The relationship between relationship stress and mental illness is explored in a recent research by S. C. South of Purdue University that was published in Current Directions in Psychological Science. The study emphasizes the link between mental health problems such as anxiety disorders, phobias, depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, and substance use disorders and difficulty managing relationship stress and conflict.
Examining the Effect: Depression and Relationship Stress
The study by South emphasizes in particular the strong connection between marital stress and depression. The results show that depression and marital satisfaction have a somewhat unfavorable link, which is stronger than the correlations between depression and other risk factors like sex, education, race, family history, and childhood maltreatment.
Recognizing the causal connection
Relationship issues frequently appear before mental health issues do, according to longitudinal studies, rather than the other way around. According to studies, people in unhappy relationships are more likely to suffer from depression than people in happier relationships.
Modeling Vulnerability and Stress
The vulnerability-stress model sheds light on how relationship stress and mental illness are related. It implies that although marital conflict may not be a direct cause of mental disease, people who have inherent vulnerabilities, such as genetic susceptibilities, cognitive risk factors, or emotional risk factors, are more likely to experience mental health problems when subjected to stress.
Emotional control and psychological disorders
The impact on emotion control mechanisms may be one reason for the link between relationship stress and mental health issues. People in high-conflict relationships may use maladaptive coping mechanisms like self-blame and rumination more often than they do adaptive emotion-regulation skills like problem-solving and social support. Psychopathology is more likely to develop in those who have trouble controlling their emotions.
The Function of Stress and Couple Factors
Stress has an impact on people both personally and in the context of their love relationships. Co-rumination, stress contagion, and interpersonal animosity can all affect how we react to stress. A love affair fraught with conflict can be a major source of stress, especially for those predisposed to mental health problems.
Making Yourself More Resistant to Relationship Stress
Building resilience is essential for managing relationship stress. This entails identifying stress patterns, gaining composure by becoming less reactive and more accepting of emotions and implementing adaptable coping strategies. Potential methods for improving resilience and obtaining professional assistance when necessary include mindfulness meditation, biofeedback training, couples therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy.
People can better negotiate the difficulties of romantic relationships, resulting in greater general well-being and mental health, by understanding how relationship suffering affects mental health and putting resilience-building techniques into practice.