A search through your past is not meant to assign blame; it is, rather, a mature look at your family to discover what might contribute to depression. It is so important for you to be able to identify the burdens from past relationships that may be slowing down your rate of recovery. Think about the members of your immediate family — parents, siblings, grandparents. Think about how you relate to each of these family members and what you learned about yourself from them:
- How did they treat you?
- What were some ways they hurt you?
- What were some ways they made you feel valuable and special?
Most likely, your experiences with your family will be a mixed bag of good and bad, positive and negative, uplifting and deflating. As you’re ferreting out the negative, don’t forget to think about positive things you learned. Remember that the negative responses may come easier than the positive ones. Be patient and allow the positive ones to come up to the surface as well.
As you review past relationships, take some time to examine your current relationships. Many times, our present relationships are a direct reflection of the quality and content of our past relationships. If your childhood experience is predominantly negative, you may feel more comfortable in the same type of relationships as an adult.
For example, a child with alcoholic parents will often be drawn to an alcoholic spouse. A child growing up with an overbearing parent will often choose to marry the same sort of person. We seek the familiar, even if that is negative.
An unfortunate fact of human nature is that we often emulate the very patterns we dislike. if you have several negative relationships, you will want to examine your own role to see if you are the common negative denominator. If you are, then choosing to be more positive has the power to change the orbital dynamics of all of your relationships.
Realizing the ties your family may have to depression can be very painful. You may need to accept a painful reality about your upbringing. You may find yourself reliving pain. You may need to give up who you wanted to be as a child, so you can accept who you are now. Understanding the benefits can make this transition easier.
As you redefine your family relationships, the insight and understanding you gain will assist you in strengthening all of your relationships — from your family of origin to your current family, from good friends to casual acquaintances, from business contacts to coworkers.
If you are struggling with past or current relationships that are causing depression, anxiety or stress, our team at The Center • A Place of HOPE is here to help. For more information on the programs The Center has available, fill out this form or call 1-888-747-5592 to speak confidentially with a specialist today.