Your Medical Conditions—Are the Root of Your Relationships?

Many women don’t know that ongoing stress (whether it is recognized or not) leads to very predictable medical conditions. Our mental state is our physical state, so women with the worst health issues are often women with the worst emotional stressors.

Women who were in addicted, mentally ill, abusive, or pathological families often have the most severe and lingering medical symptoms and diseases. One reason is that they have a cumulative effect of stress-related disorders because of the length of time they have been stressed. Since many women who were in disordered families go on to pick disordered men, their stress simply rolls over into the next relationship. Or, if a woman is able to avoid the disordered intimate relationship, her previous exposure to the disordered family or resulting stress may go untreated. In those cases, the stress is still stored in the body.

We now know that stress has to go somewhere. It goes into your body as deep as the cellular level as well into your muscles and tissues. This type of stress storage can result in diseases that affect the muscles and tissues like Multiple Sclerosis (MS), lupus, or fibromyalgia.

Stress attacks the immune system and renders it ineffective. This can result in diseases such as chronic fatigue syndrome, Epstein-Barr, and other autoimmune disorders like lupus and fibromyalgia, that end up moving from the immune system to the muscles and tissues. (Ever say, “He’s wearing me out!”?  He literally IS!)

Stress negatively affects blood pressure. And we know that high blood pressure can lead to strokes, heart disease, and other long-term diseases. (Ever say, “He’s killing me!”?)

Stress floods the body with cortisol that produces too much adrenaline in the body. This causes you to be irritable, have sleep disruptions, and fight-or-flight symptoms. Cortisol affects metabolism which produces weight loss or weight gain, especially in the stomach area, and blood sugar instability, which can lead to hypoglycemia or diabetes. (Ever say, “I just feel like I want to jump out of my skin!”?)

Stress negatively affects hormones, causing chronic menstruation problems, endometriosis, infertility, early menopause, PMS, and other female reproductive disorders.

Stress causes inflammation in the body, which we now know is the beginning of most disease processes. This can lead to arthritis and other inflammation-related diseases.

Stress causes tension which can be held almost anywhere in the body. This affects the skeletal system, resulting in back or neck pain requiring chiropractic adjustments.  Sometimes it’s stored in the face and produces TMJ or migraines. (Ever say, “He’s such a pain!”?)

Stress causes the release of gastric juices, which inflame the throat, stomach and colon, resulting in digestive disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome. (Ever say he was a pain in the butt?)

Stress negatively affects the absorption of vitamins in your body resulting in depletion during ongoing stress which can result in fatigue, hair loss, allergies, and skin problems. (Ever say, “He really gets under my skin!”?)

Stress screams to be managed, which is why so many women end up with addictions, trying to “manage” the chronic stress conditions—addictions to anxiety medication, pain meds, street drugs, alcohol, food, sex, religion, and overachieving. (Ever say, “He is going to drive me to drink!”?)

Over the past 25+ years of treating women, I’ve seen every one of these disease processes at work. PATHOLOGICAL RELATIONSHIPS ARE A LEADING NEGATIVE CAUSE IN WOMEN’S HEALTH ISSUES ON EVERY LEVEL! If we want to improve women’s health in this country, we need to address these pathological relationships that are literally killing them!

Stress hides because we are adaptive in some ways, and become used to the level of stress we are currently under, OR have ALWAYS been under since childhood. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t highly damaging our bodies with it. Some women only become aware of their stress if it jumps significantly. By then, you are in a severe category of stress disorders and, by that point, you probably have several of the conditions listed above.

By far, the condition of the 21st century for most people is stress. Women with histories of abuse or current pathological relationships have even higher stress levels than people without these contributing factors. Stress demands to be treated and then managed … either do it now or it will demand treatment in the form of medical issues.

Many women say they don’t even know where to begin in managing the stress that is contributing to their medical conditions because they have had it for so long. On our shopping cart is an mp3 download for Relaxation Techniques for Stress Disorders—that’s a good start. Consider physical exercise, yoga, or pilates as some ways of metabolizing all of those stress hormones. Learn deep breathing, relaxation techniques, or quiet meditation. Find a counselor or a group in order to verbally express the underlying issues of your stress. Learn how to manage addictions to sex, relationship hopping, drugs (even prescriptions), and alcohol.

When assessing your overall health, do consider the underlying possible reasons for your health issues—your emotional stressors and HIM!

(**If we can support you in your recovery process, please let us know. The Institute is the largest provider of recovery-based services for survivors of pathological love relationships. Information about Pathological Love Relationships is in our award-winning book, Women Who Love Psychopaths, and is also available in our retreats, 1:1s, or phone sessions. See the website for more information.)