Energizer or drainer? Signs your relationship is negatively impacting your mental health
It's important to be aware of the signs that your relationship may be negatively affecting your mental health so that you can take steps to address the issue.
Maintaining a healthy relationship is crucial for our physical and mental wellbeing. A good quality, supportive relationship can provide a buffer from our everyday stressors and help boost our overall mental health. We all have people in our lives who we turn to in times of need and support, people who energise us. However, there can be people who emotionally drain us out more and more over a period of time and when our relationships become unhealthy, it can significantly impact our mental health. This doesn't necessarily mean that the person is bad, however, the relationship itself is not working for you and is probably taking a toll on your mental and physical health. (Also read: How to end a relationship in a healthy way )
"One way of understanding, if your relationship is becoming unhealthy, is to check with yourself how you feel when you are with this person. Do you feel energised or emotionally drained? Do you feel respected and valued in this relationship? How secure and safe do they make you feel? These are some questions that one may ask, in addition to some specific signs to look out for," says, Anna Hema Sam, Clinical Psychologist at Even Healthcare.
Signs that your relationship is negatively impacting your mental health:
Anna further shared with HT Lifestyle, some common signs that your relationship is negatively impacting your mental health.
1. Constant negative emotions
Feeling sad, anxious, angry, or any other negative emotions more often than not or mostly when you're with your partner could be a sign that your relationship is taking a toll on your mental health. You may feel like you're being constantly criticised, or experiencing tension in the relationship.
2. Walking on eggshells
You might feel constant fright or dread when you are talking to your partner. You are unable to share your true feelings or opinions with them as you may be worried about what their emotional reaction could look like. It feels as if you always have to be careful of what you say or do around them.
3. Lack of self-esteem
Are you constantly seeking their approval or if you are mostly focussed on what and how they think of you instead of being able to focus on yourself and your needs? Frequent criticism, belittling, or being put down by your partner can lead to a negative self-image and low self-esteem. This constant negative reinforcement can be detrimental to your mental health, leading to feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy.
Cutting off contact with friends and family or neglecting your own interests and hobbies to spend time with your partner could be a sign that your relationship is becoming unhealthy. It's essential to maintain a support network outside of your relationship and continue doing the things you enjoy to maintain your mental health.
5. Physical symptoms
Stress and anxiety caused by a troubled relationship can manifest in physical symptoms like headaches, stomach problems, and fatigue. If you find yourself experiencing these symptoms more frequently when in the presence of your partner or when thinking about your relationship, it could be a sign that your relationship is negatively impacting your mental health.
6. Feeling trapped
Feeling like you can't leave the relationship, even though it's causing you distress, could be a sign that your mental health is being negatively impacted. You may feel like you're in an emotionally abusive relationship or fear the consequences of leaving. However, it's essential to prioritize your mental health and seek help if you find yourself feeling trapped.
"If you notice any of these signs in your relationship, it's crucial to prioritise your mental health and well-being. Seeking help or ending the relationship may be necessary. Remember, healthy relationships should be a source of support, love, and happiness. If your relationship is negatively impacting your mental health, it's okay to seek support and make changes that prioritise your well-being. Talking to a therapist or a trusted friend or family member can help you navigate these challenging situations and make informed decisions about your relationship," concludes Anna Hema Sam.