How a Parents Psychological Health Affects their Children

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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 ... ... middle of paper ... ...t always lead to disruptive or maladaptive disorders in the child; some offspring with parents who have disorders such as schizophrenia or narcissism can function completely normally. In award-winning memoir The Glass Castles by Jeannette Walls, the parents are each speculated to have different level personality disorders, signs to which are apparent throughout the book as you read from Jeanette’s first-hand account about the behaviors of her family. Through her life her father, Rex Walls, was constantly talking about his plans to make them all rich with his genius inventions. This, and his most common phrase “Have I ever let you down?” which you can see the farther into the book you go as of him wanting recognition than trying to comfort his kids, are clear indicators to narcissism. Narcissistic personality types lack empathy, and focuses on a need for admiration.
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