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Is it true Co-deps/Abused people get sick more than Dependents/Abusers?
February 17, 2006
9:15 pm
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Rasputin
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Lately, I read somewhere that Co-deps/Abused/doormat people get more sick (both emotionally & physically) than dependents/Abusers/persecutors/Narcissists.

Furthermore, in Melody's famous book which we talk about here, she stresses that co-deps are subjects to so many diseases - both emotionally and physically, such as: headaches, stomachaches disorders, backaches, and generally weakened physical conditions which can open the door to many illnesses.
(Check out her book on page 144).

On another page of the same book (Codependent no more), she (Melody) mentioned that co-dpes get depressed and sick and go to doctors to take tranquilizers.

I honestly disagree with both resources. All the Dependents/Abusers/Persecutors/Narcissists, I know and have seen in my life I find that they are the ones with all the diseases (both emotional & physical) such as: Depression, stress, anxiety, ulcer,...and all other emotional & physical illnesses.

Granted, we codeps tend to be more open and honest about how we feel like we say that today I'm depressed or I have headache; whereas Dependents/Abusers rarely if ever confess or are open about their emotional or physical well-being.

Honest feedbacks please, what do you think? Is my analysis right? Did you experience the same or something else?

~Thanks, Ras~

February 17, 2006
9:28 pm
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whidbey
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Interesting thread Ras. My ex-N ALWAYS had something wrong with him. I think there is a very high incidence of Ns having stomach problems, aches, pains, etc. They are probably the very somatic NPDs. I can't tell you how many times I had to listen to his litany of all the things "wrong" with him. However, he hated doctors, felt they were only out for his money, they could never find anything wrong with him, etc. Of course, psychiatrists were the spawn of the devil, as far as he was concerned. He attended counseling with a previous girlfriend and stated that THAT was the reason he lost her. I'm sure it was... she got smart and left. However, before that, he said he had lost her because he had cheated on her (and wasn't THAT a red flag I didn't pay attention to!).

I've definitely had some physical, as well as psychological issues such as insomnia, anxiety attacks, and hair loss (that one is freaking me out... not balding by any stretch, but a definite difference in the thickness of my hair 🙁 ). Luckily, the anxiety is almost gone now that there has been no contact for at least a month and sleeping is getting back on an even keel. I'm starting to feel myself again, and I welcome me with open arms.

I don't know enough about the statistics to comment on anything other than what I've experienced.

February 17, 2006
9:33 pm
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exoticflower
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Ug, I don't know the stats or anything, but it sounds EXACTLY ACCURATE from my experiance! Why would an abuser have any stress to break down their immunities? They're perfect after all!

It just seems to me that anxiety alone, which at the worst of my abuse was completley debilitating, interferes with your ability to eat, to sleep, to go out and get exercize, just in general to take care of yourself--and that alone is going to knock your health for a major loop you would think, make you more suseptable to viruses and things. I know I was sick all the time then, I just wasn't able to take care of myself from the depresion and anxiety and it was taking its toll. It makes perfect sense to me!

February 17, 2006
10:40 pm
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Cinamac
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I would think so.

Another interesting book is When The Body Says No by Gabor MAte. He says "nice" people internalize other baggage...often their obituaries go on and on about what a saint the person who died was. When people don't have healthy and caring boundaries a person can get really sick and the ramifications can be fatal. An interesting hypothesis and an interesting read. I have read Beattie's books and concurr with her thoughts on the subject, too.

Cinamac

February 17, 2006
11:08 pm
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Anonymous
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i am codependent and married to a n. even though i made the decision to stay put to get my kids out as healthy as i can, i have ended up on antidepressents, keep a headache, backache, depressed, have almost withdrawn completely from society. stopped answering the phone, sleep about eighteen hours a day. i'm about to the bottom. my intentions are good but even i can see i am not going to make it. my family is all of a sudden hunting me down constantly. they know i'm losing it. i never drink and what was supposed to be a good weekend with the only two true friends i have, i ruined it by getting just as sloppy drunk as i could. the second time in twenty years if that says anything. my n , just to punish me, flaunted his girfriend all over town while i was gone and my teenagers saw him. they decided to tell me this afternoon. i spent the last four hours riding around, and i'll be honest the only thing that kept me from driving right off a bridge was the fact that the bastard would totally screw my kids up. i'm sorry i busted this thread up. but i had to vent. i just wonder when i get to the point that knife to the wrist looks good, will i have what it takes to put it down and slither off somewhere. at this point i have no idea.

