Our family is the first support system we experience. As we develop and grow, we are nurtured by this support system in ways that affect us on both conscious and subconscious levels. Each member of the family contributes to the personality of the family as a whole, and in turn, this overall “family personality” affects the behavior of each individual.
If there is unrest at home, it is best to get to the bottom of it before the problem snowballs. Conflict between siblings, child/parent conflict or parent/parent conflict can be normal to a certain degree but can also be red flags that help is needed. Major changes in family life, such as relocating to a new state or job changes, or life cycle changes, such as children becoming adolescents and adults, carry anxieties and these changes can stir up issues at home. Problems at work or school can be related to family stress. For example, when a family member has a chronic substance abuse problem or a mental illness, life can become increasingly stressful for each family member involved and the family system itself, not just the “identified patient.”
Signs that may indicate a potential problem at home are:
- Increase in frequency and hostility of arguments between family members
- Issues at school or work
- Behavioral problems
- Severe depression
- Constant conflict within the parental relationship