When my mental state gets really bad I go through some interesting symptoms. I find that most people don’t know the wide array of symptoms people with depression and other mental illnesses can have. Fatigue is a huge one. Flu-like symptoms like aching pains are another. What I really hate though is the stomach upset. That’s right I’m talking about what no one else wants to talk about, diarrhea. Apparently, the connection to your brain and your gut is very strong. So when I’m really stressed I find myself running to the bathroom. Cramping and sick. It always surprises me when I’m sharing any of my experiences about mental illness and people don’t know that there are so many different ways it manifests itself.
Have you ever heard the term it’s all in your head? I’m sure you have. What’s funny is that it is! But not in the way people think. Not in an, I’m a hypochondriac way. Apparently, the head and the digestive tract are very in tune. Basically when we have anxiety our bodies’ natural fight or flight response is triggered. This response causes the body to create adrenaline and divert water and blood flow. When the water flow is diverted it causes your gut to respond with diarrhea. It also slows the absorption of food which leads to- you guessed it-diarrhea.
Now, why am I telling you all this? Simply put-knowledge is power. When you’re in a crisis and having a panic attack knowing the science behind how you’re feeling can help you change it. Next time you have those thoughts in your head and you feel stress brewing, remember that it’s all in your head in a good way and talk yourself off that ledge. You are stronger than you feel and worth more than you believe.