February 17, 2006
11:11 pm
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Anonymous
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i think ns say the words , but have no idea what pain, or sickness really feels like, maybe they learn what to say by watching the reactions of the people they wipe out.

February 17, 2006
11:22 pm
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Anonymous
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actually, i overheard my n telling another guy one time, he has never been heartbroken in his life. so true, u cant break something u dont have....

February 18, 2006
1:19 am
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aachick
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I am an alcoholic/addict and a codependent. I have been on both sides, honestly I don't think the two are much different. Alcoholics are addicted to the alcohol, codependents are addicted to people. I am both and when I was drinking I was in a very sick codependent relationship with another drunk. We were drunk and codependent. Granted I spent many a night desperately waiting for him to come home, but I had a fix to help me forget the pain after a while. There were many nights I cried and begged for him to love me and kept him from sleeping so I could bitch him out. I was addicted to him just like the alchohol.

Later I was in a brief relationship with a codependent guy that I was abusive to emotionally and I had no respect for him because he was soooo desperate...not unlike I was with my previous boyfriend. He cried constantly because I was choosing the alcohol over him, but yet he would do so many things for me to try to win my love, one night he went out and bought a ring, got on his knee and asked me to marry him after he got mad at me for refusing sex...does anyone think THAT is healthy?

Bottom line, the guy would not have been with me if he loved himself, he was very controlling and sick, as I am with others that are unhealthy. He still believes he is a victim I am sure. I am sooo codependent but I cannot believe I am a victim even though I want to. I have to know that I can change myself to avoid LETTING people get to me the way they do. I for whatever reason had an inability to set boundaries and tell others what I need or don't need, yet I tried to help everyone thinking I had the answers to all of lifes problems, but they didn't listen and I got mad. I was playing God but being played in the process because of my NEED to be NEEDED my need to feel important.

Not to say I CAUSED all of the behavior, I didn't. But as the old saying goes: fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me...not to say I need to feel shame, but it makes a point. What is it about me that I cannot stop something or make a boundary after being proved to time and again that I will not get what I need from a person??? Why do I go back for more?? What do I THINK I am getting out of it?
I know where the pattern began as a child , lack of love in the home etc...but I am a grown up now and need to take responsibility for my decisions. Not in a bad feeling guilty kind of way, just in a cause and affect kind of way. It's hard as hell to grow, but I want it, I want to see what I can do about all this what I can change about me so these patterns in relationships can be stopped. I want to love me first for once and give from a place of abundance, not emptiness.

As far as not feeling bad, alcoholics do feel bad. They feel a lot of shame but feel bad that they cannot seem to get off the merry-go-round and stop hurting people and themselves. Why do we get to the point of wanting to die? We look around at all the harm we have caused and feel terrible shame that we can't stop the hurting to ourselves and others. Then we beat ourselves over the head more and say how worthless we are because we can't get it together. Not unlike codepency...just a different drug to me. I know this was long, guess I had a lot to say on the topic...lol...take care, hope this helps.

February 18, 2006
6:14 am
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startingover
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Ras,
I believe that abusers / addicts have the illness, and that codependents display the symptoms. Addicts can numb the pain with their substance of choice, and codeps just obsess and worry themselves into illness. I also think the prolonged anxious states we codeps experience and the constant grieving (because we always lose) makes us more likely to be sick, too.
I have wondered this same question, too, and like Guppy wrote above, they may mimic other people's actions because they don't feel them. How else can they manipulate / hurt /use others and sleep at night? I think we're the troubled ones.
Take care Ras, and others here; have a great weekend.

February 18, 2006
7:35 am
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Rasputin
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Thnaks all for your feedback and input about this vital and crucial subject.

Just to correct what I said in my 1st post, what I meant is as someone here: AChick and Startingover have rightfully said they both tend to suffer. So, this is what I meant:

I don't believe that only we codeps tend to fall sick and have diseases. I strongly believe that BOTH DEPENDENTS/ABUSERS/NARCISSISTS AND CO-DEPS/ABUSED/DOORMATS alike tend to become sick and suffer Both emotionally and physically.

I believe that Narcissists cannot live with their guilt/pain of hurting others and living a life devoid of love, taking advantage and using others and that's what make them sick and subjects to so many diseases even if they lived in denial about these illnesses. Mind you when Ns do not say that they are sick, that does not necessarily mean that they are healthy. It's just that we codeps are more open, tansparent and honest about how we feel; while Ns are the opposite: invulnerable and in denial about them. That's the difference between us!

One more question I forgot to mention in my post is:

After how long these symptoms and sickness start to manifest themselves in the relationship/marriage? Is it as of the 1st year, 2nd, serveral years...when exactly do they start?

