I recently had the pleasure of meeting with a gentleman in his 40s.
He had had IBS-D (this means irritable bowel syndrome with predominantly symptoms of diarrhea).
It had limited his life severely. If he went out for an hour and a half drive, he would have to plan his route carefully for bathrooms. He even had a bucket and a toilet in his car, in case he had to use it.
He didn’t feel like going out and preferred to stay at home. He was not able to take his young child out away from home.
On a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the worst, his daily symptoms averaged 7.
In addition, he was experiencing significant anxiety. He would typically sit in a public rest room for an hour.
Mr. X recognized the relationship between anxiety and his symptoms, realizing that his main trigger was anxiety. So, he chose to work on the anxiety, first.
At his first visit, he was taught a short but powerful tool, using cognitive behavioral strategies, to control the anxiety.
One week later, at his second visit, he reported that he was able to go for a long bike ride, something he hadn’t been able to enjoy for quite some time.
During our session, he suddenly had the urge to go to the bathroom. Rather than do this, he was taught medical hypnosis and within a few minutes, he was able to prevent the episode completely!
We met again one month later, at which time he was still doing quite well. He had gone an entire month beautifully. Then, a few days before we met, he was able to fly on a plane! He had an episode on the plane, that, in the past, would have lasted an hour, and with his new skills, he was able to control it within 15 minutes.
When asked what the most helpful parts of our work together were, he replied, “The homework. And the very personalized approach that Dr. Lazarus had taken with me. And the positive wording and how Dr. Lazarus says it.”