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    IBS and Depression: What’s the Link?

    Talk Therapy

    Many people with depression get help by working with a therapist to figure out conflicts and understand feelings. One type of talk therapy, called cognitive behavioral therapy, can help with IBS symptoms and the mood disorder. 

    Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches you how to recognize negative and distorted thoughts, and replace them with positive, more realistic ones.

    The American College of Gastroenterology has found that behavioral therapy eased some IBS symptoms for most people. And when they felt physically better, they also had fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety.

    Other Treatment Options

    Along with medicine and talk therapy, other steps can help ease depression and irritable bowel syndrome. Some people find that stress management techniques, like meditation or deep breathing, help them feel better. Regular exercise also helps some people recover from depression. So does a good diet for IBS, the right amount of sleep, and taking time to do something you enjoy each day.

    Support groups for people with IBS or the mood disorder can make a difference, too. When you talk with others who know what you’re going through, you might feel less alone.

    To find support groups that meet in person or online, contact the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders or tap into the IBS Self Help and Support Group.

    Talk with your doctor about what’s right for you, too. Ask if meeting with a mental health professional will help.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on March 01, 2016
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