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Mysterious medical conditions that disappear after bad relationship ends

(62 Posts)
bouncyagain Mon 19-Nov-12 13:11:34

I am interested if other MNers have experienced anything like this.

I was with Ex DP for over ten years. About a year in, I developed a skin condition. It was unpleasant but not debilitating. I went to the GP lots of times, tried lots of different creams and so on. Nothing really worked. Ex DP always said it was caused by the clothes I wore, or that I didn't dry properly after showering and so on.

Then Ex DP ended the marriage. I met new DP. New DP noticed skin condition the first time we were unclothed, but did not say anything. By second time, it had gone. It has not come back. That was over a year ago. I am completely healed.

I now realise that the cause was the stressful relationship.

Have other MNers had a similar experience? I also share this as a happy story for any MNers who are in horrible stressful relationships that if the stress is removed then perhaps the medical condition may improve too.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 19-Nov-12 13:15:26

Dermatitis and IBS miraculously eradicated....

OhWesternWind Mon 19-Nov-12 13:17:25

My daughters dermatitis cleared up magically after her twat of a father left.

lubeybooby Mon 19-Nov-12 13:32:00

Years of depression completely cured with no relapse in five years so far

bouncyagain Mon 19-Nov-12 13:38:30

That's very interesting. I am very happy for you all.

The one thing I don't understand is the GPs. They always asked if I was stressed at work. Most of the time I wasn't. Not one of them ever asked if I had a horrible relationship with someone who thought that everything I did was wrong. Why not?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 19-Nov-12 13:40:06

You should raise it with your GP another time. I've occasionally had 'everything OK at home?' pitched at me so it's clear some are more alert to there being other types of stress. Yours probably needs a bit of education smile

bouncyagain Mon 19-Nov-12 13:42:46

Cogito yes, but it was not just one GP. These are big GPs practices. I must have seen at least three GPs, perhaps 4. Not one of them ever asked that question. Did I just get some rubbish GPs, or is it not obvious to them?

Charbon Mon 19-Nov-12 14:03:46

Thanks OP for posting this thread.

It is one of my hobby-horses that some GPs prescribe anti-depressant medication without ever enquiring of patients whether there is unhappiness in their personal relationships. Often depression is situational, not a chemical imbalance and sometimes feeling low is a normal response to a difficult situation and doesn't need pathologising.

I have met countless people whose mystery ailments have cleared up on exiting a bad relationship. These include skin conditions, chest pains, stomach and digestive disorders, respiratory and urinary tract infections. Less mysteriously I have known several people with gynaecological symptoms that have disappeared after a course of antibiotics for an unrelated health issue, just after exiting a relationship.....

IME depression is the most common disappearing condition when a bad relationship ends. Unfortunately this is often only realised after expensive and addictive anti- depressants have been prescribed by an incurious and badly trained GP.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 19-Nov-12 14:03:54

I think there are a lot of rubbish GPs in circulation unfortunately.

kernowgal Mon 19-Nov-12 14:16:58

Yep, IBS went. Found I was intolerant to lots of foodstuffs for ages and the intolerances magically disappeared about a month after we split. I still have the psoriasis on my feet but I think that is partly down to work stress.

My head is no longer crunched into my shoulders and I walk tall again.

kernowgal Mon 19-Nov-12 14:17:32

(I'd initially put the intolerances down to degree exam stress, but they continued afterwards.)

Milkandlotsandlotsofwine Mon 19-Nov-12 14:19:26

I had chronic lower back pain whilst I was with my ex (five years) & now it is almost completely gone.

I've replaced it with depression mind but I guess you can't have everything.

botandhothered Mon 19-Nov-12 14:23:18

Apparently my snoring was horrendous. My Ex used to wake me in the night to tell me to shut up, the lack of sleep made him very angry, sometimes for the whole day.

I felt terrible, I bought a few things over the counter, but nothing helped.

18months later I seem fully cured! My new partner is either lying, which I don't think he is, or I don't snore! I was so scared to sleep over with my new partner, and slept terribly for months.
What kind of fuck up convinces another person they have a problem, when they don't?

SirSugar Mon 19-Nov-12 14:31:56

H used to tell me there was definately something wrong with me as I would 'blow' approximately once a month (of course it had nothing to do with his abusive tactics hmm ) - since he died I'm cured.

I am also free of the terrible black depression that used to hang over me from time to time and the thought that the stress was going to kill me.

