Why does my family hate me?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Hi iam a senior in highschool in a small town..I have struggled with depression, anxiety, panic, and eating disorders since i was 13 years old. And my family just doesn’t seem to understand what i’am going through,they act like its just something that i can automaticly turn off my emotions and be happy but thats not the case.

I have 2 younger brothers and a younger sister and they all treat our dog better than they treat me. Whenever either one of them walk by me they always have something rude to say such as psycho, retard, why don’t you just die, no one wants you here, I hate you etc. My parents say that i should just ignore it that they will stop but they as in my parents don’t ever do anything about it.They always make fun of me about my weight. i weigh 115 lbs and my sister always tells me how nasty i look and i should go into the bathroom and vomit and is always makeing fun of my disorders.This has gotten so horrible bad that i feel like i am not anyone anymore. I don’t do anything with the family because i feel that i am not welcome whenever i am in the same room with them they never have anything nice to say everything is always negative. Plz help me you are my last resort.!

A: What a sad, sad story. It’s hard enough to be struggling with so many inner demons without having to struggle with the family too. All I can guess is that your siblings are angry that you take up a lot of family energy and that maybe your parents feel helpless to help you. Sometimes when people feel angry and helpless, they would rather blame or exclude the person they can’t help than face their own feelings of powerlessness or failure. Whatever the reason, this is a miserable situation all around. No one in this family sounds really happy and you have become the family scapegoat.

You didn’t say whether or not you are in treatment. If not, you certainly should be. You have far too many troubles for someone who is only in her teens to handle by herself. You’re right. You can’t just switch off your problems. But a therapist could help you learn to manage your feelings and could work with you and your family to change your role in the family.

If you are not seeing a therapist, please talk with your family doctor or your school guidance counselor to help you find one. If you are in treatment, I hope you are telling the therapist what you told me. A therapist can only work with what she or he is told.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Mar 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). Why does my family hate me?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/03/01/why-does-my-family-hate-me/