Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

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.

This is fascinating...

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

Felt like a fog had lifted.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Sorry, I mean an exception.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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).

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...

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now