For severe IBS sufferers the difficulties of the condition relate to the inability to control when they need the bathroom.  This may begin as an entirely physical reaction, however over time this may become a conditioned response.


Conditioned responses are produced from the same process as demonstrated with the famous ‘Pavlovs Dogs’ experiment, whereby the dogs reacted in a certain way to certain stimuli.  Humans are no different, and certain conditions will produce responses that have been manufactured over time.


Fear is known to be the strongest emotion in regards to conditioned responses.  If you have had a bad experience/experiences you are likely to act in a certain way when faced with those conditions.

To put this in simpler and more relevant terms, a severe IBS sufferer will initially go through a process whereby they need the toilet urgently in a given situation - for example in a bus.  There will be a future sense of anxiety in any bus as a result of that one moment.  If this happens again the conditioning will increase, ensuring that over time a firm relationship is mentally established between needing the bathroom and being on a bus.


The most common is when there are no bathrooms, or non available.  You may not need the bathroom, physically, however when you see there are no available bathrooms, mentally you have become conditioned to suddenly and urgently need the bathroom.  The point to note here is that, rationally speaking this is nonsense.  If you did not need the toilet before it was being used then the reaction is not physical it is emotional.  This creates an opportunity to develop our mentality, to overcome this psychological barrier.


Overcoming conditioning is not easy, and in the first instance the most important feature is generating awareness that some of your problems are coming from your mind, not your body.   Any successful battle with IBS involves a physical and mental battle, however it must be a priority for you to discover what you are battling.  The slow painful process of a IBS sufferers conditioning will not be undone over night, however acknowledgement of the situation will without doubt assist your ability to live you life to the full.


Hypnotherapy is currently the best way of overcoming conditioning.  This is not the type of fairground hypnotherapy involving a swinging watch and chicken dance.  This is the type of hypnotherapy which aims to tackle the conditioning through suggestion and influence.  At the very least if you are able to acknowledge that at times your IBS is an emotional phenomena then you will be able to tackle it.

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Mentally conditioned by IBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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The Psychology of  IBS - Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health.
Carl Jung


IBS Conditioning