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The study found that being in a toxic relationship is just as bad as smoking

Did you know that bad relationships can be as harmful to your health as being a smoker or being overweight? This is what a study conducted by the University of Queensland, Australia, showed. Researchers tracked the health outcomes of 7,694 healthy Australian women ages 45 to 50 over two decades.

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It has been found that middle-aged women who fail to have satisfying social connections are at greater risk of developing chronic health conditions years later, such as:

  • depression;
  • anxiety;
  • diabetes;
  • high pressure;
  • heart disease;
  • Leak;
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);
  • asthma;
  • Osteoporosis,
  • arthritis;
  • cancer.

A toxic relationship increases the chance of illness

Participants had to answer how satisfied they were with their relationships with their romantic partners, family, friends, and co-workers. The researchers tracked the emergence of the aforementioned diseases. Thus, the risk of developing multiple diseases was twice as high among those who reported the lowest level of satisfaction with social relationships.

Relationship quality should be treated as a risk factor, according to the researchers. This means that the findings have significant implications for chronic disease management and intervention at the individual, community, national and global levels.

How to recognize an abusive relationship

Identifying a toxic relationship is essential to ensuring your physical and emotional health. Toxic relationships can be difficult to recognize, but there are clear signs that something is wrong.

One of the first signs is a lack of communication. That is, your partner does not want to hear your concerns or opinions, or is unwilling to discuss problems constructively. As such, if you feel lonely and ignored, this can be a sign of a toxic relationship.

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Also, another sign is disrespect. In other words, the person doesn’t respect your boundaries, doesn’t consider your feelings, and doesn’t care about your needs. If you feel manipulated or humiliated, it may be time to reconsider the relationship.