When Emotional Stress Translates into Worsened Health

How much do significant negative events affect your health?

  • Severe effect

    Votes: 16 64.0%
  • Moderate effect

    Votes: 7 28.0%
  • Somewhat effect

    Votes: 1 4.0%
  • No effect

    Votes: 1 4.0%

  • Total voters

San Diego

Well-Known Member
Well, I don't have to worry about him being here anymore... my husband is leaving me. Apparently this isn't the life he planned on and he can't stand to see me suffer...
Oh, CP, I’m so sorry to hear this. :( Even when it is a good, necessary, and wanted change, it is still way up there on the stress scale. It is my hope that you will find healing in the quiet and peace. Be kind to yourself.

Wow...It sounds like this is a change you don't want....

I know someone whose wife left him because he wasn't the same person but I don't think men in general are as good at sticking around.
A dysautonomia doc in FL (now retired because his own dysauto became too bad) said when he has to talk to a spouse, it’s almost always the husband. He said the wives were pretty good at handling chronic illness in their spouses.

Mary Hamilton

Active Member
Jennie Spotila lost her mother almost three months ago and is grieving and still feeling the physical effects of that loss.

Three months later everything is more difficult, she has much more fatigue, she's crashing more...I remember hearing of a former airline pilot with ME/CFS who had done really well with the amygdala retraining program and Dr. Klimas's care. She got to the point where she was able to go out on long bike rides (!) but then an upsetting emotional situation caused to lose all her progress (!)

How much do emotional stressors affect your health? and how?
When my dad died, there was so much unresolved between us. I did go to therapy and it took three years before I got back to normal. Since then my mom and mother in law have died but the grief was not as long but was at least a year. I don't know why people think you should just snap out of it! We are people with feelings and should be allowed to grieve for however long it takes. Everyone is different. Now I wish my loved ones were here just to talk to because I feel so alone so many times.

My main stressors now is that my husband is 12 yrs older than me and will soon be 70. I get so paralyzed with fear that something will happen to him and I will be alone. He does so much for me and I don't know what I'd do without him. The other problem is that I have a 36 year old son who has scizo-affective disorder and developmental delay. He was in group homes but as he does well in them they push him into an apartment. He just can't take care of himself and the last time he almost died from blood clots from neglect. Do he is home with us again. Sometimes the stress is so great. His behavior can be bizarre and its like taking care of a 10 yr old. If something happens to my husband I do not know how I will take care of my son. My son's dad has the same illness and can't take care of him either.

These things exacerbate my pain and fatigue so much!

Mary Hamilton

Active Member
I've long said that my body no longer knows what to do with stress. In my healthy years, no stress was too much. I found it useful and loved to go into overdrive and accomplish a lot during stressful times. Classic Type A lol.

Now, the smallest stressor, like @AnneVA said (about her daughter?) - anything unexpected like the ring of the doorbell, honk of a car, someone walking around the corner - these things put my body in overdrive. I've slowly learned how to get back to baseline more quickly for these little events, but I do fear large life-event type stressors.

@Cort It does make me curious about the amygdala training for that portion of this illness. Have you tried it?
I'm a type A personality too, or was!

Mary Hamilton

Active Member
I'm relieved to see I'm not the only one dealing with this, though I'm sorry that you are as well. I thought I was losing my mind! I now realize that my worst triggers are talking, being startled, and constant noise. I am SO much better when the house is quiet. My stepson moved in with us a few months ago. He has developmental disabilities and requires a lot of interaction - He loves to talk and he is very loud (he has one of those deep resonant voices that vibrate through the walls and floor). Even when I try to isolate myself, I hear him talking on the phone or talking to the cats, etc. It gets to the point where I feel like I'm being physically assaulted! Since he has been here my health has deteriorated significantly. This has caused my stress levels to skyrocket, which certainly doesn't help. I'm housebound so it's not like I can go somewhere quiet. I'm almost to the point of moving out, but that would destroy both my husband and me financially (never mind the fact that my husband is also my caregiver and does all the shopping and drives me to my doctor appts). I feel trapped and victimized, which I know is an overreaction but I can't seem to shake it. Any tips or insights would be greatly appreciated.
Cheers, Kristina
I definitely know how you feel! My son has scizo-affective disorder and developmental delay! He's 36 and has had to move home. I definitely have gotten worse over the past three years!

Mary Hamilton

Active Member
Wow...It sounds like this is a change you don't want....

I know someone whose wife left him because he wasn't the same person but I don't think men in general are as good at sticking around.
I'm so sorry. I hear this a lot. I am very fortunate.

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