About three months after he passed away people started to comment on how well I looked.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 19-Nov-12 14:34:06

Yup, IBS and psoriasis cleared up here too.

The IBS comes back in times of other kinds of stress, but I know it is completely stress-related now.

coffeeinbed Mon 19-Nov-12 14:38:54

Fibroids is a condition linked to bad relationship problems.
My GP asked told me that. She's brilliant.

Whatsmyproblem Mon 19-Nov-12 14:39:14

My panic attacks disappeared after I broke up with my abusive ex.

And also, a phobia that had previously been with me most of my life and was quite debilitating at times completely disappeared too. And it hasn't been back since.

coffeeinbed Mon 19-Nov-12 14:39:51

Sorry, on phone, so dodgy typing and deleting.

bigbuttons Mon 19-Nov-12 14:42:39

Yes, me too. I left ex last April. Had been with him for 15 tortuous years. I always seemed to be ill, horrendous bouts of flu etc etc. Now in the 7 months that I've been out I've not been ill once, even though these last 7 months have been incredibly incredibly worrying, difficult and stressful. One of the dc's commented last week that I wasn't ill any more. I would have expected to have come down with something by now, but no, not even a cold, even though all my kids have got sick, got better, got sick again.
Bloody brilliant ( now runs off to find a big piece of something wooden to touchwink)

After I married my soon to be abusive ex h I developed bad dermatitis under my wedding ring&it never shifted.
I have been married to my wonderful dh now for over 4yrs&have never had dermatitis under my wedding ringhmm

aefondkisses Mon 19-Nov-12 15:11:09

These stories are so dermatitis under wedding ring and just found out have third slipped disc (since we got married and not due to physical causes). Still undecided about separation, too much pain to physiological deal with first, but this thread gives reason for hope smile

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Mon 19-Nov-12 16:03:12

When I was with my ex I suffered from

Chronic Sinusitus
Numbness in arms and legs
High Blood Pressure
Binge Eating
Chronic Fatigue
Short Term memory Loss
Difficulties in concentrating

One week after I left him every single one of those conditions had gone with the exception of the high blood pressure which is better much now, but still a bit high. I was utterly astonished at the phsyical symptoms I had suffered and lived with.

He also continually told me I had Halitosis which made me afaid to open my mouth to speak to anyone, which I have since found out to be untrue.

Fucking arsewipe, good riddance to bad rubbish thats what I say.

bouncyagain Mon 19-Nov-12 17:07:22

I had the dermatitis under wedding ring thing too! Of course no wedding ring anymore (waves at Cash Converters).

I saw Ex DP's mum once at handover. She later commented to my mum how well I looked!

squishee Mon 19-Nov-12 17:19:11

That's funny bouncyagain. Before I jettisoned my Ex forever out of my life, he himself commented on how much healthier I was looking. Depression, insomnia and borderline eating disorder are all falling away.

While in a previous relationship that had gone downhill I developed quite bad psoriasis that went away after it ended, and never came back.

I think this sort of thing is quite common. Food for thought though...

angelpinkcar Mon 19-Nov-12 18:11:38

Ha Ha how true, I had a hideous rash on my face for months and now its gone, I also thought I was depressed or going through the menapause and H kept telling me to go and gets some anti depressents I refused ,got rid of him and everyone comments on how well I look, have lost over a stone and changed the colour of my hair. See what you missing loser (to EXH)

NedZeppelin Mon 19-Nov-12 18:20:24

I have been going through a terribly stressful family issue for the last 18 months or so and have had constant niggling health problems during this time. I know the issue is contributing to these. Interesting to read others experiences.

Springhasarrived Mon 19-Nov-12 20:02:37

My asthma, diagnosed about 3 years ago is loads better since Twunt left. Start of asthma coincided with start of his affair with dog obsessed woman. Bastard must have realised but couldnt give a sh*t. (professional understanding).

cinnamonbun Mon 19-Nov-12 20:33:28

I got terrible eczema following a difficult break-up a few years ago. To the point where I literally couldn't stop scratching, got infections everywhere and had to be hospitalised for a week.

I met my husband to be a while later and my skin condition disappeared in about two weeks. It's been fine the last few years but occasionally flares up when we go through rough patches.

Kundry Mon 19-Nov-12 21:43:52

In defence of the GPs, most know perfectly well that lots of depression is caused by shit relationships. They may also know that yours is caused by a shit relationship. However lots of their patients don't want to acknowledge this and would rather have a magic pill than face the responsibility of splitting up with a partner or changing their own behaviour and responses.

