No family is perfect, and dysfunctional families cannot serve as good role models for children or contribute to their development of high self-esteem. According to research, childhood trauma can lead to substance or alcohol abuse issues in adults. This includes trauma caused by family dysfunction, natural catastrophes, sickness, and other unexpected events. An individual is more likely to develop an alcohol or drug addiction the more traumatic experiences they endure as a child.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), a dysfunctional family is one in which relationships or communication are strained. Members of the family are unable to become close or express themselves. In dysfunctional family systems, child neglect or abuse, conflicts, and misbehavior happen frequently and continually. Sometimes the parents in these families exhibit dysfunctional parenting behaviors and engage in abusive and toxic interpersonal relationships. 2
The following are some examples of dysfunctional families:
The following are common characteristics of a dysfunctional family system:
In a dysfunctional family, everyone plays a variety of roles. Not all roles are present in every messed-up family, but the following are the most common:
They are also often referred to as martyrs or enablers. This role can be played by both adults and children, which eventually limits the opportunity to deal with the core problem. This keeps the family in an unhealthy state of balance, but it also inhibits the family from going forward and healing.
The family mascot uses comedy and playfulness to deflect attention from important matters. They could feel tremendous pressure to intervene when things get tense and chaotic. When they successfully resolve the family problem, it puts even more pressure on them to keep the family’s attention off it. The mascot uses humor to diffuse tense situations. In adulthood, the mascot could find it difficult to relate to unpleasant feelings or conflicts and may choose to divert attention with humor.
Individuals are influenced by prolonged exposure to unfavorable environments. Growing up in a dysfunctional family system has the following psychological effects:
More than 8 million kids under 18 live with a parent who has a substance use disorder. The main causes of a dysfunctional family include drug or alcohol misuse by one or both parents. Children who experience unstable and inconsistent parenting from substance abuse parents feel insecure. This can result in trust issues and repressed resentment that may last for decades.3
No one should have to go through the horrifying experience of growing up in a chaotic or violent home. Not all forms of family violence are physical. It can also refer to any actions that cause you to feel uneasy such as verbal, sexual, or psychological assault. Research has revealed that witnessing domestic abuse can have the same catastrophic impact on children as actually experiencing it.4
Understand that no matter what type of family dysfunction affects your life, you can overcome it. Here are some effective methods to aid in your recovery from dysfunctional family systems:
Trauma can negatively impact all facets of your daily life and well-being. The first step towards finding sustainable healing often includes navigating therapy. Finding a qualified therapist that best suits your needs, as well as finding the right therapy type for you, can help you or your loved one to lead fulfilling lives and overcome the roots of your emotional and psychological strain. At Soledad House, we can help streamline this process for you.
In the absence of your family, look for friends, a support system, or a therapist. These people in your life can support you in achieving your career and personal objectives. They can support you, assist you with life transitions, and teach you about yourself.
Soledad House can assist you if you’re dealing with problems related to your upbringing in a dysfunctional family. We can provide effective, women-first treatment for drug and alcohol addiction that a dysfunctional family brings on in a supportive environment.
We will assist you in taking control of your life and achieving a better relationship with an emphasis on rehab programs and addiction treatment therapies. Contact Soledad House for assistance in overcoming the psychological effects of dysfunctional families and addiction treatment.