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The Impact Of Toxic Relationships On Mental Health

Written by: Anne Hellgren, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Toxic relationships can wreak havoc on our mental well-being, causing profound emotional distress and long-lasting effects. In this article, we delve into how these damaging relationships can significantly impact our mental health and highlight the importance of recognizing and addressing toxic dynamics.

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As a Relationship Expert and having coached on this area for over 8 years, and having experienced toxic relationships in my past, I know firsthand the dangers that they present. You can also listen to this Episode 50 of my podcast, The Love You Want, where I talk about this is more detail. Now, let's look at some of the effects:

1. Risk of Mental Health Disorders

Being caught in a toxic relationship increases the vulnerability to mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The incessant negativity and emotional abuse inflicted by toxic partners can have a lasting impact on our psychological state, often requiring professional intervention to heal.

2. Emotional Turmoil

Toxic relationships are often characterized by constant arguments, criticism, belittling, and manipulation. Such destructive behaviors generate a pervasive sense of emotional distress, leading to chronic stress, anxiety, and feelings of worthlessness. The emotional toll gradually chips away at our self-esteem and overall emotional well-being. Listen to Episode 4: The Power of Destruction That Toxic Relationships Have.

3. Social Isolation and Loneliness

Toxic relationships thrive on control and manipulation, often leading to the isolation of the victim from friends, family, and support networks. This enforced isolation intensifies feelings of loneliness, leaving individuals without the vital social support necessary for maintaining good mental health. The lack of connections can contribute to a downward spiral of emotional well-being.

4. Low Self-Esteem and Self-Worth

Constant criticism, put-downs, and manipulation in toxic relationships undermine self-esteem and self-worth. Doubts about one's abilities, value, and deservingness of love and respect take hold, leading to a diminished sense of self-confidence and personal worth. This erosion of self-esteem becomes a significant barrier to overall mental well-being. Listen to Episode 7: Is Your Partner a Reflection of Your Self-Worth?

5. Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

Under the strain of toxic relationships, individuals often resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms as a means to endure the emotional pain and need to escape. These may include substance abuse, self-harm, or other self-stabotaging behaviors that provide temporary relief but exacerbate mental health issues in the long run. Recognizing healthier coping strategies and seeking professional support is crucial for breaking this cycle.

6. Impact on Other Areas of Life

The negative impact of toxic relationships can spill over into other areas of life, adversely affecting professional or academic performance, straining relationships with friends and family, and hindering personal growth and fulfillment. It can also lead to financial damage in several instances.


Understanding the detrimental effects of toxic relationships on mental health is the first step towards healing and creating a healthier future. Recognizing the signs, seeking support from trusted individuals, and considering professional guidance are vital for breaking free from toxic dynamics.

Affected by toxic relationships? Join this FREE WEBINAR on “How Toxic Relationships Affect Your Mental Health- And What You Can Do About It.” Remember, you deserve to thrive in relationships that nurture and uplift your mental health.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Anne Hellgren, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Anne is the Founder of Anne Hellgren Coaching, a Relationship Expert, Certified Coach, Board Member & Podcast Host. She helps people live fulfilled, successful, and joyful lives through their relationship with themselves and others.

Her expertise has helped her clients to gain the Confidence, Clarity, Communication, Connections, and Mindset that have changed their relationships and many other areas of their lives. Her Podcast 'The Love You Want – It starts with you', has a global audience and is ranked as one of the most shared podcasts globally by Spotify.

Anne works with her clients on a deep level because she has experienced most of what she helps others through. Her own life experiences of past bad, abusive, and toxic relationships, as well as a contentious divorce, provide a level of understanding and empathy that is much valued by those she helps. She has combined her life experiences with her qualifications, that is, an MSc in Occupational & Organisational Psychology, a BSc in Counselling Psychology, NLP, and Time-Line Therapy practices, amongst other qualifications, to create very impactful and empowering coaching programs. Being able to create bespoke programs for her client's exact needs is one of her many areas of expertise.



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