Given the GP only has 10 minutes max with you, the most they can hope for is that you might figure it out in counselling, or when the antidepressants kick in and you can see the world a bit more clearly, or over time they might build the sort of relationship with you where you could share this. After all, imagine going to see a new GP with a rash and them asking you if your partner was abusive - lots of people would complain the GP was rude. And how many times do you see someone posting on here about their 'lovely DH' and getting upset when another poster points out that they really aren't lovely at all. For a GP that can take you into complaints about the practice, to the PCT, to the GMC etc etc - I've had people complain about me and even when you know it's groundless, it is soul destroying dealing with them and some people get very vitriolic and personal despite you knowing you were only doing your best to help.

I'm not a GP but I have friends who are and they often feel powerless to do anything other than give anti-ds, when they know the real problem is a shitty relationship but they have no chance of getting the person to see it. They are GPs, they don't have magic powers!

lovemenot Tue 20-Nov-12 01:27:50

My sister was crippled with neck and shoulder pain that her doc was reluctant to call fibromyalgia.....she divorced her fw a year ago and all her pain is gone and she is running 5 or 6 miles a day!

LesserOfTwoWeevils Tue 20-Nov-12 02:37:14

Mysterious gynaecological problems—constant spotting, pain, soreness

NightFallsFast Tue 20-Nov-12 08:13:37

Round of applause for kundry. I'm a GP and GPs round here tend to call it 'shit life syndrome'. Many people come to the doctor for a magic fix. After discussing their current stress and ways to manage it I'll usually ask what they were wanting from the consultation. Not infrequently it's a tablet to help them deal with the stress rather than approaching the cause if the stress head on. Often it takes many moths of rapport building before I can really dig deeper without causing offence or upset. Part of that rapport building can be to give a low dose anti depressant and review it every few weeks, therefore building a relationship in the process.

colditz Tue 20-Nov-12 08:15:59

I had ibs so bad that it was like pooping water, seven or eight times a day. I had it for two years. Three days after the police came to take him away, in fact the very day I put down a deposit for a flat for him so he had no excuses not to go, it stopped, and it never did come back, ever again.

ThereGoesTheYear Tue 20-Nov-12 13:42:24

I had eczema and was very underweight. Within a few months of leaving abusive ex I became a healthy bmi, and eczema disappeared.

DD's longstanding stammer disappeared in the same time period. That made it very hard for me to believe that I'd protected her from the chaos when we still lived with ex sad

LemonDrizzled Tue 20-Nov-12 13:49:14

My Ex MIL was admitted to hospital with a Pyrexia of Unknown Origin and after all the tests came back negative they diagnosed Marital Problems. That was back in the 1970s. They were right! She was in an abusive relationship.

betrayedandwobbly Tue 20-Nov-12 13:57:05

Not exactly a medical condition, and I am still only two weeks post-discovery, but I have noticed despite the absolute devastation of my moods and ability to cope, I am actually much easier around the children. I think it's the effect of knowing what's wrong and struggling with the real problems, rather than the corrosive effect of playing against a loaded deck.

Furoshika Tue 20-Nov-12 13:59:47

Reading this makes me quite worried.
I think I need to see the doctor about my health, but I don't want to have her think 'shit life syndrome' and suggest ADs as a first resort.
I've been putting it off for months because of this.

Kundry Tue 20-Nov-12 15:07:54

Furoshika - do you have a 'shit life' that you are wanting a magic answer for? It sounds like you have a health problem that you have thought about seriously and acknowledge that there may be psychological elements to it as well as physical ones.

How well do you know your GP? Are you the sort of person who is there every week saying things aren't perfect or do you never see them for months? If the later, doctors are actually told in training to take someone who never attends extra seriously as something really important has made them come this time.

If you aren't keen on antidepressants say so. Your GP should listen, and if they think anti-ds would be very good for your problem, they should be able to tell you why they are better than other options. Or let you try other things first but have them as a plan B. But if you don't see your GP, you'll never know if you have a problem that's treatable or not. Please go, just remember they don't have a magic wand - you sound very reasonable and as if you have thought this through a lot.

The people that drive doctors nuts are the ones who clearly have very unhappy lives but think that GPs can fix it all for them in a 10 minute appointment without them having to change anything in their lives themselves. This doesn't sound like you AT ALL.

