A question I commonly get asked from readers is something like "I don't have IBD myself, but my spouse/partner/friend does. I feel so helpless, how can I be supportive?" Well, here they are, my tips for being a gold star, superhero partner or friend.
Crohn's and Colitis are usually invisible diseases. This means that while the individual might look just great on the outside, on the inside they may be suffering varying levels of pain, exhaustion, fear, malnourishment, severe diarrhea or constipation, lack of appetite, nausea, heartburn, joint pain and muscle aches, anxiety, depression and more. We are often embarrassed about our disease and the symptoms it causes and so we try to put on a brave face. Sometimes that brave face catches up to us and we break down.
Having a friend, spouse or partner who truly understands and knows how to be supportive in the right ways can make a world of difference. Feeling alone with our disease is crushing.... feeling understood can be a ray of sunshine. Here are some tips to help you be supportive in the best ways possible.