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Relationship Resolutions — Why They Are So Important to Your Happiness

“Our network of 140 local Minds across England and Wales provide a range of services, many of which centre around enabling social participation, such as befriending. For people who feel less comfortable talking face-to-face, online peer support networks can also be incredibly helpful,” he adds, highlighting Mind’s online community Elefriends which offers a space for people to discuss their problems with others facing similar issues.

Luke Tyburski, an endurance adventurer, from London, says that he gained the strength to deal with and speak openly about his struggle with depression thanks to his friends and family.

The 33-year-old argues that social media can be a source of insecurities, as we watch seemingly perfect lives unfold online. But the reality can be starkly different, he says. “As an endurance adventurer, my life online, and in the flesh, may look and sound amazingly perfect to many. But after suffering in silence for nearly a decade, it’s only been over the past 12 months that I have felt the courage and strength to speak openly about the darker side of my life, and the battle I constantly have with depression.”

“One particular friendship has been quite unique, and helped me not only get through some difficult times, but has also encouraged me to enjoy life as well. Darrell and I have been mates for years now, he is someone who I’ve spent plenty of time laughing, joking, and chatting with.

“Darrell was simply there for me, not 24/7, or everyday even, but I knew that if I did need him, I could call to just chat about life, laugh at our own jokes, or enjoy a coffee together in each other’s presence.”

But while relationships can be a source of strength, they can also be extremely damaging if a person is manipulated and made to feel trapped. “Healthy relationships are extremely important for one’s well-being both physically and emotionally,“ says Dr Natasha Bijlani, consultant psychiatrist at the Priory Hospital in the suburban London area of Roehampton. “Such relationships help validate one’s sense of self, self-esteem and self-confidence.”

“In my opinion, the commonest way in which a person’s mental health can be damaged by a relationship is by intimidation, bullying and coercion,” she says. Such pressures can lead to physical disorders as extreme as heart disease, and trigger psychological disorders including depression and addiction.

Dr Bijlani adds: “In many cases exposure to such behaviour can lead to chronic problems in trusting others and forming healthier relationships in the future. It is often the case that the closer the bond, the worse the damage, she says.