Gareth's story

“I think when you’re younger the embarrassing side of the illness really can affect you.

When you get older, and you have learned to live with the illness, you’re more open to talk about it.

Now that I’m older I find it easier to talk to younger people who have the condition, and I tell them it will get easier with time.

My advice would be to definitely talk to people about it. It’s definitely bad to bottle it all up, that just makes you anxious and scared.

I have spoken to several people about my illness. Most people are fine and understand it’s not easy to live with at all, and I feel better when I’ve spoken with someone.

There are websites and forums out there, which are great as you’ll find there’s nearly always someone who’s been through the same as you.

Be open and honest and it will help. It’s a very hard illness to talk about, but I have found myself happier speaking about it rather than keeping it to myself.

You may not realise it, but you could be really helping somebody that is going through the same –or worse – as you.”

Gareth, living with Crohn’s Disease