PATIENT SUPPORT GROUP From the day when an individual begins to experience IBD symptoms, his emotional balance gets slightly disturbed. By the time a diagnosis is made it could be anywhere between a few days to a few years. No matter how long it takes, the process is stressful. In fact, once the diagnosis is made it doesn’t calm the nerves. On the contrary, it leads to another battery of curiosities, fears, anger, pity, confusion and anxieties.

Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are rare illnesses in Asia. If we judge by the available statistics of 0.03% of the population in Singapore has IBD, it makes a patient feel very lonely. Moreover, he begins to ask questions like, “Why me?” “Is it my fault?” “Was there something I could have done to prevent this?” “What will happen in the future?”

On the other hand, if an adult patient learns that there are 1,400 people like him in Singapore; it doesn’t make him feel so isolated or lonely. The next step he would want to take is meet someone out there who would truly understand what he has just gone through and listens to experiences of how the other person is coping with the illness. Sharing of challenges and what worked for some patients, while living with a Chronic Illness, leads to empowerment of the patient.

A Chronic Illness not only affects the patient but also his family. The patient could be a Senior Citizen dealing with age related issues; a middle aged patient might have a spouse, children, parents, a career and social life which get affected. Similarly, when a Child is afflicted with Crohn’s or Colitis, not only does the child deal with illness but the parents and siblings too!

Crohn’s & Colitis Society of Singapore will organize talks by experts like Doctors, Psychologists, Dieticians, Pharmacists and Counsellors so that patients are able to pick-up skills to better manage their condition.