How A Parents Psychological Health Affects Their Children

818 words - 4 pages

We all know someone who insists on blaming their problems on their parents; whether it’s a child, teenager, or an over-sharing co-worker. Most of the time we ignore it; along with the twinge of annoyance at someone seemingly unwilling to take responsibility for their own actions. But could “blaming” their parents really be a completely understandable, or even acceptable reason for their behavior? Certainly not in all cases, but an abnormal childhood with a parent not mentally sound, or a genetic predisposition to a mental disorder can expose the child to the development of psychological disorders or damage. Whether it’s biological or environmental, personality disorders including depression, narcissism, and anxiety in parents directly affect their children.
Everyone has someone they looked up to as a kid; children look to their parent to see how they should behave in society. When a parent has a psychological disorder, they have an inconsistent parenting style that can confuse the child as to how adults want them to act; a depressed parent can express anger one day, urging their child to get away from them, and sadness the next, looking to their child for comfort. Other symptoms are withdrawal, and a sudden lack of interest in things they used to enjoy.
Depressed mothers view their surroundings negatively, which causes them to see negative characteristics in their child, making their parenting style cold, detached, and inconsistent. A lack of interest in the child’s needs make the child pessimistic about all parent-child relationships, but can also cause the child to question why the parent is drawing back. This can cause the child to draw in on themselves, and focus on their parent’s avoidance of them, which can cause them to be severely insecure. This creates a dependency on whatever interpersonal relationship they do have with their parents and causes them to panic at any separation from them. In contrast, anxious parents exaggerated their surroundings more, had a tendency to be more focused, critical, and over involved in their child’s life. Their reaction, however, is also influenced by the gender of the parent with the disorder. Studies show that in cases where the father has a personality disorder he expresses it through punitive parenting, which is, he makes the child recognize him as authority and respect his actions more, while the mother influenced her son’s adjustment by simple yet damaging “non-involved parenting”. Depression or anxiety in one parent can also cause...

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