28.08.2008 Social Issues

How to deal with marital problems

By Daily Graphic
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Health experts say the problems that cause mental illness in some women include depression, anxiety, sexual abuse and abuses that occur during relationships or marriages,

Studies by social scientists indicate that women are noted to be very compassionate and emotional about issues, especially those related to marriages and relationships.

Consequently, when their rights are abused, it affects their psychological and overall well-being.

Media reports indicate that some victims of mental illness are sent to prayer camps rather than to the mental hospital, where they are chained, flogged and sometimes raped.

This problem has attracted the attention of some civil society groups and women groups at the local and international level and women advocacy organisations that have been advocating the protection of women with mental disabilities.

One of such organisations is the A-Z Woman Series International, an international women advocacy organisation, which started organizing seminars and workshops to educate young women to understand the qualities of having a successful relationship or marriage.

Addressing one of such seminars, the founder, Mrs Veronica Mills-Lamptey, expressed concern over women being the most vulnerable group with respect to depression that results in mental problems.

"The number of patients admitted to the psychiatric hospital with such problems is worrying, and it will surprise you to know that most of the cases recorded there with respect to women are those suffering from emotional breakdown," she said.

Speaking on the topic "understanding the qualities of a successful relationship", at a day's seminar for about 40 participants for young women who were desiring to get into a relationship or were about to get married or recently got married, Mrs Mills-Lamptey said such problems occurred because women entered into relationships with the expectation of benefiting from their partners, which should not be so.

She said A-Z Woman Series International, a subsidiary of Ghana Executive Development Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, came into existence after the realisation of the need to assist young women to understand how to make informed decisions.

She said the foundation also sought to help women to be productive, independent and confident, as well as train them to have integrated entrepreneurial management skills.

Mrs Mills-Lamptey who took participants through various techniques of having a successful relationship, advised them to be open-minded, not to be suspicious about their partners and to always think positively.

In an interview, she said she decided to embark on the initiative because she realised that the time had come for women especially those in relationships who were having problems to realise their God-given talent and raise their self-esteem.

Mrs Mills-Lamptey called on organisations, individuals and other women advocacy agencies with the same aim to support A-Z Woman, Series International to achieve its objective.

She said the seminar was free and therefore entreated everyone, especially young , to join by sending their names and numbers bye-mail to, [email protected] for registration.

An A-Z Woman Series 113-paged book titled 'She shall be called a Woman' was introduced by Mrs Veronica Mills-Lamptey, who recommended that every young woman should have a copy to enhance her knowledge in relationships.

In an interview the acting Chief Psychiatrist of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, Dr Akwasi Osei, indicated that the number of cases recorded at the psychiatric hospital had not changed over the years.

He agreed that cases brought to the psychiatric hospital concerning women were that of depression and anxiety.

Dr Osei said some cases such as epilepsy, which should he treated at other hospitals, were rather sent to the psychiatric hospital, thereby increasing the number of patients at the hospital.

He indicated that men also went through similar situations as women but women normally reported those cases.

In separate interviews with some young women and men in Accra, they agreed to the fact that women entered into relationship for various reasons, which included care, attention, deriving financial benefit from their male partners and eventually leading to marriage.

"Women should now know that there is nothing to benefit in a marriage or relationship and therefore not expect anything from it. The time has come for women to wake up from the dream of benefiting from a relationship or marriage. Marriage or relationship should be a fair deal for both partners," some of those interviewed maintained.

Ms Alice Brown, a sales representative, advised women not to be so emotional about their marital problems, saying "women marry with their heart and are silent on issues worrying them in their marriages which send them to the mental homes, while the men marry with their heads and do not care about whatever happens".

She, therefore, advised her fellow young women to be cautious when dealing with problems in marriages.

Source: Daily Graphic

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