Furoshika Tue 20-Nov-12 15:38:59

Oh phew, no I haven't been to the dr for about 3 years and that was to get some scalp ointment. smile

I don't have a shit life at all but I have a bit of a past (all in my notes). No MH issues and I don't think I have them now, but literally 80% of my female friends have taken Ads at some point and I assume I'll be offered them. I hope this is wrong!

Megmog2005 Tue 20-Nov-12 16:08:14

I had constant migraines whilst I was married, almost on a daily basis........never had one since the day he walked nearly six years ago.

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Tue 20-Nov-12 16:54:25

I had recurrent cold sores when I was with my last ex. And developed an eating disorder, which I'm still battling.

NightFallsFast Tue 20-Nov-12 17:23:19

Furoshika do go to the GP. If you've got a medical problem that needs some attention then they're your first port of call and should be the first step to sorting things out for you. I can't tell you whether you'll be offered antidepressants (it depends a lot on your problem!) but if you are offered them or anything else you don't want you can decline it. They can't force you to do anything or take anything that you don't want, but should be able to discuss the options with you to come to a plan that you are both happy with.

On another thread a few weeks ago someone was complaining that their GP asked their opinion on treatment, but your case is exactly why it's important - often you will have a view on it and it's essential that you have a voice in your treatment.

I hope things go well for you.

angelpinkcar Tue 20-Nov-12 17:40:20

coffeeinbed, I have fibroids too are they caused through stress then????

coffeeinbed Tue 20-Nov-12 17:58:30

I don't think it's as simple as that.
I'm sure there are many contibuting actors.
However, my GP who is very experienced, and who I have been seeing for years and who is not in the slightest woo, suggested a link.

ChuffMuffin Wed 21-Nov-12 11:38:27

I had awful dermatitis on my ankles and feet for years. Used to crack and bleed. Tried everything.

Split up with ex P, in about two months it had healed up and it's never been back. shock

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Wed 21-Nov-12 11:52:44

It's very, very common for women with arsehole partners to suffer physical and mental health problems. It sometimes comes up in threads started by women living with abusers - the abuser is saying that the woman 'couldn't cope without him' and that she is 'mad', and other posters sometimes suggest that she would recover if she got rid of the man. Abusers are sometimes quite keen on marching the woman off to the doctor to be drugged into compliance, as well.

However, I do take the point that a GP can't insist that a patient is suffering DV rather than depression. Remember the huge fuss the Daily Mail made when it was suggested that midwives ask PG women if their partners are OK and not abusive? This suggestion had been made on the ground that DV often starts or escalates in pregnancy, but the headlines were all ooh, bwaah, how dare they, Not My Nigel, etc.

BRANdishingMistletoe Wed 21-Nov-12 12:40:11

I'm considering splitting up with my H, he doesn't know it's coming (although he really should). I have cold sores, psoriasis, a nagging pain between shoulder blades, on-off headaches, I have had two colds in a row (and about 7 this year), sinusitis, last month I had an eye infection that needed anti-biotics to clear it, I had pneumonia in July and I crave carbs every evening.

The shoulder-blade pain is stress, I last had it was when we moved house (which involved a change of country). The last time I had psoriasis and pneumonia was about 17 years ago when I was working 65 hour weeks. Bizarrely my period pains aren't as bad as they were last year.

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Wed 21-Nov-12 23:28:02

My cousin started suffering from some form of allergy shortly after one of his mums new boyfriends moved in. His mum claimed it was an allergy to the family cat which they'd had without problems for 5+ years, so she got rid of the cat. Cousins allergy was still very obvious and surprise, surprise it disappeared when his mums boyfriend moved out.

My cousin now lives with his girlfriend and their three cats and has absolutely no allergies to anything...

FlorIxora Thu 22-Nov-12 20:32:01

My last year with ex,I had sinusitis with every cycle.

Since i'm with DH, I've had one bout only and I've also stopped scratching the back of my head until it bleeds (did that whilst sleeping).

I left my H 6 weeks ago. Towards the end I was having 2 or 3 migraines a week. Haven't had one since. Also went for a massage about a fortnight after leaving and the masseuse said my upper back and neck were full of tension. I had been having a lot of back pain and it's been fine since too.

ImperialBlether Thu 22-Nov-12 20:54:59

I went to my GP (known for twenty years) saying I thought I was going mad. He gave me ADs. When I found out my (now ex) husband was having an affair for eight years, I found I didn't need the ADs. I was cured! I told my GP and he said, "Oh I wondered whether it was something like that."

