Psychiatrist Spartak Subbota: If a person feels uncomfortable, this is the first sign of a toxic relationship

When one person devalues another, ignores their needs, or uses a long time to achieve their goals, this is called violence, said psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and scientific director of the Institute of Cognitive Modeling Spartak Subbota on NV radio. 

Very often, people do not realize that they are facing psychological violence, because they don’t listen to themselves, and cannot evaluate their own condition and their interaction with their partner. 

«If a person feels uncomfortable, this is the first sign of a toxic relationship. As well as not wanting to go back home, and feeling physiological discomfort next to a partner. The nervous system determines discomfort for itself even earlier than we personally begin to understand what is going on,» the psychiatrist said.

There may be conflicts in every relationship, but psychological violence is not a conflict, it is a systematic impact on a person with words or actions, which, in addition to emotional burnout, leads to physiological disorders. 

«People in a state of constant emotional stress burn out very quickly. The more stress, the less tolerance for it, and the easier it is for any little thing to unsettle a person. At some point, somatic problems, depression may begin, and immunity may decrease because it is directly related to the stress response,» commented Spartak Subbota. 

This should not be tolerated under any circumstances. You need to defend your personal boundaries, express your feelings, and if your partner is not ready to change, you need to break the cycle of violence. The best way to recover psychologically is to change your environment, see a psychologist, or find support from your family.

«The Institute of Cognitive Modeling, together with Masha Efrosinina’s Masha Foundation and the Red Cross Society of Ukraine, has launched an online platform called «It seems», where you can anonymously share your story, or support others in the same situation. We have already collected about a hundred stories of people who experience psychological, physical, sexual, or economic violence. In our society, it is customary to tolerate and keep silent about such situations, but I urge you to speak openly about the problem and form zero tolerance for violence. Remember, when something seems to you, it doesn’t seem to you at all,» Spartak said on Saturday. 

If you have witnessed such an abusive relationship, the psychiatrist advises you to start with questions about whether everything suits the person in this relationship. Allow them to find answers on their own before directly pointing out the fact of violence in the relationship with their partner. Often, victims protect their abusers by not noticing all the consequences of being dependent on them.