If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a chronic condition characterized by recurring abdominal pain and a change in bowel habits (diarrhea or constipation), you’ve possibly felt frustrated or fed up at times. IBS symptoms can also be embarrassing, making it difficult to discuss with others — even your own doctor. To help you convey to your physician and loved ones how IBS is impacting your life, the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), in a collaboration with Allergan and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc., has created Picture My IBS, an initiative where you can share your feelings and IBS journey through art.
Picture My IBS aims to help those with IBS find a more comfortable way to communicate with your doctors, to share your IBS journey with others, and to see that you are not alone, with the goal of helping to improve patient care. The artwork you share, as a patient living with IBS, will help elevate public awareness of IBS and shine a light on the many ways it affects your lives. A panel of judges will evaluate the submissions and the Grand Prize Winner will receive a trip for two to a luxury hotel and spa in New York City as well as a chance to see their artwork on display. See the Picture My IBS Contest page for more details.
Create a piece of art that expresses your journey with IBS.
Submit your artwork right here on this website using the submit button or send by mail.
Help spread the word by sharing your artwork and this campaign on social media.
It is estimated that only one-third of people with IBS seek treatment. In fact, according to a recent survey, doctor-patient conversation could use some improving (when physicians were asked what was lacking most in IBS treatment, the second most-common answer was communication between patients and their doctors). To help you, as someone affected by IBS, find new ways to communicate your symptoms with your doctors and others, the Picture My IBS initiative was envisioned as one way to break down the barriers surrounding a potentially uncomfortable conversation. Through art, we hope physicians treating IBS will better see into the world of IBS patients — with the ultimate goal of improving patient care.
Two nights and three days for two at a luxury hotel and spa in New York City
$1,800 in prize money to cover spa expenses during your stay
$1,200 American Express gift card
Your artwork featured at events and on the Picture My IBS website
$100 American Express gift card
Your artwork featured on the Picture My IBS website
Artwork submissions must adhere to the Picture My IBS contest terms and conditions located here. Artwork should convey the impact that IBS symptoms have on people’s lives, their journey to IBS diagnosis and their experiences managing symptoms. Each piece of artwork must be original. It must have a title. It may also include a brief written description. Artwork must be submitted through mail, courier or online on this website. All artwork must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. ET on February 28, 2017. The winners will be chosen on or about March 24, 2017 and notified by email on or about April 7, 2017. The artwork will be judged based on the creativity and the uniqueness of the entry, the impact of the entry and artistic skill. Our team of Judges will choose one Grand Prize Winner and five Honorable Mention Winners. The five Honorable Mention Winners will win a $100 American Express gift card and have their original artwork featured on the Picture My IBS website. The Grand Prize Winner will win a trip for two people to New York City to stay for two nights and three days in a luxury hotel and spa. $1,800 will be paid directly by the administrator on the Grand Prize Winner's behalf for the spa experience and an additional $1,200 will be given to the Grand Prize Winner in the form of a gift card. Lastly, the Grand Prize Winner’s art will also be featured on the Picture My IBS website.
*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. OPEN TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE FIFTY UNITED STATES, D.C., AGE 18 OR OVER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. APPROXIMATE RETAIL VALUE OF ALL PRIZES IS $6,500. ODDS OF WINNING DEPEND ON NUMBER AND QUALITY OF ENTRIES RECEIVED. ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BETWEEN NOVEMBER 2, 2016 AND FEBRUARY 28, 2017. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS AND RESTRICTIONS APPLY. PLEASE SEE COMPLETE CONTEST TERMS AND CONDITIONS AT PICTUREMYIBS.ORG.
Opening up and expressing yourself in words can be hard for anyone — and as an IBS patient, those innermost feelings are something you have learned to hold close. However, with Picture My IBS we look to provide you with a forum to openly share your thoughts, feelings and everyday challenges with those who share a common ground — and to break down the wall between you and those who may not understand.
Jeff's Painting (Aha!)
For Jeff, it took far too long to be correctly diagnosed with IBS. Between his mother telling him he had a "nervous stomach," to doctors misdiagnosing him, nothing was ever quite clear. For many years, he was trying to put the pieces together, until finally he had an "AHA" moment when he connected it all – an official diagnosis. It was a rough, chaotic, and bumpy road until that day, and still is, as he continues to try and figure it all out.
Amber’s Painting (My New Normal)
For Amber, having IBS is frustrating, overbearing and has affected her life. However, she continues to stay positive saying, “I have irritable bowel syndrome, but it does not have me.” She makes an effort to remain upbeat on the outside but on the inside she is crying and struggling. With her IBS, Amber will continue to fight to come to terms with what is now her new normal.
Hess’s Painting (Finding the Good)
When Hess was first diagnosed with IBS, it changed his life – interfering with his daily routines. At the time, IBS had won. However, armed with the power of positivity, Hess emerged stronger than before. He describes his IBS as the angel and devil on his shoulders, pushing him to choose living well over temptation on a daily basis.
Ali's Painting (Trapped)
Alison is a carefree social butterfly who tries to live a colorful and vibrant life regardless of the impact IBS has on her – she is spontaneous and could spread her wings. Following her diagnosis, Alison is determined to not let her freedom flutter away.