Q: i have been suffering from anxiety and complete mental confusion for a long time. I am living alone now and it has gotten alot worse since. I grew up in a bad family environment. My parents always argued very badly and my father always mistreated my mother.I always fealt very tense at home. My house was never a comfortable place to be. i was ALWAYS nervous, tense and completely anxious at home. Me and my sister never knew what could happen during the many fights my parents had and it created an atmosphere of tension 100% of the time. We both grew up to be insecure and very anxious teenagers.Today i am scared of the future, scared of life, completely insecure and everything seems to be extremely overwhelming. I cant make decisions and eveyday is a big struggle. I feel sooo alone in the world because my insecurity is uncontrolable. I have tried to make sense of things but i have lost all hope. Why am i like this? Could my upbringing in such a tense home have created the insecurity i suffer from today? Are my parents to blame or should i just grow up?
A: I’m so very sorry that you are having such a tough time. Yes, the atmosphere you grew up in certainly could contribute to your feelings of anxiety and your sense that the world isn’t a particularly safe place. It’s also possible that you are by nature somewhat anxious and the environment made it worse. But at this stage, you are asking the wrong question. Establishing blame won’t help you. Getting treatment will. Some medication to manage the anxiety will give you some relief so that you will have the emotional space to work on your problems. Talk therapy will help you find ways to manage the anxiety and will help you develop coping skills for handling challenges that come your way in the future. My best suggestion to you is that you do for yourself what your parents didn’t. Give yourself a safe place to live and the emotional education everyone needs to have a successful life. It’s not enough to tell yourself to just “grow up”. You need to have some guidance to show you how.
I wish you well.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Oct 2006
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2006). Are my Parents to Blame or Should I Just Grow Up?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 7, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2006/10/01/are-my-parents-to-blame-or-should-i-just-grow-up/