Is trauma the cause of endometriosis and fibromyalgia? Dr Gabor Maté and my wife’s case…
Is trauma really the cause of endometriosis and fibromyalgia?
My wife went through a lot of childhood trauma, but also chronic stress in her adolescence. Today, she suffers from anxiety, OCD, and depression, and as the result, from endometriosis and fibromyalgia. So, is trauma the cause of endometriosis and fibromyalgia?
There used to be a short YouTube video showing an interview with Dr. Gabor Maté who explained why in his opinion trauma is the cause of endometriosis and fibromyalgia. I personally found a lot of hate on Twitter whenever I tried to share his content. I never understood why.
I was always open about trauma being one of the components, but for those who disagree with Gabor Maté’s work, I would strongly recommend them to read his book “When the body says no. The cost of hidden stress”. My wife and I are big fans of his and we read this fantastic book in a jiffy!
According to Dr. Gabor Maté, “No personality causes disease. But the more emotionally repressed we are, the less we can say no to the world’s demands, and the more we take on, the more stressed we also become. It’s that stress, then, that contributes to the onset of disease in a major way–not the personality directly.”
Was trauma the cause of my wife’s endometriosis?
You may find my wife’s story similar to your partner’s, or if you are the one who suffers, maybe you want to get some sense of all this. Either way, there is a link between mind and body. They are both a part of you, and cannot be separated.
Gabor asks in the video, so he does in the book the following questions:
- How much stress of your loved ones do you take on?
- How much of a people pleaser are you?
- How nice are you to people no matter how you feel?
- How much do you take on the problems of other people and ignore your own?
- How well do you know yourself?
- Do you treat yourself well?
I can tell you this – my wife is a people pleaser, she’s nice to everyone but herself. M criticizes herself and gaslights her own self.
She does it all the time without even knowing. I stand aside, I see it clearly.
My wife grew up with a father who was harsh and abusive. Today he mellowed but left a lot of scars. Childhood trauma caused M to feel more vulnerable which resulted in being bullied at school. Her doctors added to the problem.
Women aren’t treated fairly in life, little girls are even easier to medically gaslight. That was the case for my wife. Her doctors didn’t get to the route of the problem – the environment she lived in – but put her on Prozac for 18 years.
Long story short, my wife’s emotions were hidden under the antidepressants for 18 long years. When she began to develop extremely heavy and painful periods, doctors did not believe her.
They blamed it all on mental health, told her she was simply anxious and depressed, trying to shove more pills into her due to their lack of common sense, and disbelief. They knew nothing about endometriosis but her symptoms worsened over time.
Eventually, she was diagnosed with stage IV deep infiltrating endometriosis, however, what followed was just another blow…
I actually wrote with my wife’s help an amazing “Endo-Tool, Endometriosis for Men” e-Book, and I give you a FREE 1st chapter that contains 20 pages filled with a lot of value, including:
- What is endometriosis?
- What are the symptoms?
- What causes endometriosis?
- What does endometriosis look like?
- What are the stages?
- What are the types?
- What is adenomyosis and how is it related to endometriosis?
- Why do some women develop severe endo and others don’t?
- Does endometriosis cause infertility?
- How is endometriosis diagnosed?
- Do types and stages affect the treatment?
- Recurrence of endometriosis after excision surgery.
Get FREE “Endo-Tool” eBook
Endometriosis for Men e-Book
Was trauma the cause of my wife’s fibromyalgia?
In short – yes. The traumatic news of being diagnosed with endometriosis, the loss of her job as a full-time dancer, and the lack of understanding of work colleagues at her new office job, caused my wife more stress, more symptoms, more pain, and eventually, suicidal thoughts…
All that lasted no more than a year and my wife was diagnosed with fibromyalgia disorder after her diagnosis of endometriosis.
So if you ask me if trauma is the cause of endometriosis and fibromyalgia, I say yes. Her childhood, teenage years, and early adolescence trauma caused her to develop endometriosis. The very shock of the diagnosis caused her to develop fibromyalgia.
Women with both fibromyalgia and endometriosis have a higher risk of having other autoimmune diseases such as IBS and chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety, or depression as well as more hospitalizations.
This causes more stress, and the cycle goes on… In my opinion, chronic stress equals chronic illness.
How are childhood trauma and chronic illness connected?
Based on childhood trauma people develop a pattern of behaviors that cause emotional problems, which in turn cause stress in their lives. Such chronic stress causes the illness.
Even a sudden traumatic experience can trigger physical and mental health issues, leading to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression.
The parts of the brain that are most affected by it include the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex.
These areas are responsible for your memories, emotions, stress levels, and fear levels. When they malfunction, it increases the occurrence of flashbacks, putting your brain in fight-or-flight mode.
What it means is your immune system shuts down to fuel legs and arms with blood in order to either fight or escape the danger.
Emotions can play a role in making a person susceptible to diseases. Chronic stress sensitizes the immune system, which becomes overly reactive to any number of triggers.
For children, traumatic events cause very similar experiences to those seen in adults with PTSD. The increased inflammation caused by stress responses may trigger autoimmune diseases.
What can you do when trauma is the cause of endometriosis and fibromyalgia?
You cannot separate the mind and body. Your body will always react to your emotions. Positive emotions make the immune system stronger, stress switches off your immune system.
I never cause my wife stress, I support her emotionally, physically, and mentally. Such a healthy and safe environment lowers her symptoms. The importance of having the right support of a loved one is crucial. Fibromyalgia and endometriosis respond to how you feel.
The management of fibromyalgia and endometriosis has the same approach as for any other chronic conditions which lack a cure.
It’s about improving the quality of life and functioning. Chronic pain management requires:
- Medical optimization (CBD for example).
- Physical reconditioning (rehabilitation).
- Behavioral, lifestyle modification (pain psychologist).
Helping people become more aware of what these factors are, and how they influence pain, is a big part of behavioral and lifestyle modification.
Dr Gabor says on his website that “emotional stress is a major cause of physical illness, from cancer to autoimmune conditions and many other chronic diseases”. He adds that “the brain and body systems that process emotions are intimately connected with the hormonal apparatus, the nervous system, and in particular the immune system”.
Since trauma is the cause of endometriosis and fibromyalgia, the best thing you can do is your very best to provide your partner with a low-stress environment. It’s crucial in the treatment and/or recovery of chronic illness.
And I know I brag about the book, but it’s so worth it! It helped us understand the connection between stress and pain better, I truly recommend “When the body says no. The cost of hidden stress”.
In the meantime, if you are interested, I wrote a “Fibromyalgia for Caring Partners” e-Book, and you can get the 1st chapter FREE!
FREE Fibromyalgia e-Book
Fibromyalgia for Caring Men
Hi, I’m Lucjan! The reason why I decided to create this blog was my beautiful wife, who experienced a lot of pain in life, but also the lack of information about endometriosis and fibromyalgia for men…