Anxiety, depression and PTSD and my family and I don't talk.

I need a lot of help with my family. I don't talk to them anymore and I don't want to because they were terrible to me. But they are still on my mind but I need them out of my mind and need help with that and how to think more positive. And I just need help with anxiety and depression and my PTSD
Asked by Ant

Hello there Ant, 

Thank you so much for reaching out and taking the time to seek some clarification of your concerns and therefore to gain some additional support.  I am pleased to be able to try to shed some light on your questions and offer some education and information in response.

It sounds as though you have some difficult history and experiences with your family of origin and are struggling with some of the duality of both recognizing that this history has not been the healthiest for you, but also the recognition that they are, in fact, your family of origin and cutting ties physically and/or emotionally is not as simple as it may seem from the outside looking inward.  This can be a very common experience within various family structures and dynamics and one that comes with many challenges and layers. 

Without knowing the specifics of your history with your family and the hurts that have been inflicted upon you, it is difficult to provide any specific guidance or advice of course for your unique situation, however some general concepts and healthy living approaches may be valuable here.  Please feel free to take whatever fits and feels relevant to you and leave the remainder as it feels appropriate. 

We don't get to choose our biological family from which we originate.  Sometimes our parents are not able, ready, or willing to provide the love, care, and support we need as children.  Sometimes there are dynamics within the family structure that impede us getting our basic needs met.   If there is any presence of mental illness, substance abuse, or unhealed trauma by our parents when they are caring for us, there may be a disconnect in their abilities to provide adequate love, support, nurturing, and safety.  This does not mean that as children, we don't deserve or require that, but simply that our parents are ill equipped to provide what we need and require to grow into more self sufficient and emotionally healthy individuals.  

Attachment theory speaks to the ability of our caregivers to provide safety, affection, and responsiveness to our needs as infants and young children.  If this attachment or nurturing responsiveness is disrupted (due to depression, social stressors, addiction, or other psychosocial concerns) this can directly impair our abilities as adults to form and maintain healthy relationships with others.  This can lead to things like disrupted relationship patterns, depression, anxiety, insecurity, or inability to form intimate connections with others.  Additionally, if these skills are not modeled for us, it can become even more difficult to step into these healthy functioning relationship roles as we try to navigate what it means to be in a healthy partnership.

It sounds as though you have a history of trauma as you noted PTSD in your initial question.  The effects of trauma can have a profound impact on our overall functioning as an adult.  Additionally it sounds (unsurprisingly) like you are experiencing some simultaneous depression and anxiety as well.  This could connect to a genetic component if your parents also struggle with these concerns, but also could potentially be a result more directly of the environment in which you describe being raised in.  The answer likely lies somewhere in the middle.

Fortunately trauma, depression, and anxiety can all be addressed with mental health support (therapy) and you can gain skills, knowledge, and experience working with how to best manage your symptoms and create a life you enjoy living that aligns with your values, interests, and needs.   It would be recommended that you consider connecting with a licensed mental health professional who can better assist you with learning more about the impact of your history on your current functioning, how and whether or not you want to proceed with a relationship with your family of origin and how to better heal from the hurts of your past so that they are not impeding your life you are trying to live now and in the future.  

I hope this helps somewhat to get you started on your journey.  I wish you well and hope that you are able to continue to walk the path towards healing and wellness and to begin to live your life to its fullest potential going forward!!

Until then...stay well and stay focused on keeping your face towards the light!