Does your family give you anxiety?
Many people complain that their family is a huge cause of their anxiety and stress. Family is a primary social circle with whom people spend most of their time and are emotionally attached.
There can be various reasons why a family might be contributing to a person’s anxiety. some of which are:
A demand for perfection
It is reported that anxiety that is usually triggered by one’s family is due to a demand for perfection on the family’s side.
People usually feel anxious when they aren’t able to keep up with the set standards put forward by their families.
They usually have a notion that they failed their family’s expectations and are responsible for the consequences and disappointment caused to them.
Anxiousness projected by the family
A person may experience anxiety because they observed their family being anxious. Behaviorists believe that anxious behavior can be learned like any other behavior through observation and imitation.
Unpredictable nature of the family
It is seen that when children grow up in families where uncertainty prevailed, they show some sort of emotional instability.
Some families tend to be loving one moment and then negligent the other minute this leaves a person feeling uncertain about their importance in another individual’s life causing anxiousness.
When the person is expected to be the elder one
Sometimes younger individuals are forced to be grown-ups. This is given a term called parentification. This requires the young one to behave and act like parents, providing directions and ways to cope up with challenges and difficulties faced by the family.
It is observed that some people take up this responsibility very well however others who lack exposure and who are not equipped enough to handle the situation experience anxiety due to the pressure caused by the demand of acting maturely.
Critical comments and behaviors
Another reason for an individual’s anxiety being triggered by their family could be the critical comments and behaviors that they carry out towards that person under various situations.
In some cases, these critical comments and behaviors might be unintentional and situational based while in other cases it might be intentional to give the person a hard pill.
Family members give out comments to the other members thinking that it will help them to succeed and correct their mistakes however not realizing that these comments can be critical affecting that member’s mental state and further causing anxiety.
Lack of trust in the judgment
It is often seen that individuals whose families do not trust them completely are more vulnerable to anxiety than people who have a more neutral and cordial relationship with their family with an abundance of trust and get between the two parties.
lack of trust on the family’s side can be detrimental. This also affects a person’s decision-making abilities and judgments reducing their overall confidence and causing anxiety.
Lack of emotional attention
Many theories suggest a lack of cordial and strong emotional connection between the family and the concerned individual might lead to a strained relationship between the two.
Negligence, rejection, avoidance, and emotionally blunt behavior can stunt the concerned person’s mental stability making them more vulnerable to anxiety.
Repeated silent treatment given by the family
Anxiety doesn’t need to be caused by harsh or demanding behavior on the family’s side. It is seen that a silent treatment can also trigger a person’s anxiety.
When the family tends to be unresponsive to an individual’s behaviors, and emotions regardless of their immediate need for attention and acknowledgment. leaves the person feeling isolated and anxious.
What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety caused by ones family?
Anxiety is characterized by a set of signs and symptoms such as:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Sense of choking
- Complaints of chest pain
- Shaking or trembling
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness or Lightheadedness
- Fear of losing control over oneself and their environment
- Fear of impending doom
- Hot or cold flashes
- Tingling or numbness
- Increased heart rate
What are the main triggers of anxiety caused by one’s family?
Even though anxiety is seen among many individuals, certain triggers make some people more vulnerable to anxiety than others. Some contributing triggers of anxiety are:
An individual is more vulnerable to experiencing anxiety in the presence of chronic or serious health diagnoses such as cancer or diabetes in the family.
Triggers associated with health diagnosis tend to have a strong impact on an individual because of the strong negative thoughts and emotions that are associated with it.
It is believed that many over-the-counter medications may contribute to the symptoms of anxiety in some individuals. This is certainly because of the ingredients in this medication that makes an individual feel uneasy.
Use of caffeine
Even though it is said that the use of caffeine helps to activate an individual’s system, studies show that over usage of caffeine might lead to adverse effects such as anxiety or even depression.
Apart from the overuse withdrawal from caffeine may also lead to anxiety. hence it is suggested that individuals take conscious amounts of caffeine per day.
An individual’s behavior and emotions are certainly controlled by one’s thoughts. When an individual is upset and dwells on negative thoughts it further leads to discomforting emotions and detrimental thoughts causing a vicious cycle.
These negative thoughts are then projected to various areas of an individual’s life creating an overall sense of lack of control over oneself and the environment which triggers anxiety.
Many individuals experience anxiety due to their financial standing. Learning to manage financial triggers requires seeking professional help such as from a financial advisor.
Daily stressors as simple as traffic jams to major ones such as strained relationships might contribute to one’s intensity and frequency of anxiety and anxiety attacks.
However long term or chronic stress leads to long term anxiety and a build-up of negative taught processes and emotions that impact an individual’s mental health
Individuals might also experience anxiety as a result of interpersonal or intrapersonal conflicts relating the family.