I hope to have more feeback about this fundamental subject!

February 18, 2006
7:54 am
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hopeful for change
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wow this is something I have wondered myself. I do have a medical problem with my back, herniated four discs 16 years ago. However their seems to be nothing the doctors can do to help me. And now no insurances will touch me, or atleast not my back. I recently have started taking an anti depressant, in hopes of some help. I mean I know that I have a medical problem all the discs have completely degenerated. Yet I wonder if the stress and depression keep it in this chronic painful state. It just sucks because I want to go, go go and my back can't keep up with me. I maintain somewhat with viocodin, however my doctor only allows me two a day. Which is better than none, and it helps me be able to function through the pain.

February 18, 2006
8:26 am
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Anonymous
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everybody's answer will be diff. i didn't really see the whole picture because my husband used alcohol for years to mask the real him. for about eight years we lived in the same house with no interaction. diff. friends, diff lives. it's when i got better enought to want a change for better and then for out, that the trouble and the reality of the magnitude of what i had got myself into came home to me big time. so i would say about ten years into it, i started showing symptoms of being stressed. and about six years after that i sought antidepressants so i could kill the flight/fight feeling that was basically wiping me out. honestly, i probably haven't cried for six years and have no intention of it, may never stop, and i'll pay for that later, in some way, i'm sure. on the other hand, the n is healthy, and maybe i see anger, agitation. but no sickness.

February 18, 2006
10:56 am
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StronginHim77
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I date a borderline personality disorder male with "N" overlap. He is very ill, physically: diabetes, congestive heart failure, sleep apnea, alcoholic. A mess. My relationship with him has (twice) pushed me to the point of panic attacks. I have battled depression, anxiety and emotional upheaval with this man which leaves me feeling drained, weak, exhausted. I have battled colds, sinus infections, etc. There is no doubt in my heart or mind that living in a constant state of turmoil, always waiting for the next act of cruelty, the next act of sheer, irrational rage/explosion has undermined my health.

February 18, 2006
3:09 pm
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hopeful for change
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I'm ready for the cure of my back and my husband to get rid of the pain they both cause.

February 18, 2006
3:52 pm
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Rasputin
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Hooray for you Hopeful. We will root for you and cheer you on!

Way to go!!!

February 18, 2006
4:07 pm
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Anonymous
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hopeful-here is one thought for u. try taking 320 mg. of magnesium before bedtime. years and years of cronic stress often depletes the functioning of the adrenal glands. this also cause an almost constant lower back ache.

February 18, 2006
4:11 pm
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exoticflower
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aachick, thanks for pointing out the struggles of the other side here--it's easy to take on that victim mentality and only taking into account our own situation when thinking about something (for me, anyway).

February 19, 2006
2:16 am
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startingover
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Maybe I'm being cynical after a recent rraumatic break-up., but I feel like I'm the zombie having panic attacks and nightmares, and he's the one out using heroin, crack, alcohol, and whatever else he can find. I'm at work and he's out partying. Yes, he has an illness which is neurochemically based, but the codep "feels the pain". I think if an addict begins to feel antything resembling a human emotion like pain or regret, they just re-numb with a substance.
I also have read that alcoholism can be very prevalent in chronically ill or elderly people; I suppose in that case the (other) medical illness or aging came first.

AAChick, I really appreciate your input from the addict side. I guess there is some degree of guilt, and somehow that makes me feel better. Right now, I feel like my relationship has been a joke, and he's kicked me and walked away laughing.

February 19, 2006
8:22 am
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Rasputin
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Startingover - Believe me Dependents/Abusers/Ns DO feel the pain, they DO become sick, but they are in denial and act/pretend that it is not there.

When I look at the life of All my abusers, I can see none of them enjoying happiness and health in it. They might be in a relationship, but it's unhealthy, unhappy, mediocre, superficial, shallow...when it comes to their health, they are suffering from depression, stress, guilt, shame...you name it.

That is why I am a firm believer that BOTH ABUSERS/NS AND CODEPS/VICTIMS DO SUFFER, BOTH EMOTIONALLY AND PHYSICALLY!!! Not just us codeps as many books state.

So, Startingover, Chill out!!!

February 19, 2006
8:35 am
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hopeful for change
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guppy thanks I never heard of that and I will try almost anything at this point. My back problem has been one of the reasons I stay stuck in the marriage.

As far as the anxiety goes, I really had this bad when my ex and I were at the end and then when we broke up. I was having horrible anxiety attacks. I to was givin xanax. My counselor told me that your body will only let you suppress stuff for so long before it physically manifests itself. So maybe I just answered my own question.

