Stress; Physical Effects on trhe Codependentby Ken P on 08/11/11
Stress; Physical Effects on the Codependent
We all live in a society and time rife with stress. Decades ago Alvin Toffler wrote a pivotal book titled Future Shock. In this work he predicted the very situation we are experiencing right now. Toffler suggested that formal escapes be planned by medical authorities. These would be places where citizens could retreat from the world and all of the world's stress. Unfortunately, those retreats have yet to materialize.
One of the commonist comments from people attending support groups such as Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, and CODA is, “I never know which personality will walk through the door.” This creates a situation with constant ambivalent feelings for the codependent.
Recent clinical studies have actually identified this as a source of long-term health risk. Unpredictability from a loved-one is actually more stressful than living
with somebody you genuinely dislike! Here is a press release from Drs. Holt and
If you need another excuse for getting out of a fractured friendship, here it is: Stressful friendships may be bad for your heart. A study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine (June 25, 2007) suggests that the stress of unpredictable love-hate relationships, characterized by ambivalence, can lead to elevations in blood pressure.
“The type of friend we are talking about is someone we may really love or care about,” said
In a previous study, the psychologist found that blood pressure is even higher around
friends for whom we have mixed feelings than around people we clearly dislike. Holt-Lundstad and her collaborators at the
So for reasons of the heart, you might consider finding ways to spend more time with
friends with whom you can relax, and making extra efforts to let go of toxic friends.
“The important point is that cardiovascular disease develops slowly over time, taking decades to develop,” said Holt-Lunstad. “If such blood pressure increases are a pervasive part of your everyday life, your risk would go up.”
“Most of the research out there has focused on the positive aspects of relationships and in fact indicates that social relationships are beneficial psychologically and physically,” Holt-Lunstad said. “However, not all relationships are positive and some relationships may actually be sources of stress.”
Here is persective from a husband who survived a twenty-year marriage with an alcoholic wife.
“Having sponsored over 30 men during the past 30 years, I can anecdotally list the most common complaints I heard from my sponsee.s. These were constant colds, flu, sinusitis and other respiratory ailments, constant lower gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, hemorrhoids and spastic colon, and, among psychological ailments, chronic depression.”
Please, if you are reading this and something seems really familiar, get yourself to a local support group for people living with addiction. Also, for that "crash course" in codependency, read our new book We Codependent Men-We Mute Coyotes, which you can order through this web site.