Here are some tips for building a strong support system:
Family, friends, and significant others: Find a few who you know you can count on. Even if your support system is large, there are usually just a few individuals you can really rely on. Focus on those who are empathetic. Be specific in your requests and try to understand if they say ‘no’ once in a while. This will help your family and friends to avoid burnout from helping.
Online support: There are numerous support groups on Facebook or other forums where you can meet people who have IBD and pain.
In-person support groups: You can also join an in-person support group where you can meet others who live with IBD and pain.
Seek professional help: A counsellor can be a great person to talk to and should be part of your support system.
Universities and colleges can provide accommodations if you have a medical certificate from your IBD healthcare provider to show you have IBD. Typical accommodations may include reduced course load or extra time on tests.
As soon as you are accepted to university or college, contact their Accessibility Services department so they can develop a plan to accommodate you.
You have a right to keep your health information private. The decision to disclose your IBD to your employer is entirely up to you.
The most commonly required accommodations at work are time off to go to medical appointments, easy access to a toilet, and a chance to take a break when not feeling well.