Spousal abuse can lead to mental health issues – Psychiatrist

 Dr Ola Ibigbami, a Psychiatrist and Clinical Psychologist, on Thursday, said a lot of mental health issues in the country has its root in abusive relationship.
He made this known in Osogbo on the side line of the presentation and launch of his book: “Coping With Spousal Abuse: The Complete Guide.”

Ibigbam, who is a lecturer at the Department of Mental Health, College of Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, added that spousal abuse, if not well handled, often leads to mental illness.

He explained that mental illness due to spousal abuse was not limited to women alone, but also men who suffer from constant verbal attacks from their partners.

The psychiatrist said abuse against men were often not reported, because the men tend to get stigmatized and ridiculed when they speak up.

He said as a result of such stigmatisation, men usually end up bottling up their feelings and pains which may lead to depression and other mental health issues.

“Men and women in spousal relationships suffer different forms of abuse and the men will not want to talk because of stigma.

“A lot of women talk down on their husbands, use harsh words to literally punish their husbands and a lot of people don’t see it as abuse because there is no punching and slapping.

“This form of subtle abuse have much more impact on the mental health than even the physical form of abuse at times. This abuse makes a lot of people to develop emotional problems.

“Men would rather not say my wife is beating me or my wife is abusing me, and keep the pain to themselves, because of the stigma attached to speaking up.” he said

Ibigbami said the book was written to serve as a guide to what people in abusive relationship or marriage can do to cope with their situation.

He urged people in abusive situations to seek for professional advice and counselling.

The book presenter, Dr Olayinka Egbokhare, Acting Controller, Biomedical Communication Centre, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, advised victims of spousal abuse to always speak up.

Egbokhare said it was wrong to keep silent in the face of abuse, adding that people should rise above repressive arguments and seek redress.

Mrs Kafayat Oyetola, Wife of Osun Governor, represented by Dr Shekinat Oyebamiji, officially unveiled the book.

She express the belief that the book would provide necessary information needed by the public to recognise and cope with various stages and types of abuse in intimate relationships.

Oyetola said the Nigeria Governors Wives Forum has been tackling the issue of gender-based violence through comprehensive advocacy programmes to create awareness among the people.

According to her, the Osun government has deployed resources to make women more economically independent with the aim of reducing “economic tension in home” and possible abuse.

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