myself -it's a mom thing even if your kiddo is not sick ;)
But instead I focus on what he can do and how to improve things even if it's just a little bit each day

Baby steps will still get you where you want to go it's just may take a little longer .


Staff member
Is it possible to see another GI Kozas? I'm not sure which tests you've done already but to me it sounds like they haven't done everything they can for you and may be blowing you off. What medications did they prescribe to help with symptoms? Can you list all the tests you've had done? Do you know what your inflammation markers are with your blood work or have you had stool tests to check for inflammation? None of this is your fault. There's also a big possibility that your GI is wrong.
I had 2x endoscopy(first one discovered some inflammation in duodenum but second was clear), 2x ultrasonography(first discovered some stones in gallbladder, second was clear), some blood test(only basic really) and some stool tests(only for helicobacter pylori). I was in big pain last time at GI and she told me only that I should do another ultrasonography(because it's weird that there are no more stones in gallbladder) and that are no medication she can prescribe for me! I was very disappointed. She only told me that I should exercise daily for at least 30 minutes. Yea, okay I'm doing it in despite of my physical pain and mental status but it's not working. I can't afford to visit different GI right now(this one I can visit for free - Poland health care is much different than in USA). But thanks for this post, 'cause you gave me some directions to go.
But is here any person that felt guilt like me? Maybe someone overcome it? It's very important for me, because I think(maybe I am wrong?) that mental problems can agravate physical symptoms(tell me if I am wrong). Most time I can work despite physical symptoms(just no full time) but I can't work when my own mind is against me! Sorry if I sound like whining all the time ;) But writing here really helps me.
It sounds like you have a lot of regret and you're in the third stage of grief, bargaining. :(

I have experience with this and all I can say is as much as possible, focus on making a new future for yourself.

My son hasn't been able to attend school for over a year and I'm very worried about him, but we decided to take some trips..let him see a bit of the world during his downtime. :)
Why do you feel guilty? You've not harmed anyone else, not done anything immoral. I can see why you would feel regret, but not guilt. You're the one who's suffering. And it's possible it had nothing to do with the antibiotics anyway. Also you can't cause or worsen a physical illness by feeling guilty.

I don't think, from your posts, that you have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but it sounds like you could have one of its symptoms: people with PTSD often get stuck with a memory of a traumatic moment replaying in their head, sometimes with the desperate thought of what they could have done differently in that moment, if it would have changed the outcome and avoided the trauma. If you seek out some support online for people with PTSD, you may find people who understand the way you're thinking.

If it really is guilt that you're feeling, maybe you could stop it by doing good things for others in some way? Show yourself that your symptoms don't prevent you from being a good person and doing good things?
Well, maybe it's more regret than guilt. English is not my native language, so sometimes I can choose words poorly. But you are 100% accurate in this "with the desperate thought of what they could have done differently in that moment, if it would have changed the outcome and avoided the trauma".
This day was a little better, I feel more calmly. Thanks to posts in this thread too. Lenny seems to be great parent and then I remembered 'hey, I've got great parents too! Sometimes they don't understand me, but they're healthy and not in pain, so how can they? What's important is that they support and love me'
I also decide to make some plans. Maybe nothing long-term but for a few next months. Earn some money, and invest it in my health not only physical but mental also. Thanks to everybody here again, I feel that I received a lot of support I needed. I also know that I will still have many bad days, but I like what my little penguin said "Baby steps will still get you where you want to go it's just may take a little longer" - I will try every day to improve my life or my family life just a little bit.
I am officialy diagnosed with Crohn.
I will never forgive myself that I took for so long those damn acne antibiotics. Few months with clear skin, and ruined life.
I am furious. I am devastated. Nobody understands. I can't understand why I was so stupid, so stupid, so stupid. I ruined my life for nothing. Nothing will ever be the same.


Staff member
New York, USA
First - glad you finally have a diagnosis. Second, who's to say your life is 'ruined'.....changed, yes.....different - yes.....BUT - now that you have the diagnosis you can work on a game plan for treatment.

Don't let the label of a disease define you - YOU define the disease!!!

Having been diagnosed with Crohn's/Colitis for over 30 years myself, did it slow me down at times? sure - did I have issues over the years? sure - has it stopped me from living life to the fullest extent that I am able to? NOT!!!

Yes, I'm (finally) in remission that has now lasted over 10 years due to modern medicine.....BUT - I had to get pretty sick before finding the drug that is working for me (Remicade).....

In the mean time, I have accumulated college credits, worked in the Fire Service/EMS field for over 20 years, married and started a family (DD is now going into 7th grade!)....and work full time in a sometimes stressful job (but no where near as much stress as a previous job!).....

As for taking the antibiotics - it isn't stupid to have taken something that was prescribed, especially since it helped you....think about it - did you KNOW for a fact that having IBD issues would be a result of taking them? Probably not.....could your symptoms have come about REGARDLESS of what you had taken? POSSIBLY.....

