Codependency: Physical symptoms, diseases and ailments.
First off, codependency is a "disease" caused by living with an alcoholic. It is mostly a condition associated with psychiatric treatment, but it also causes physical symptoms, diseases, and ailments in the wife of the alcoholic.
It often happens that theses physical diseases and ailments are ignored, or neglected, when treating the spouse of an alcoholic. Fact is that his drinking can, and probably is, making you physically ill too.
Physical disease symptoms in the spouse of an alcoholic, are often regarded by doctors as psycho-somatic, and they believe it should clear up as soon as the situation improves or the alcoholic stops drinking.
This is often not the case, and there is basically two reasons for that. One school of thought suggests that you choose your alcoholic spouse based on your corresponding "energy levels". In this instance, should the alcoholic get better, it does not speak for itself that the spouse's health will automatically improve. Unless the spouse addresses their own lower energy level as well, and get treatment too, they will probably keep on manifesting the physical ailments they suffered from while the alcoholic was actively drinking.
The other school of thought, where it is believed the alcoholic's drinking and the circumstances surrounding it, causes a disease in the spouse, suggests that the health of the spouse will improve as soon as the alcoholic stops drinking. This however does not happen as the theory would suggest, as the alcoholic's spouse and the family, often continue to live as an "alcoholic family" in spite of the fact that the alcoholic is sober now. This is caused by the fact the the family does not necessarily receive treatment for their own co-alcoholism or codependency. The physical ailments and diseases continue, as if the alcoholic never stopped drinking.
Whichever you believe, that the physical disease symptoms are caused by the circumstances, or by the spouses own genetic make-up, is irrelevant really. Fact is, you need to deal with fact you are sick too.
Don't believe me? Don't think it is possible? I mean think about it...
Who knew really, that the headaches, muscle spasms, spastic colon, constipation, night sweats, constant colds and flu or sinusitis you suffer from, was caused by living with the insanity called alcoholism.
How many times have you felt hung-over after your husband's hard partying the night before? Did you think it was coincidence?
It was after all, NOT your imagination. Living with an alcoholic can, and is, making you sick. Did you think that feeling "sick and tired" of it, was not meant literally?
The wives of alcoholics live with an enormous amount of nervous tension. What you probably don't realize is that living like that not only robs you of your peace of mind, it also seriously jeopardizes your physical well-being.
Now to take a closer look at the physical symptoms and diseases you might experience as the wife of an alcoholic, you might as well look at the list of diseases caused by excessive stress in any situation.
Here is just a short list of diseases and symptoms, with links to pages where they are discussed in more depth:
2.) Heart disease
4.) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
5.) Chronic Fatigue and Immune Deficiency Syndrome
6.) Chronic Sinusitis.
8.) Unexplained joint pain, night sweats or fever
9.) Excessive weight gain or weight loss
10.) Spastic colon or IBS
Proof that if your husband does not get better, then neither will you.
Strategies to deal with your alcoholic
Heal yourself first!
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