Part I: Stomach Pains & Patterned Pant Suits
For those of you who don’t know, when I was 9 years old I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease; an unfortunate condition that restricts me from eating all that is delicious and full of gluten. With this in mind, I spent much of my childhood afflicted with horrible stomach problems, cycling through doctors and specialists until they finally came to a conclusive diagnosis. Besides being extremely discontent with the fact that I could no longer eat my regular Vanilla Dip donut from Tim Horton’s or indulge in PB&J sandwiches like the average 9 year old kid, I was pretty healthy for a while after that.
When I was 13 years old, the stomach issues returned (and no… I was not sneaking donuts I promise!). I began having constant stomach aches, refused to eat, lost a significant amount of weight from my already lanky frame, and missed school regularly for about a month and a half. So…back to the doctors I went to figure out what was going on.
After numerous appointments and tests, they found nothing.
This resulted in my first trip to a child psychologist. They told me this was an approach to dealing with chronic pain (since nothing else was working); although, in hindsight, I’m pretty sure they were lying, because let’s be real…there is no way in hell a stubborn 13 year old like me was going to go to a psychologist for any other reason. Regardless, there I was sitting in the office of ‘Psychologist #1’ talking about my entire life history (unsure of how that had anything to do with painful stomach aches).
Much to the surprise of my 13 year old self, turns out that psychological distress can actually manifest as physical symptoms; stomach aches included. Who would have guessed?! Long story short, after a number of conversations with Psychologist #1, and a trip to the ‘Russian Psychiatrist Who Wore Unfortunately Patterned Pant Suits,’ I was formally diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
Part II coming soon.
Also check out THEOBSESSIVEKAT in our Blog section.