Everything in the world is a 'what if'....and if we always think that and second guess ourselves we will never get anywhere.....

Keep you chin up, look toward the future and not the past, and remember there are LOTS of us here to help with support and input whenever someone is in need of it.
I am officialy diagnosed with Crohn.
I will never forgive myself that I took for so long those damn acne antibiotics. Few months with clear skin, and ruined life.
I am furious. I am devastated. Nobody understands. I can't understand why I was so stupid, so stupid, so stupid. I ruined my life for nothing. Nothing will ever be the same.
Supporting you. There is nothing you can do about the past. I know that caffeine made my Crohn's disease worse and I sometimes kick myself for that but the better thing to do is move on.

my little penguin

Staff member
As others have said you life isn't ruined
Ds was dx at age 7
So no acne medicine or family history
Just happened
He has been been dealing with this disease for 7 years now
And at the ripe old age of almost 14
I would hate to think of his life as being ruined
He gets good grades
Has plenty of friends
Extra hobbies and activities
Occasionally bad days due to Crohns
But those are few and far between

With the right meds
You can get to a new normal
Getting the right meds is key and they differ from person to person

It took a year to get Ds in remicade
But once he started biologics and was switched to humira
It's been good Crohns wise

Good luck on your journey
Thanks folks. I quess I will wait what is plan of my GI specialist.
I know my life is maybe not completely ruined but I hate to think I am sick because of my choices. I want to move on, but this is not something that I can fix, I will be sick my whole life. I am earning some money and I don't even know what to spend them on. I can't buy health, feeling good or happiness. I had also some problems in work but I hope that with better treatment I will be able to work more or less normal. I mean yeah I just said I don't know what to spend money on, but work provides at least disctraction. My worst period was when I was unemployed. Even my fatigue was worse and I wasn't doing anything all days!

Cross-stitch gal

Staff member
When you're first diagnosed, it may take a bit to adjust to the new challenge. I was diagnosed at 18 and eventually was in remission for a few years and recently have been diagnosed as being in remission again. I've had my ups and downs too as will you. But, we're here with you to talk to. Just like others have said, your life is NOT over!!! Changed a bit, yes but NOT over. Hang in there and am sending you lots of hugs...


Well-known member
I share your frustrations, unfortunately we cannot go down to the dealership and buy ourselves a new body, but rather keep on going with what we got or still have left. Living with Crohn's is a bit like this old adage;" Don't complain, just fly the plane, ignore that big hole in the back of the plane, its still flying despite it all and that is the main thing." It describes my body well, living with this colostomy, and all the limitations of diet and lifestyle. however, despite having been handed lemons, I decided to make lemonade instead. Life changed, and I simply slowed down and stopped to smell the roses and focus on the small things that make life good, that we all often miss out in this rushed world today. There is quality of life that is worthwhile even with Crohn's.
I will never forgive myself that I took for so long those damn acne antibiotics. Few months with clear skin, and ruined life.
My own UC kicked off from two main factors - bad diet and copious amounts of antibiotics over the years.


The doctors would give me antibiotics for all sorts of different things and never once did they tell me the possible side effects.

Had I known that 20 years worth of antibiotics would have given me UC, then I would have taken a different route.

I was angry at the doctor for not telling me, and angry at myself for not asking.

But I have moved on and accepted what is is. Now I look for ways for making myself feel better.

When life throws you lemons.......find ways of making lemonade.

Hope you can eventually forgive yourself and move on. Because if left to fester, your negative and angry thoughts could potentially make life harder.

Maybe try some Emotional Freedom Technique, as it works extremely well on learning to forgive and on accepting yourself:


Good luck
I know it feels like life is over when you get a Crohns diagnosis, but given time you do find a way of moving on and making a different life for yourself. As with any serious disease, it makes you reassess things and maybe eventually value your life more in some ways - only not at first, when it all seems overwhelming and awful, and you beat yourself up about what you could have done differently to avoid becoming ill (and maybe the answer is nothing - it was going to happen anyhow). As others have said, it's all about trying to change your mental attitude and seeing the positives in daily life. I have Crohns but I have a far more meaningful life now than I had before the illness, I used to suffer desperately with crippling depression, but Crohns has taught me to live for the moment more and I wouldn't turn the clock back to being the person I was before the illness. (Of course I'd like to be me as I am now but without the disease!)
I quess you both are right. Right now I am can't deal with it, but thinking all the time about it was mentally tiresome so I just think about work and video games/movies. It's not a longterm solution, but at least I don't feel 'crippled'. I mean yeah, I am physically ill, but thinking about it and going deeper into depression void just makes it all worse. I have already one illness, why add another(and at least I have impact on depression). I still don't know how to deal with it long term like I said but I quess filling my mind with anything that is positive/neutral is better than wondering about all what ifs and whys. It's not gonna fix anything now... even worse it can be detrimential as stressing out will not help me in any way :D