The Quality Of Your Love Life Has An Impact On Your Mental Health During The Lockdown, Says Study
Mental health is a concept that is alien to several individuals around the world but I would like to believe that these people are larger in number in our country. Most families, elders especially do not understand the term let alone believe in the existence of any kind of well-being issues that are not physical. I don’t see Indian parents thinking that a person’s state of mind can drive their moods, behaviour or cause any pain to that person. What do you mean by state of mind, even? Youngsters in India are often deprived of space, their boundaries are violated and taunts are a plenty. It doesn’t matter if you are losing your job, have financial difficulties, going through a breakup or trying to digest the fact that your once out-and-about lifestyle has come to a stagnant pause.
With the pandemic and lockdown, we are beginning to truly realise just how underlying mental health issues can be. One would not even see the gradual downward spiral in their mental well-being, the slow building up of anxiety, and how we’ve been acting out. We are losing our tempers once in a while, feeling demotivated or arguing a lot. And we don’t even know that it is the lockdown that is probably stressing all of us out, on a subconscious level. Because each time, we assume that it has to be a major personal catastrophe for us to get stressed. So unless we are going through a breakup or a major issue – could we be suffering from anxiety? Yes, we could.
A study that surfaced recently says that different people are dealing differently with the lockdown and it is largely influenced by our relationship status. According to a research by Danube University, people in happy relationships have handled this period quite well as opposed to those in bad ones.
“Catastrophes are known to have an impact on relationships as well as on mental health. This study evaluated differences in several mental health and well-being measures according to relationship quality during the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic and related lockdown measures. A cross-sectional online survey was launched four weeks after lockdown measures were implemented in Austria. Relationship quality was measured with the Quality of Marriage Index (QMI), and mental health measures included quality of life (WHO-QOL BREF psychological domain), well-being (WHO-5), depression (PHQ-9), anxiety (GAD-7), stress (PSS-10), and sleep quality (ISI),” informs the study.
According to the study, people with good relationship quality scored better than individuals with bad relationship quality. However, people who were single also did better than those who were in bad relationships. “Relationship quality was related to mental health during COVID-19. The prevalence of depressive symptoms increased according to relationship quality from 13% up to 35%. Relationship per se was not associated with better mental health, but the quality of the relationship was essential. Compared to no relationship, a good relationship quality was a protective factor whereas a poor relationship quality was a risk factor,” the study says.
A study from India had claimed that married individuals were less likely to be anxious during the pandemic. However, this study proved that being partnered is not enough. Your mental health truly depends on the quality of your relationship. And I cannot emphasise enough how it is so much better to be single than be in a toxic relationship. This study just proved that! “In times of COVID-19, a survey from India showed that married participants had 40% lower odds of developing anxiety during COVID-19 lockdown than unmarried participants. Yet, the following examples show that the relationship between marriage/relationship and mental health seems to be moderated by marriage/relationship quality. Being married per se is not universally beneficial, rather, the satisfaction and support associated with such a relationship is important,” the study explains. It concludes, “Furthermore, single people have better mental health outcomes than people who are unhappily married.”
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This research notes that according to several studies good relationship quality lowers stress and depression as well as balances blood pressure. It also helps in improving your sleep. While we are in lockdown, lack of social opportunities are making people lonely and causing major mood shifts. Combine that with an equally stressed incompatible partner and you have life becoming hell-ish. Meanwhile, happy couples who otherwise barely spent any time are getting more time to invest in their relationship. They are supporting each other in this tough period. Singles on the other hand at least have no worries about a deteriorating connection. Sounds pretty fair!