5 Ways Toxic Relationships Can Affect Your Health
Even if the most contented relationship, where the parties met on an online dating service like this and have never looked back, there is the possibility of everything turning toxic. If this situation isn’t addressed it can deteriorate to the extent it becomes seriously unhealthy. There are many symptoms of this happening, but one of the most worrying aspects is the way it can affect your physical and mental wellbeing. Here are five of the key ways a toxic relationship will affect your health.
Negative emotions can precipitate depression
A toxic relationship can be characterized by many negative activities, such as one partner constantly belittling or controlling the other. The upshot of this behavior can be the subject of this bullying withdrawing into themselves rather than confronting the antagonist. The longer this situation persists, it may well lead to depression. An unfortunate aspect of depressive illness is the sufferer often tries to mask the true extent of how they are feeling by presenting an apparently healthy but totally false façade. This makes it doubly hard to provide them with any sort of extrication from the toxic relationship, as friends or family might not even aware of what they are going through.
There can be a temptation to comfort eat
People who are on the receiving end of toxic behavior can behave in a number of different ways, but a common reaction is to seek solace elsewhere. The victim might turn to alcohol or recreational drugs in order to numb what they are going through. But an even more common symptom is to overindulge in eating. This becomes especially unhealthy when a quick fix is organized. So rather than spending a lot of time cooking themselves a nutritional meal from scratch, the likelihood is for junk food or takeaways to be consumed. Because this is much more likely to be high in unsaturated fats and salt, it is especially harmful.
Fatigue can set in
Someone enduring a toxic relationship will lose their zest for life. Because being subject to continual harassment or mental duress is physically draining, the victim will find it difficult to unwind or relax. This can affect sleep patterns, as worry and stress lead to restless sleep or insomnia. This will have a knock-on effect as the lack of sleep during the night will lead to the body attempting to catch up during the day, with naps at inappropriate times. These, in turn, will in time scupper any attempts to get a good night’s sleep. As this cycle continues, the sufferer will only experience increasingly negative symptoms. They’ll constantly feel tired and lethargic, and this could affect everything from their ability to perform at work, to how safe they can drive.
You become less immune to infection
Being in a position where you are constantly subjected to feelings of stress will gradually wear down your body’s ability to confront natural infections. As your immune system is eroded, you may find yourself increasingly subject to colds and flu. Again, this can form a vicious circle, as being unwell in this way will lower your self-esteem and impact on your immunity, leaving you open to the next set of germs you are exposed to.
There may be cardiovascular issues
Yet another aspect of being in a state of constant anxiety during a toxic relationship is your blood pressure can be impacted. Acute stress levels will have a negative effect on cardiovascular health as high blood pressure is bad for your heart. In the longer term, you could be prone to much more life-threatening issues, such as heart or lung disease.