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Trauma-related IBD and ways to heal

The role of chronic stress in immune diseases seems to be a topic that gets some attention at present. Nature published these within the last year:

Depression and anxiety in inflammatory bowel disease: epidemiology, mechanisms and treatment

Chronic stress can inflame the gut — now scientists know why

And this meta-analysis was made in 2016 demonstrating a link between trauma and inflammation:
Childhood trauma and adulthood inflammation

I searched for threads on this forum and did find some relevant ones:
"Scientists Get a Better Understanding of How Stress Can Inflame the Gut in IBD Patients" and
Have you ever been asked about your mental health by your GI?"
I did not however find a thread that discuss in depth specifically WHY chronic stress occurs, and more importantly, how to DEAL with chronic stress.

The most comprehensive theory I have come across is the one which propose chronic stress and thus chronic illness is a function of our relationship to our caregivers, to ourselves, and to our surroundings. Specifically,
that there are some prevalent stressors - truma -, that can trigger the "body-mind" connection to manifest these traumas as physical illness (inflammation):
- being exposed to abuse / violence
- being raised in a dysfunctional family
- long term financial or domestic insecurity

And, most importantly, not being in a position to learn how heal from these traumas.

So, I'd like to start this thread as a place to share insights, litterature, experiences, and to discuss this topic.

I for one grew up with emotionally absent parents, and developed several bad coping mechanisms which forced me to suppress healthy anger, signals from the body etc.., and to become codependent on others. I can correlate the onset of CD and subsequent flare-ups to:
- traumas within the family system
- me appying the harmful coping mechanisms i learned in childhood (because I needed them back then to survive), but I still perpetuate in adulthood in a harmful way, such as supressing my feelings and workaholism.

The recent book by Gabor Maté (MD) "The Myth of Normal" has been very informative for me. It deals with the body-mind connection and proposes ways to heal from disease-inducing trauma and harmful behaviour. It is a complex topic, and as I understand it quite a task to heal a whole life of stressful coping mechanisms. I started that process through therapy, and I am joining the https://adultchildren.org/ (a 12 step program for adult children of alcoholics or dysfunctional families).
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I should add that the healing process as defined in ACA and Matés proposals does not involve looking upon ones situation as being a victim. That means the way forward is not blaming parents, siblings, perpetrators - and one self. Rather the therapeutic effect comes from recognizing, with honesty, our current behaviours, and our own role in perpetuating them. This will allow us to act with power to change and become our authentic (and thus, less stressed) self.
But- equally important, not to feel guilty for whatever has transpired which is the cause for chronic stress. Just try to understand.
This video explains the benefits of being radically honest (although it may hurt to admit ones true self...) Eg. "My name is Waldo and I'm codependent." Ouch!

The Power of Radical Honesty - Dr. Anna Lembke
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You might find Bessel van der Kolk’s writings on early trauma and later chronic illness useful I think the book is called The Body keeps the Score or something like that
What a coincidence Delta hippo. I seriously just ordered that book 20 minutes ago, right before viewing this post!
A short follow up on this thread. I have read enough now to realise the potentials in improving my Crohns disease (CD) my addressing and healing childhood trauma. So I have decided to go down the road of extensive therapy to try and heal my traumatic stress. I can think of four possible outcomes from doing the work:

1. My CD will get worse
2. There will be no change in me or my CD
3. There will be no change in my CD, but I will be able to better tackle the hardships that comes with the disease
4. My CD will get better

I am curious to see which one it will be. My way of resolving the traumas is to follow the 12-step program called ACA (as mentioned in the first post in this thread) because the "Laundry list" of this program best match my traits from I wish to change. (There are several other 12-step programs available).
I started doing the 12 steps with a sponsor and I will post the progress here.

The goal is to get rid of my chronic stress. The hypothesis is that breaking isolation/denial and becoming my own loving parent will help me avoid reverting to the stress-inducing "suppression" coping strategy when confronted. Instead I am learning to act by either reaching out for social suppport or, if that is not available, by setting healthy boundaries, ie. invoking fight or fight responses if nessecary.
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@Waldo - No insight just a suggestion. Do some physical activity on a regular basis if possible. It could be walking, running, swimming or dancing. I put out dancing because it can be a lot of fun and you get to make friends. I had read an article about dancing on cnn. It is your journey, you get to decide what is best for you. Be assertive and kind to yourself.
Another piece in the "origins of stress" puzzle, the diagnosis "CPTSD", short for Complex Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is now (since 2018) accepted as a psychiatric diagnosis. Prior there was no diagnosis to cover the mental sickness and chronic stress that arise from continuous trauma (eg. From being either abused or neglected as a child, and/or living with a debilitating inflammatory disease).

Research suggests that PTSD may lead to increased inflammation (and vice versa):

But I was unable to find any studies looking into whether CPTSD and chronic stress can lead to inflammation. Maybe because the diagnosis is so new?

I did however find an article that suggest living with IBD can cause CPTSD:

If there is a vicious cycle going on (childhood trauma / neglect -> CPTSD-> (IBD->CPTSD->IBD->etc...)) in a subset of IBD patients, then treating CPTSD should dampen the inflammation.
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