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I've had a j pouch since 2017. Everything has been great with it until this winter.  Now everytime I get sick with anything cold, uti, I get depressed and anxious.  I take an antidepressant and it worked until I get sick.  As soon as I start feeling better,  I don't feel depressed or anxious anymore.  This has only started happening this winter.  Does anyone else relate? 

Original Post

Winter can be very depressing, especially if you are not going outside or getting enough UV light. I don't find that the winter bothers me, I never get sick with regular colds or anything but I do find if I don't get enough outside time or time with my plants under grow lights (uv) as well as an ott light that provides "natural" light I get depressed. This usually only happens in the winter when I don't get outside enough, however if I am able to spend more time outside I feel much better.

I have an interesting theory about IBD and Depression. 

We (Humans) have Serotonin receptors and the Colon actually helps produce and receive Serotonin which is very interesting as we do not have our colons, could we be lacking Serotonin? Or possibly less Serotonin Production and re-uptake. I take an SSRI (Lexapro) to combat this and it helps me tremendously. 

The gut does way more than just digest food, anxiety, depression, can be linked to an imbalance of gut flora. Ever have that "feeling" in your stomach with Anxiety? That helps explain how our flora can effect our mental health as well. It's all about balance! Everyone thinks depression and anxiety is just the brain and that is false. I take Xanax for my anxiety (sparingly, as needed usually for panic attack or a to prevent a panic attack if I feel anxious) it's the only medication that helps my anxiety and I am very aware of its side effects and nature. 

Breathing exercises, a good mindset, and exercise definitely help however personally I need meds to control my Anxiety/ Depression. 

Last edited by Pouchbro

I am no expert (far, far from it) but I think that you are reacting to the fear of something happening again to both you and your pouch. 

It could be a form of PTSD coming to haunt you now that the worst is over. 

You have healed physically and now your brain is trying to play catch-up. Every illness, cold or pain is waking up the fear of backsliding into being sick again.

I could be wrong (and often am). 

I went through a period of severe claustrophobia...sudden onset and paralyzing. I couldn't fly, get into a crowded subway car or an elevator. I had never been claustrophobic before but basically understood what was happening. This was very problematic because I had to use public transportation daily to get to work...I walked hours and took a lot of stairs (not practical when you work in towers).

When it started affecting my life negatively I asked my neurologist to give me a few therapy took about 5 in all to get to the crux of the problem and face the fear...I still have residual fear of tiny spaces (getting stuck in elevators...but I survived a very unromantic Valentine's evening stuck in a tiny elevator with another couple...for 4hrs...and did not wig out!).

I hope that whatever it is turns out to be an easy fix...or just situational.




Rondac, you are probably right...but it does not mean that you have to suffer forever...there are ways of dealing with it, people to help and some that you can talk with...I is very hard, I know and it is very frustrating to finally be well only to be pulled back into anxiety and panic for almost no reason but you need to talk it through with someone. 

Not everyone likes the idea or can afford a therapist and sometimes they cannot understand our unique type of PTSD or why we have it. Maybe you could find a group (or start one in your area) of other J pouchers who can get together occasionally and share some of your stresses and fears.

Isolation and hiding make things worse. I do not know if the people around you know about your pouch or what you have been through but if you do not feel able to talk about it then the stress just builds up and comes out in very uncomfortable ways.

Take good care of yourself


I had j pouch surgery in 1985. I've been taking antidepressants since 1988 when I had my first anxiety attack and hospitalization for depression.

Looking back, I believe the anxiety was a result of the feeling that this is how my life will always be...looking for a bathroom where ever I go. Worried that I would not make it to the bathroom in time and embarrass myself.  Worried that someone would hear my flatulence in the bathroom. 

I have adjusted to all these things and do not need anxiety meds any longer but I will be on antidepressants for life.

May be hereditary or because of my j pouch. Not sure although I find pouchbro's post very interesting.  

I have moved from Michigan to Florida and find my life to be much easier.  Sunshine and ability to exercise are helpful when dealing with depression and anxiety. 

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