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Heart ache from lover’s spat is real!

Gorkha Post

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WASHINGTON — Turns out, when people say their heart is aching due to a minor squabble with their partners, they are not exaggerating, as generally perceived.

A fight with a spouse may end in hurt feelings, but for those with chronic conditions like arthritis or diabetes, according to a study conducted by the Penn State. Those arguments may have physical repercussions as well.

The researchers found that in two groups of older individuals — one group with arthritis and one with diabetes– the patients who felt more tension with their spouse also reported worse symptoms on those days.

“It was exciting that we were able to see this association in two different data sets — two groups of people with two different diseases,” said researcher Lynn Martire. “The findings gave us insight into how marriage might affect health, which is important for people dealing with chronic conditions like arthritis or diabetes.”

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Martire said it’s important to learn more about how and why symptoms of chronic disease worsen. People with osteoarthritis in their knees who experience greater pain become disabled quicker, and people with diabetes that isn’t controlled have a greater risk for developing complications.

The researchers said that while previous research has shown a connection between satisfying marriages and better health, both physically and psychologically, there’s been a lack of research into how day-to-day experiences impact those with chronic illness.

“We study chronic illnesses, which usually involve daily symptoms or fluctuations in symptoms,” Martire said. “Other studies have looked at the quality of someone’s marriage right now. But we wanted to drill down and examine how positive or negative interactions with your spouse affect your health from day to day.”

Data from two groups of participants were used for the study. One group was comprised of 145 patients with osteoarthritis in the knee and their spouses.

The other included 129 patients with type II diabetes and their spouses.

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Participants in both groups kept daily diaries about their mood, how severe their symptoms were, and whether their interactions with their spouse were positive or negative.

The participants in the arthritis and diabetes groups kept their diaries for 22 and 24 days, respectively.
The researchers found that within both groups of participants, patients were in a worse mood on days when they felt more tension than usual with their spouse, which in turn led to greater pain or severity of symptoms.

Additionally, the researchers found that within the group with arthritis, the severity of the patient’s pain also had an effect on tensions with their spouse the following day. When they had greater pain, they were in a worse mood and had greater tension with their partner the next day.

“This almost starts to suggest a cycle where your marital interactions are more tense, you feel like your symptoms are more severe, and the next day you have more marital tension again,” Martire said.

“We didn’t find this effect in the participants with diabetes, which may just be due to differences in the two diseases.”

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Martire said the results could potentially help create interventions targeted at helping couples with chronic diseases.
“We usually focus on illness-specific communications, but looking at tension in a marriage isn’t tied to the disease, it’s not a symptom of the disease itself,” Martire said. “It’s a measure you can get from any couple.

It suggests to me that looking beyond the illness, to improve the overall quality of the relationship might have some impact on health.”

The study appears in the journal Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

ANI

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Sexual violence haunts women for years : Study

Raghu Kshitiz

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Women who are sexually assaulted experience more vivid memories than women coping with the aftermath of other traumatic, life-altering events not associated with sexual violence, a new Rutgers-New Brunswick study has found.

Compared with other traumatic life-altering events, the memories of sexual assault remain intense and vivid for years, even when not linked to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), the study authors said.

The study, published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, has found that women who had suffered from sexual violence, even those who were not diagnosed with PTSD, had more intense memories — even decades after the violence occurred — that are difficult, if not impossible to forget.

For the study, the researchers studied almost 200 women, aged 18 to 39, including 64 women who were victims of sexual violence. Fewer than 10 percent were taking anti-anxiety or antidepressant drugs.

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“To some extent, it is not surprising that these memories relate to more feelings of depression and anxiety, because these women remember what happened and think about it a lot,” said co-author Tracey Shors, a psychology professor at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.

“But these feelings and thoughts are usually associated with PTSD. And most women in our study who experienced these vivid memories did not suffer from PTSD, which is generally associated with more intense mental and physical reactions,” Shors said in a university news release.

The women who suffered sexual violence had clear, strong memories, including details of the event. Moreover, they had a hard time forgetting the incident and viewed it as a defining part of their life, the researchers found.

“Each time you reflect on an old memory, you make a new one in your brain because it is retrieved in the present space and time,” Shors said. “What this study shows is that this process can make it even more difficult to forget what happened.”

Other research has found that sexual aggression and violence are likely causes of PTSD in women. PTSD can be physically and mentally debilitating and difficult to overcome, the researchers noted.

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According to Emma Millon, who is a graduate student and co-author of the report, “Women in our study who ruminated more frequently also reported more trauma-related symptoms. One could imagine how rumination could exacerbate trauma symptoms and make recovery from the trauma more difficult.”

The World Health Organization reports that 30 percent of women around the world experience physical or sexual assault in their lifetime, with teens most likely to be victims of rape, attempted rape or assault.

Studies have also found that as many as one in five college students experiences sexual violence during their school years.

Agencies

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