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Mental health and relationships: Can the two coexist?

Mental health is an important part of living a full life. If not taken care of appropriately, it can affect basic parts of life including physical wellbeing, daily tasks and relationships.

For some Cal State Long Beach students, mental health affected both their past relationships and themselves.

Aidan Alarcon, a 21-year-old biology major, said that in his first relationship he struggled with a lack of confidence and insecurities due to trust issues that appeared throughout their relationship.

This negatively impacted Alarcon’s mental health as he lacked trust from his partner.

“Make sure you trust your partner… Also, be attentive of each other, show each other enough attention,” Alarcon said.

The process of bettering his mental state was not easy, as Alarcon’s previous partner later dated a friend of his, which at the time made his state of mind worse.

However, he advises to those who may be struggling with the same kind of issues to keep close ties with friends and to tell them your problems because they can help.

Alarcon said that a healthy state of mind is needed to pursue a romantic relationship and to connect with people.

“If you don’t have a strong mental health, you let these problems get in the way of those human connections you’re making,” Alarcon said.

Stephanie Gill, an 18-year-old pre-math education major, said that in her previous relationship, she was not aware of the mental health issues that were brought to her attention due to the instability of the relationship. But looking back, she became more aware of the issues and of her actions.

A particular issue that was brought to her was that she was afraid to start a new relationship and commit to a partner, as she shared that she has trust issues with people.

“Due to my anxiety, it made me push away [from him],” Gill said.

She struggled with anxiety issues and would overthink her actions during the relationship.

Gill now acknowledges that she should have been forthcoming of her anxiety and said that communication is the key to maintaining good mental health and a stable relationship.

Luis Gonzalez, a 24-year-old business administration major, said that he also experienced anxiety issues during his three year relationship.

“We had pretty much different personalities, so we clashed a lot. We had lots of arguments,” Gonzalez said.

He attributed the relationship not working out due to his anxiety on financial issues he had at the time.

“Because of it… it kind of brought anxiety to my workplace too,” Gonzalez said.

At first, he was hesitant and frustrated after the ending of the relationship, but soon started to notice that it was for the better.

His coping mechanism was acceptance.

Gonzalez would think of scenarios that could have happened instead, but never lamented, as he said that he made the right decisions, on which he, “Stood by his principles.

It was harder for him to trust people after the relationship ended, but time was his best remedy as he said that he is much better now.

Relationships are not easily manageable and it is important to note that the same thing can be said for those with stable mental health.

It takes time and effort to develop these relationships into a healthy ones. But if one does end, people are able to heal through time, friends and communication.

If you are experiencing any mental health issues, CSULB offers free Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) for students. Contact 562-985-4001 for further assistance.

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