Dr.Mazvita Machinga Mental Health
You agree with me that mental health status plays a significant role in the quality of couple and family relationships, yet it is not taken seriously most of the time. Strong couple, family and social relationships are the basis of a thriving and productive society .Good quality couple and social relationship is central to our health and well-being.
Sadly, we have seen that many couple relationships are marred with unhealthy habits that impact each other’s mental health status. Very few couple attend to mental health challenges when relationships are not going the right way. In many families, couples wait until situations are worse before they seek professional help for mental health challenges.
This is not good at all. We need to know that unattended mental health challenges may lead to mental health disorders. Mental health disorders have adverse consequences on couple and family relationships. There are basically three ways of viewing mental health disorders within a couple relationship e.g. clinical disorders, personality disorders and environmental stress issues.
For instance, a partner having some personality disorders such as borderline may demonstrate particularly strong association with relationship functioning in so far as it is characterized by impulsivity, affective instability and inappropriate or intense anger features. Or a partner who has lost a job maybe so depressed that they start to abuse substances and alcohol.
When you are married to a partner living through mental health challenges such as depression, post-traumatic stress, anxiety or any form of personality disorders, here’s my take on what to do when things are getting hard.
- Talk about it with each other.
There is great power in being able to tell our stories, either to our partner, a counsellor or a trusted friend. You should learn to name your pain, your struggles and frustrations, and even your greatest hopes. There’s a conventional wisdom that says do not go to bed without talking over distressing issues. I agree.
- Don’t just hope for the best. Do something, seek help immediately do not wait. When your marriage is unravelling and things are upside down, professional counselling can save your marriage and possibly your life.
Do not be like other who during the vast majority of the time, they say. I cannot air my dirty laundry to a complete stranger or, “my husband would never go for that,” or “I’ll only pray about how to best approach that subject with my wife. While prayer helps remember that talking to someone you trust may make a big difference and hold each one of you accountable. There is safety and stability in talking with a legit mental health professional or mentor on a consistent basis.
- 3. Stop trying to fix your spouse.
Remember that, while you are a companion to your partner, you are not your wife’s therapist and she isn’t your therapist too.
While we play a primary role in each other’s support systems, we are not professional helpers. When your spouse is not feeling or behaving well, let her or him know how you are there for them and check if they need to get help from mentors of professionals.
- 4. Know your limits — Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries.
Remember that each marriage is unique, especially where mental health challenges are concerned. You have to take a serious look at your situation and decide what’s best for you, your spouse and your children, if you have them.
Know your limits and only do what you can do. Know when the problem needs professional help and when you can just talk about it. Waiting to get help will just make the situation harder for you to deal with it later.
- Take care of yourself and be honest.
Marriage can be stressful, no matter what. But being married to a person with mental health challenge can add to that stress. Take time for yourself. Sometimes it’s impossible to leave your responsibilities. In that case, find moments of quiet to enjoy something simple, a few pages of a book, a song in the radio, a walk to visit a friend or a time of fellowship with others at church. Give yourself space to breathe.
It matters when something frustrates you, speak up.
There’s nothing worse than an old sore that’s been left to fester. If something hurts your feelings, say so. Nobody wants to have to dig to find out why you’re pouting. Just follow this simple rule: tell the truth in love. It’s always the right choice that will help you feel better. Please do not miss the next issue as we continue with this topic.
- Dr. Mazvita Machinga a qualified psychotherapist and mental health consultant who provides diverse services for couples experiencing relationship problems. Weekly ongoing couples counselling 2) individual therapy and 3) daylong and multiple-day couples’ retreats and couples’ programs are available for all those who need them. Call 0778 83 84 10, Email email@example.com or help and psychotherapy.