February 19, 2006
12:24 pm
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gettingthere
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HI RAS well i have been in three abusive relationships,they all lasted around the same amount of years 7,,,i would say that into about two years i would start to feel ill aches rundown depressed then after a couple more years of feeling like that i would start to pick up and get my strength dignity and health back and decide no more,,,but in all three relationships i would say the abuser was the more sick as this is unhealthy behaviour and probabaly goes hand in hand with either drug or drink addiction,,,or even a mentall illness all i can say is abuse alone is an extremly unhealthy attitude/behaviour ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,all three of my exes were never of particularly good health and anger is also very damaging..........so in my case i think i was the more healthy even though i was abused emotionally and physically my b/f of now is bi/polar and can be very abusive but i still would say he is the more unhealthy of the two of us i chill out with meditation and yoga he carrys on feeling his anger still ..............hope this helps love GT

February 19, 2006
2:03 pm
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Rasputin
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Thanks GT so much for your valued feeback!

So each relationship of these 3 lasted 7 years and as of the 2nd year you would start to feel these pains and aches and on the 4th you would decide that your self-esteem and dignity cannot take it any more.

Well good for you GT!!! I'm so proud of you. I pray these 3 relationships would be a teachable lesson to you so that you do not repeat the same pattern/mistake in the future.

I am pretty sure Abusers/Ns/Dependents do suffer more than us we co-deps/abused/victims even tho they put a mask of being on the top of the world but that's not true. They even might have a new bf/gf right away after the break-up just to numb their pain and get that high, that false high of an emotional roller coaster. But the truth is they are lying to themselves and that pain/repressed negative feelings will come out someday and be more devastating than ever.

But will they learn a lesson in this process to grow up and learn to deal with their pain rather than repress it? This is my prayer to all our abusers: GET IT TOUCH WITH YOUR PAIN/NEGATIVE FEELINGS, DO NOT REPRESS OR NUMB THEM. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN GROW AND HEAL.

WILL YOU LISTEN TO US, ABUSERS/NS/ DEPENDENTS, B4 IT'S TOO LATE???!!!

February 19, 2006
3:13 pm
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startingover
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Ras,
I have always enjoyed reading you; you seem to be ahead of some of us in the healing process. Believe me, I would love to "chill out". I firmly believe that addicts are emotionally void, and that is an illness in itself; does that sound better?
I have seen the addicts in my life go on with their lives and it doesn't seem that they suffer or realize their losses like I have. Why walk away from a sure thing - a friendship or marriage that was stable and loving - always in search of a bigger thrill, a younger woman, a better high? Oh, they certainly have an illness, and it's a complex one (as is ours), but I can only speak from personal experience, and mean no offense.
I will consider and re-read your comments, as I often do; they're very insightful. Thanks for the thread.

February 19, 2006
3:39 pm
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gettingthere
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hi rasputin....wouldnt it be wonderful if the abuser could get in touch with their pain but im afraid to say that as for my three ex's none of them have they all went on to abuse their next partners and have still been unable to listen...............and as for me i have learnt but not enough, as it seems at the moment my partner now is bi/polar and over the past few weeks being verbal/emoitonal abusive to me so i am now currently doing some BIG thinking on my journey as i am not going to lose all my hard work i have done to get were i am today.............still say though that victims are stronger than abusers after all we have to endure and i agree with you on the putting on a mask to the world as lets face it if you love yourself neither do you abuse yourself or others ....GT

February 19, 2006
10:11 pm
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Hi everyone. I have been very ill with cancer and renal problems 3 year remission . Myquest to stay emotionaly attached to the stuff I have to do and go through.Iwent through it all. I have had several operations. Not only did i not get support my family. Parent created own illness calling her friends saying "I'm on chemo too Actually one day she was to take me to surgeon and left me early and I could not walk. I wanted to kill her for the first time in my life. My nephew happened to stop by and took me.The narsistic self sentered person she is still to this day states how week and ill she is. I love my mom but lost all hope for her sense of parenting. I am getting angry and that is not me . I had to have an MRI the other day and as i walked in the room . I cried like a baby i just could not do it .I felt so alone . I was never like this before .I just can't get my stuff together. I want maintain my personality. I hope to move away soon . away from my family. Iam the glass is half full and grateful they are glass is half empty lets fill it up. Even at family gatherings I don't fit in.How can I maintain with hope.I am starting to cry alot. I choose not to date daughter was young now old and moved away. I want a relationship with someone scared going to meet wrong person. advice anyone?

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