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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.

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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