The inability to resolve these conflicts might lead to the build-up of negative thoughts, emotions that overwhelm an individual and trigger anxiety.
Personal triggers can be as minor as a smell, place, or even a song that reminds an individual of negative and discomforting experiences. Personal triggers can remind an individual of an unconscious or conscious dramatic event in an individual’s life that triggers their anxiety.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
What are some ways to manage anxiety caused by one’s family?
Identify and acknowledge the triggers
The most significant strategy that can be used to control one’s anxiety is by identifying and acknowledging those triggers.
Being able to recognize what makes an individual anxious makes them better equipped to take action.
Even though anxiety can be bought under an individual’s control it cannot be predicted. In such situations, it is necessary that an individual actively carries out relaxation techniques.
These might include meditation, yoga, and deep breathing which helps to reduce the intensity of anxiety within a short period.
Take up new challenges
Apart from doing activities that an individual is usually fond of and has expertise in, trying new and challenging activities that put an individual outside their comfort zone in a healthy manner may help reduce the stress and anger temporarily.
Signing up for new activities also provides a path to meeting people with similar stories and concerns.
An individual’s lifestyle plays a major role in their experience of anxiety. An unhealthy and busy lifestyle usually leads to unhealthy eating, lack of exercise, lack of adequate sleep.
A combination of a well-set diet, exercise, and sleep can help to regulate an individual’s mood and equip them with a favorable coping mechanism.
these coping mechanisms in turn help to get control over once anxiety concerns in a more adaptable manner.
lack of proper diet, sleep, and exercise can make an individual sluggish, dependent, moody and vulnerable to anxiety attacks.
Making journal entries
Last but not least having a journal to write down how a person is feeling and thinking when they are anxious helps them to reflect upon their thoughts and feelings.
Putting down one’s thoughts and feelings onto a paper helps to provide a sense of temporary relief.
In the case of journal entry, a person does not even have to fear being judged by another person regarding their thoughts and feelings.
What are the therapy options for anxiety caused by one’s family?
Cognitive-behavioural therapy helps an individual to control their anxiety by using strategies like relaxation and breathing. It works on the principles of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.
It is based on the principle that when an individual interacts with other people who are suffering from the same fears they might not feel left alone or isolated. Group therapy usually involves a group of individuals who are experiencing similar symptoms and problems.
Anxiety can also be treated with the help of medication prescribed by a health care professional.
Though medication alone cannot help in reducing persistent anxiety it can help in restoring a sense of control and bring temporary relief.
In cases were reaching out physically to a professional is impossible or discomforting an individual can opt to seek help through the online medium.
In this, the therapy sessions are carried out one-to-one over a video or audio call. Some individuals also prefer interacting with the therapist through text as well due to various reasons. One of the most common is the fear of being judged by the therapist or some personal hesitation.
Online therapy can help individuals to regulate some aspects of their anxiety that aids individuals in carrying out a stress-free life over time
Structural family therapy is a type of therapy usually used with families. With the aim to improve communication and relationship among the family members which is otherwise disrupted by some internal problem.
Structural family therapy does not focus on one individual as a client rather focuses on the entire family with a aims to improve the strained relationship between the family members.
It is natural for many people to experience anxiety that is triggered by the interaction or relationship patterns that they share with their families.
Even though ones family is considered to be more understanding and loving than an individual’s other social circle they may be the primary reason for triggering anxiety in the individual.
Though the cause of anxiety might be unintentional many families neglect the discomforting emotions that individuals experience and complain about.
What we recommend for curbing Anxiety
Below are some of the services and products we recommend for anxiety
- Online therapy is another thing we should all try. We highly recommend Online therapy with a provider who not only provides therapy but a complete mental health toolbox to help your wellness.
- Anxiety Weighted Blankets are by far the number 1 thing every person who suffers from anxiety should at least try. Anxiety Blankets may improve your sleep, allow you to fall asleep faster and you can even carry them around when chilling at home.
- Amber light therapy from Amber lights could increase the melatonin production in your body and help you sleep better at night. An Amber light lamp helps reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep and increases overall sleep quality.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Can parents trigger anxiety?
Parents are a very important part of a child’s life. Parents can contribute to their child’s anxiety even without realizing it by the way they interact with their children.
What to do when your family stresses you out?
It is natural for people to experience stress due to their interaction or relationship with their families. In situations where your primary caregiver who lives in the same houses causes stress escaping a stressful environment might get difficult.
However, some techniques that one can adopt to relax are listening to relaxing music or carrying out pleasurable activities. in addition to this one can also distance themselves from the
Who are toxic parents?
Toxic parents are those who behave in ways that cause fear and guilt in their children. They might also yell too much or do potentially damaging things to their kids.