Hint to any GPs on here: Please do ask in future.

coffeeinbed Thu 22-Nov-12 21:09:11

Imperial - they can't.
They have 10 mins and a one complaint per patient policy, patients usually don't see the same GP, they have lots of scripted questions to ask to tick off the boxes.
Shame, really.

stitch Thu 22-Nov-12 22:04:33

coffee, they can and should. good ones always do..

I found some viagra in the cupboard. I asked my gp if she had prescribed it for him. she said she couldnt tell me, but , she didnt let me leave until I had stopped crying, and she had reassured me.
and before you ask, she was a locum. Never met her before or since. A good doctor will do the best they can in the time they have.

coffeeinbed Thu 22-Nov-12 22:18:33

A good start would be to be able to see the same GP and build up trust.

Stitch - your experience is sadly an exceptional one.

coffeeinbed Thu 22-Nov-12 22:19:34

Sorry, I mean an exception.

ImagineJL Thu 22-Nov-12 23:34:11

I'm a GP, and I've lost count of the number of depressed people I see who assure me that their partner is very supportive and they have nothing in the world to be unhappy about, only for the true picture to unravel over many months of appointments. Often people don't even know themselves that it's their relationship causing their problems, until they're forced to address it in counselling.

Several posters have said that GPs need to ask the questions. But equally, patients need to be honest and not gloss over the situation.

And to answer OP, I've seen numerous patients who have been at the surgery week in week out with a variety of medical problems, only for them all to vanish when they leave their unhappy relationship. Better than any antidepressant, but not always an easy option in the short term.

2rebecca Thu 22-Nov-12 23:47:20

I agree that GPs aren't psychic and if you won't tell your GP that your relationship is unhappy and "might the condition have anything to do with stress doctor?" then it's unlikely the GP will guess that it is.
If a GP asks if you are stressed at work and you aren't but are stressed at home then you say "no work is fine but my marriage isn't"
Patients don't have to just sit passively and answer questions. If you want to see the same GP then make a follow up appointment with them on the way out.
However if you think the problem is your relationship then there isn't much your GP can do and you'd be better consulting a solicitor.
Doctors can only deal with medical problems, people have a tendency to medicalise social and relationship problems and then complain when the GP treats the problem they have brought to them in a medical way.

Charbon Fri 23-Nov-12 00:03:25

Yes, but some of the medical issues that people present with are real so they do actually need some medical help to cure or alleviate the symptoms.
As GPs have also said, sometimes the patients themselves haven't worked out that there might be a connection between their physiological symptoms and a pyschological cause.

So a few well-targeted questions or 'seeds planted' by a vigilant and curious GP might make all the difference. Even a general observation such as 'sometimes this condition is associated with unhappy or stressful relationships' can trigger an awakening in someone who might still be in denial. I know some great GPs who do just that, but sadly that isn't a universal offering in all surgeries.

What I'm hoping is that this thread might get posters and lurkers wondering about their persistent symptoms and ailments so that they might approach their GPs in a different frame of mind next time.

bouncyagain Fri 23-Nov-12 08:51:20

I am really pleased some GPs have posted on this thread. I wasn't really having a go at GPs - I realise they only have 10 minutes for each patient and a lot of patients would answer that their relationship was not a problem if asked. I probably would have - because I wanted it to be ok.

I thought Charbon's comment was spot on - "Even a general observation such as 'sometimes this condition is associated with unhappy or stressful relationships' can trigger an awakening in someone who might still be in denial"

Something like that, and not a direct question, might have helped me to think about it a bit.

lizzie479 Fri 23-Nov-12 20:16:32

I had eczema when my parents divorced and then it went. Then I never had it again until I lived with my ex. It got really bad. We have been split up a month and I do still have it but it flares up after seeing/talking with him as he often still shouts at me. Plus I am under a lot of pressure financially and seeing a solicitor soon which is all stressful. I am hoping it will go soon and stay away for good when this is all over.

superstarheartbreaker Fri 23-Nov-12 21:06:19

When I split up from my ex my anorexia dissappeared; not surprising since he used to control what I ate. He was a strict vegan/macrobiotic and expected me to be. I am now a happy carnivore. When I met him he wasn't that strict but got gradually stricter as time went on. My diet might not be as 'healthy' but I look healthy compared to the Aushwitz victim appearance I developed when with him. When we split up he told me he was interested in becoming one of those people who dosn't eat at all but survives on air hmm

This is fascinating...

Another one here who kissed goodbye to ADs after marriage broke up.

Felt like a fog had lifted.

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