You already know that bad relationships are unhealthy, but did you know that they might even kill you? And not in a domestic violence sense either (though that’s a real and scary thing too).
A study was done that shows that if you’re anxious about your relationships, it actually messes with your immune system. If you’re in a bad relationship, chances are you’re going to be even more stressed out about it, which messes even more with your immune system. And when you have a weak immune system, you’re more likely to get sick and catch something that, well, may kill you.
Attachment anxiety was a big factor in how bad relationships can affect your health. People with attachment anxiety need constant reassurance that they’re loved, and they’re always preoccupied with rejection. They’re more likely to interpret events in a relationship as negative, too, which–you guessed it–leads to stress.
Here’s how the study went down: Couples filled out surveys about their relationship and how they felt about it, as well as how much sleep they get and how stressed out they are in general. The same people also gave blood and saliva samples to be tested. Those who reported that they had attachment anxiety showed 11 percent more cortisol, which is a hormone released when you’re under stress, in their systems than people without attachment anxiety who weren’t worried about a bad relationship.
Those in bad relationships or with attachment anxiety also had fewer T-cells than happier couples, which means they’re less able to fight off infections. Yikes!
The good news? Attachment anxiety, like a bad relationship, doesn’t have to be permanent–and thus it probably won’t kill you. It just won’t feel good if you don’t keep it in check, and, if necessary, seek help in dealing with it!
Have you ever had attachment anxiety? Do you stress out over bad relationships or just end them? Have you ever noticed stress or a bad relationship taking its toll on your own immune system? Tell us in the comments!