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Toxic Relationships Are Harmful to Your Health | The Hidden Impact of Domestic Abuse

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Toxic relationships are harmful to your health

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Did you know the pathology of another person can trigger a stress reaction within the brain? This can lead to a series of chemical reactions (e.g., hormones / neurotransmitters) that could be harmful to your health.  If this cycle is repeated chronically, many of those under severe stress could potentially develop serious medical problems.

Psychopathic relationships are extremely stressful.

Constant interaction with a callous, manipulative, abusive partner is more than psychologically damaging. Their partners could lose one of the most precious and valuable gifts they have – their health.

Many targets, who have been in longstanding relationships with psychopaths or narcissists report that they now suffer with pain disorders, infertility, immune conditions, and even some with cancer.

Would this person have those conditions even if they were within a ‘regular’ relationship? We’ll never know for certain. However, research indicates that chronic stress reactions or trauma can lead to serious health problems (Bonomi, Anderson, Reid, Rivara, Carrell, and Thompson, 2009; Lamers-Winkelman, De Schipper, and Oosterman, 2012).

Abusive relationships are harmful and can extend beyond the stress and discomfort of interacting with the psychopathic partner. There is not only a psychological reaction to mistreatment and violence, but there could also be a true risk to physical health.

Bonomi, Anderson, Reid, Rivara, Carrell, and Thompson (2009) conducted a study that compared women exposed to intimate partner violence and those who were never abused. They found that those who were exposed to abuse were more likely to have health problems.

Specifically, they found that the intimate partner violence group was more likely to suffer with psychological problems such as anxiety, depression and substance use. Physical problems found within the abused group were related to joint pain, back pain, cervical pain, reproductive problems, chest pain, and urinary tract infections, to name a few. This was also found within a population of children who repeatedly witnessed intimate partner violence (Lamers-Winkelman, De Schipper, Oosterman, 2012).

Unfortunately, intimate partners can pay the ultimate price for exposure to psychopathic behavior. The research is quite clear. The reactions these individuals cause in the brain of the non-psychopathic partner (and children) can be harmful to their health.

References


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