What is a Dysfunctional Family?


family touching hands

There are many ways to define dysfunction but when it comes to family life, and there are certain staples that can deeply impact the way you view yourself, others, and the world. Family dysfunction can break our very core, especially as children because we don’t always have the control and decision making to get out.

If you grew up in a dysfunctional family, you most likely know it. Maybe you haven’t fully recognized the effects your family has had on you and you’re in denial, or maybe you have realized the damage done and want to move forward with your life.

Effects of a Dysfunctional Family

The Huffington Post notes that dysfunctional families can cause a person to feel guilty for standing up for oneself, fear being abandoned, become a “people pleaser”, feel lonely and isolated, worry incessantly about the future, feel responsible for others, feel like a victim, and relentlessly judge themselves.

Traits of a Dysfunctional Family

The following are traits of a dysfunctional family:

      • Poor communication. In dysfunctional families, members are often unable to listen to one another, so individuals feel misunderstood or that their voice isn’t heard.
      • Drug or alcohol abuse. When this occurs, family roles, interactions, and activities may be centered around the family member’s use of drugs or alcohol which can damage connections to be made and cause children to often act out.
      • Perfectionism. Parents who set very high expectations and don’t accept failure have a lasting negative impact on their children and other family members.
      • Lack of empathy. According to King University, parents who do not show unconditional love and instead become judgmental might rely on their anger when a family member makes a mistake. When they do not attempt to understand the other person’s point of view, the child may feel guilty or demeaned.
      • Control. When parents become overly controlling, they inhibit their children from learning how to make informed decisions on their own. This may later cause dependency issues as the child wasn’t conditioned to feel comfortable making their own choices.
      • Excessive criticism. Parents or family members who criticize a person’s looks, intelligence, value, or abilities make it very hard for that person to overcome them.

    Unfortunately, some people who experience these feelings from living in a dysfunctional family lean towards drug and alcohol abuse to help them cope.

    Moving Past Dysfunction

    You are not a product of your environment. You have the choice and ability to choose to be better, choose to be kinder, and choose to be more loving than your family treated you. Make the decision to overcome your addiction today.

    If you are seeking a substance abuse recovery treatment center dedicated to your success and well-being, call us today at 844-869-7201.

  • Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed treatment center with professionals who will work with you to restore your mind, body, and spirit. We will work with you to develop the tools you need to overcome your addiction and provide you with resources for after-care as well.