An offence of psychological or emotional abuse is to be introduced as part of new domestic violence measures announced by Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan. This law will protect anyone who is psychologically or emotionally abused.
Orla McGovern, a DCU student who promotes mental health on her social media said, “I feel like it’s important to speak out about mental health in general but I think it’s essential to speak out about disorders that aren’t as common or well-known like eating disorders or personality disorders. These disorders affect so many people nowadays and it’s sad that they don’t have as much awareness.”
Emotional or psychological abuse can result in developing mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and PTSD.
McGovern continued to say that “it’s important that we educate ourselves on what these disorders really entail as there is so much misrepresentation in the media. I also think it’s important to educate yourself on how to support someone suffering from a mental health disorder as it is essential to their recovery.”
Orla thinks that learning how to support people who are suffering will make a much bigger change than telling people it’s okay not to be okay.
Living with mental illness is not easy and it’s especially difficult if your relationship has a negative impact on you. We must have the ability to notice if someone is suffering with their mental health as they may be afraid to speak up.
Having positive relationships can give us a purpose and a sense of belonging but loneliness and isolation remain the key predictors for poor psychological and physical health.
It’s a consistent problem without a clear solution and while there are many different antidepressants available, not all of them work. Talking about it is the first step and certainly the most important one too.
People with poor relationships are more likely to suffer from depression, and loneliness is powerful enough to weaken our immune system. Your blood pressure can rise, and you can suffer emotionally, which affects your body.
Nobody can change the fact that they have a mental illness, so pretending that it doesn’t exist isn’t helpful and blaming yourself isn’t the way to go either. Accept yourself and your condition. Then take the necessary steps to take care of yourself, even if it means cropping people out of your life.
Things, like improving your diet, exercising, reducing your alcohol intake, getting enough sleep, getting fresh air and reaching out when you need help, are steps you can take to boost your mental health.
If a partner is making you feel bad about yourself remember to look back on your achievements in life, show compassion for others, don’t compare yourself to others and keep up your healthy habits, (healthy sleeping pattern, exercise and good diet) watch your alcohol intake and seek help from a professional, friend or family member you can trust.
Both parties in a relationship should know that it’s really important to understand your significant other’s point of view. Be willing to compromise and always consider the other person’s feelings, as you should care about them.
Relationships are hard work. You need to invest time in them. Not all relationships are bad, so if you have one bad one, don’t let it scare you off them forever. Making an effort to spend time together, accepting one another, practising forgiveness is key to a healthy relationship. It’s also important to know when enough is enough. If you feel that your partner is being abusive seek help and don’t be afraid to leave.
We should support, encourage, understand and respect each other.
For more information you can visit Samaritans.org, Aware.ie, HSE.ie.