Families that Trigger Depression

· April 4, 2016

Depression is one of today’s serious problems. We live in a world so inundated with technology that everything, good and bad, seems bigger. However, the source of depression is not found just in external factors around us or the deepest feelings that we hide inside.

Family can be a support system that helps you get better. But there are also families whose negative influence can drown you instead. Sometimes we don’t even recognize their detriment, and you may not be aware if you’re part of a negative family. However, be aware of this reality, be able to identify them, and if necessary, distance yourself from them.

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” 

-Leo Tolstoy-

Perfectionist families

This type of family is characterized by demanding the most out of everyone. It’s not enough to be a good student or to have a good job; it has to be the best. That wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, except these families don’t accept that failure is an inevitable, and in fact sometimes positive, part of life.

There’s a big difference between a perfectionist family that causes depression, and demanding parents who want a good future for their children and care most about how hard they try. 


sad girl with birds

A perfectionist family will tell you that it doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you get to the top. With these families you feel like you were running a marathon without end, without reward, and without help. And don’t expect them to tell you that you’ve done a good job, because it will never be enough. Depression in this kind of family results because of the immense stress of believing that if you’re not perfect you’re the world will come crumbling down on you.

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery-

Invalidating families

While perfectionist families obligate you to be better, invalidating families sabotage you. Here, the negative message you receive is that you’re not good for anything.

This kind of family will compare you to others and point out your flaws, which triggers depression. Family members are always invalidating each other and talking as though the others were worthless.

Children who live in these families grow up feeling like they’re not worth anything to anyone. As adults, they become insecure and jealous. Not only do they believe that they’re incapable of being loved, but they also don’t know how to love, and will very likely be involved in destructive relationships. Adults who’ve grown up in this type of family feel like they need love, but they don’t know how to ask for it or give it.

Violent families

Violence is a common problem within families. It could be physical, economic, or psychological violencebut the result is the same: a union based on control.

It doesn’t seem obvious at first, but truly violent families are united by a strong bond. When you look more closely, you’ll realize that there’s not just one victim. They all act as though they’re in a battlefield.

rock paper scissors

Every member seeks to defend and reaffirm themselves through dominance. So insults, shouts, and hits are common from day to day. Someone who has lived their whole life in this kind of family and is then taken out of that environment will fall into depression because of the fury and anger that is poisoning them from the inside.

What should I do if my family triggers depression?

If you’ve made it this far and realized that your family has caused you to develop depression, the first thing you need to do is distance yourself a little from them so you can take control of your life.

You should also seek specialized help, because breaking from these relationships and habits isn’t easy. Learning how to develop healthy relationships with the people around you won’t be easy because you’ll have to relearn new attitudes and overcome old habits.