Is Family the Reason for My Depression and Anxiety?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I can’t tell if I have depression of anxiety and there is too much pressure and no acceptance from my family: Hi, I’m new. I honestly don’t know what’s wrong with, I have so much going on that I don’t know what to think anymore and I just need advice and someone to just talk to me nicely and give me some confidence, not tell me that i’ve done too much wrong. I’m not sure if I have depression, but tonight I am definitely thinking about taking too many pills. I come from a fairly strict family. I currently live away from my parents because I’ve been going to university away from them.

I am not the best student and I am in business, something i never wanted to do and that was the first thing my father never understood. His temper breaks very easily and he shouts alot. My grades in business have been terrible this past year and i’ve been scared to tell him, i finally broke it to him through an e-mail because i was too terrified to tell him over the phone. I got ignored for a good couple days and today I finally got a very angry and painful e-mail. I am scared and very near hysterical. I started crying and scratching my face immediatly. My sister came in and lectured me, she tried her best to tell me what to do, but i also got told i have been lazy and stuff. I’ve tried my best but no one understands.

Since i’ve been off from school i’ve been hiding out in my room because i don’t want to face anyone or anything, i applied for jobs like i was supposed to and applied for my new program at two schools, so far i got put on waitlist for one and haven’t gotten a reply from the other. I am terrified. All i want to do all the time is sit in the dark and cry. I feel listless and without energy and all I can do is worry. My family makes me feel like I am a complete failure but they try to help me at the same time. I am so confused and all I want to do is kick the bucket. My family doesn’t even believe in therapy, and all I want is someone to talk honestly to who won’t judge me. I feel so scared and alone. I really need some help.

A. I am sorry that you are having so much difficulty. It seems like your family, while sometimes supportive and helpful, is trying to force you into a career that you are not interested in. This, among other issues most likely related to your family, is probably fueling your depression and anxiety.

Right now you are away from your family. This means that you have some freedom over whether or not you will get help. You said that your family doesn’t believe in therapy but that does not mean you have to believe this also. You can choose to see a therapist at the university you attend. Most college campuses have excellent and free counseling centers for students. These services are confidential. This means that you could attend counseling and the counselor will not inform your parents about these sessions unless you explicitly say he or she can. The counselor may contact your family in an emergency situation but short of this their services are usually confidential.

It is clear that you need assistance dealing with your depression and anxiety as well as with your strict parents. It is not fair that your parents are forcing you into a vocation that you do not want to be in. This situation is making you miserable and even has you contemplating suicide. Please know that if you are thinking about suicide or if you have an imminent plan to end your life, it is imperative that you go to the hospital immediately.

The bottom line is this: you need immediate help and the counseling center or the hospital may be your best option at this time. Many individuals have faced similar issues and have been successfully helped. You can be helped also. Never think otherwise. Thanks for writing.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 Jun 2008

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2008). Is Family the Reason for My Depression and Anxiety?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/06/09/is-family-the-reason-for-my-depression-and-anxiety/