I am writing to you with a problem that has been bugging med for quite some years now. I am a young guy who for about 3 years ago experienced severe depression and anxiety. The depression and anxiety meant that I experienced several implications on my body: itchy scalp, trouble breathing, rash on skin. But the most severe implication was that my stomach suddenly became extremely bloated. It didn't hurt or anything, but it was bloated for some reason and obviously it was linked to the depression/anxiety.
It was my first experience with anxiety/depression and I was shocked to say the least. I couldn't figure out what to do. I felt embarrassed and it wasn't until a year after that I decided to see a doctor. The doctor was quick to point out that I was in a state of depression/anxiety and suggested that I started taking some antidepressants (Lexapro). Yet I declined. I was determined that I could handle my depression on my own and the doctor respected that.
Today I feel a lot better and I have resolved the issues that initially started my depression/anxiety. I am also proud of the fact that I did it on my own. Yet there is a sideeffect of the depression/anxiety that is with me still to this day. And that is the bloated stomach. No matter what I do I cant seem to get rid of it. My stomach is bloated like a pregnant woman 24/7 and it is so embarrassing and also very annoying. Also it is holding me back in social situations because I am a skinny guy, but with a weird looking giant stomach! How can I get rid of this and what am I doing wrong? I excersize 3-4 times a week, I eat healthy and think positive much of the time. But the bloated stomach is ruining my progress!!!
It should be noted that because I am so ashamed of my stomach I don't breathe deeply when around people. I breathe through the lungs instead of the stomach. The reason for this is 1) I cant bear the fact that people see me as a freak, so I tuck my stomach in as much as possible. This unfortunately implies that I still experience some anxiety from time to time (breathing inadequate cause that I have read), but I still prefer the new anxiety to the fact that I carry a stomach looking like a pregnant woman. 2) Another reason for me tucking my stomach in is that breathing deeply into the stomach feels akward and unnatural. I actually feel uneasy when breathing so deeply, so I prefer breathing in the other way.
So the problem is that the bloated stomach is still here till this day. I just want it to disapear, so what do you guys suggest that I do? I have tried so many supplements, drugs etc. But nothing helps.
Please help! How long will it take for my stomach to become normal again?
That's really interesting what you posted. I just googled stress and bloating and found this. I too am experiencing this strange bloated gut. I say gut because it's not the stomach area but he intestinal area that is bloated with me. I used to be very skinny but have filled in over the years, but my stomach is really not in proportion to the rest of my body when it gets bloated. However, my belly only seems to just balloon when I'm stressed. I'm trying to figure out why as well. One theory I have is that the intestines get irritated and swell. When you consider how long the intestines are and how much surface area, it can easily be imagined that even a slight swelling over the entire length of the gut would cause the whole "package" to increase in volume significantly. But this is just a theory.
When I manage to get away from stress I go back to normal. I also find that oatmeal and peppermint tea help.
I'll be joining you in waiting for someone to come up with a professional opinion.