Even after eight months into the coronavirus pandemic, the number of cases is spiralling each day. Inching quickly towards the 5-million mark, India may witness over 7 million COVID-19 cases by the first week of October, according to a study by Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Hyderabad.
The pandemic brought the entire world to a standstill when strict lockdowns were imposed across the globe to curb the spread of the virus. All the uncertainty with the loss of livelihood and social isolation took a toll on people’s mental health. Now, a recent study has revealed that your mental health is related to the quality of your relationship.
A month into the initial lockdown, experts from Danube University surveyed over 1000 Austrians to understand the link between a person's emotional state and relationship status. According to the survey, single people coped better during the coronavirus lockdown than those who were in unhappy relationships. But, the ones in happy relationships had the best time ever.
“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 that was published in PLOS One journal revealed.
The researchers found out that unhappy couples were thrice as likely to suffer from mental health conditions like anxiety and depression than singles or happy couples. “Additionally, individuals without no relationship scored better on all scales than individuals with poor relationship quality. The prevalence of depressive symptoms increased according to relationship quality -- from 13% up to 35%," the study read.
Quoting a survey from India, the experts said that married participants were less likely to develop anxiety than the unmarried participants. “In times of COVID-19, a survey from India showed that married participants had 40% lower odds of developing anxiety during the lockdown than unmarried participants. But several examples show that the relationship between marriage/relationship and mental health seems to be moderated by marriage/relationship quality."
Explaining the process, it said, “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, and mental health measures included quality of life, well-being , depression, anxiety, stress, and sleep quality”.
COVID-19 lockdown was officially implemented in Austria on March 16, 2020, and the survey started on April 10 for ten days.
Talking further about the study, the researchers revealed that there were some limitations to it. According to the team, it would have been better if they had conducted a survey with the same people before the pandemic for cross-reference. “Therefore, we cannot say whether relationship quality had an impact on mental health or whether mental health influenced relationship quality or both," they said.
The pandemic is far from over and the increase in the number of cases we see every day is proof enough. Amid such a situation, let’s do our bit by helping each other and supporting the frontline warriors by staying indoors as much as possible.
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