Can Controlling Parents Cause Depression?

This blog will cover topics like parental relationship, depression, anxiety and related consequences, ways to combat and control along with frequently asked questions. 

Can Controlling Parents Cause Depression?

To simply answer the question, yes controlling parents can deeply impact their kids’ mental health and also lead to depression but in order to understand the complexities, we need to explore it in detail. 

Our happiness and well-being are dependent on our sense of agency and choice. Nevertheless, there is now a troubling decline in university students’ feeling of power during the past couple of decades. 

They think that powers beyond themselves are in charge of their life. Having dominating moms or fathers is a likely source of helplessness, at least to some degree.

There are two types of parental control: Behavioral and Psychological

  • Behavioral control

Behavioral control is the process of monitoring and regulating a child’s conduct. Such parents control their children’s conduct, keep track of their locations, and supervise their personal interactions. ​Behavioral control is used to control a child’s conduct so that it confirms to household or society norms.

In a child’s cognitive development, both freedom and supervision are critical. Independence permits a youngster to form their own identity independent from that of their family. This individuation practice is extremely crucial throughout puberty when adolescents are preparing for adulthood. 

Simultaneously, parents must give sufficient structure for their children to learn to control chaotic conduct and partake in generally reasonable conduct. In order to encourage agreeable growth, discipline and direction in conduct are required.

To some extent, behavioral regulation is critical to a kid’s solid growth. Its goal is to keep track of, instruct, and control proper conduct.

When families go too far and try to regulate every facet of their child’s conduct, they get domineering.

  • Psychological Control

Interfering with a kid’s mental and behavioral evolution is defined as psychological control. The mental and emotional necessities of youngsters are unmet by strict parents. They limit, discredit, and control the psychological experiences of the children. They also make it difficult for people to express themselves freely. 

Employing shame, affection, separation, frustration, condemnation, and ridicule, these strict parents manage their child’s interests, beliefs, or attitudes through the parent-child interaction. 

They would like to raise their kids emotionally invested in them and utterly needy of them. Via guilt, youngsters see psychologically manipulating families as pushy, authoritarian, obsessive, bossy, and domineering.

What does the research say about controlling parents and their kids?

According to new research, overprotective parents are connected to depression in teens. A study conducted by The University of Mary Washington discovered that university students with domineering parents were far more prone to stress or discontentment.

Parents who are intrusive in their kids’ lives are referred to as “helicopter parents.” According to ANI, the report concluded that this caregiving approach may make youngsters feel less skillful in regulating their daily concerns as children who may be more autonomous.

It focused on 297 undergraduates in the United States between the age group of 18 and 23. The emerging adults completed questionnaires in which they were asked questions regarding their parenting styles.

According to UPI, individuals also were requested to score their antagonism, nervousness, sadness, and levels of happiness, along with other things. The findings revealed that people who considered themselves to be the children of overbearing parents were more sad, worried, and had difficulty gelling with others.

Scientists determined that parental engagement interferes with a child’s natural march toward independence. Researchers noted in a remark, “Parents must bear in mind how conducive to learning their participation is and try to alter their style of parenting if their kids feel that they have been lurking too close.”

Intruding in every aspect of a child’s growth: a drive to control a child’s educational, vocational, and interpersonal decisions.

What are the signs of controlling parents?

  • Manipulation techniques are used: For instance, telling the youngster that they owe them something because of “all they’ve provided for you.”
  • Love that is predicated: Love that is not freely offered or without obligation. If a youngster only gets love or admiration when he or she obtains straight A’s, this is an instance.
  • Establishing tight, unachievable norms that cannot be challenged is one way to force conformity. Severe sentences that aren’t proportional to the crime: Minor offenses lead to the loss of all liberties, gadgets, or an inordinate amount of suspension.
  • So when the sole response for successes is “It’s not that big of a deal” or “You could have done better,” there is a lack of understanding and compassion.
  • Lack of respect for independent thought: This doesn’t really allow children or people to develop their own perspectives, ideas, sensibility, goals, and other characteristics.
  • Taking away or limiting personal space: Every detail of a child’s existence is needed to be revealed.
  • Lambasting or offering an uninvited opinion regarding personal choices: Every judgment by a kid is incorrect unless the parents consent, irrespective of whether or not the choice affects them.
  • Unreachable or meticulous norms: Push to excel in a variety of areas, including education, participation in sports or clubs, volunteering, and personal and social commitments.

Consequences of having controlling parents

Overparenting is typically motivated by worry for a child’s being or a desire to live metaphorically via them; nonetheless, it prevents youngsters from drawing conclusions, addressing issues, and understanding how to deal with feelings and uncertainty. 

Children are forced to submit to authoritative parenting, which leads to emotional uneasiness and reliance as they grow older. 

Parenting that is too dictatorial or too intrusive can lead to the following:

  • Anxiousness 
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Emotionally insecure
  • Emotional neediness
  • Disobedience
  • Delinquent behavior
  • Aggressiveness
  • Negative self-concept and self-perception
  • Low self-esteem
  • Problems with emotional regulation
  • Problems with the perception of emotions
  • Adaptive coping strategies that aren’t working.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

What are the impacts of such a parenting style on adults?

As a result, if the adult is living alone, the influence of having strict parents may linger or increase as life presents them with new obstacles. This can result in problems such as damaged relationships, low self-esteem, and a low strain tolerance, among other things.

The following are some issues that affect a person who had dominant and controlling parents:

  • Mental health-related issues like stress, anxiety, depression, substance use, etc. 
  • More prone to risky actions and behavior
  • Indulgence in unhealthy relationships
  • Poor levels of self-efficacy and self-esteem
  • The inability to create and maintain boundaries

Another consequence of having controlling parents is the altering of family connections. For a variety of reasons, more young adults (18-29) are staying at home or returning home.

As a way of coping with their lack of freedom, people who stay at home under the authority of their parents may engage in antisocial or reclusive conduct, which can have a negative impact on current and long-term relationships.

Ways to cope with controlling parents

  •  Acknowledge the Issue

Identifying domineering behaviors and learning about overbearing parents can provide relief and aid in the adjustment process. Recognize that you don’t have the power to make your parents clean up their act; however, you do have control over your emotions, boundaries, and relationship with them. Concentrate on the aspects of your life that you have control over.

  • Setting your parameters/boundaries

Boundaries are beneficial because they allow you to underline that certain behaviors will not be accepted for the sake of your mental health. They can also be used to teach people what is and is not acceptable behavior. Enforcing the penalties if the barrier is breached is one of the most critical components of creating limits.

  • Create a Safety Net

Interacting with others who have faced similar difficulties can be helpful and might alleviate feelings of loneliness. A robust social support network comprised of people you can trust may also assist you in sticking to your goals.

  • Make Room for It

A helpful coping technique can be making space and taking adequate rest. You can also try going out for a walk, restricting interaction with your controlling parents, moving to another living space. 

Living away from your parents can help you set those boundaries and also help you have a safe space to deeply analyze your situation, understand things apart from your family, and also lets you become more aware of your vision, aspirations, and limitations.  

  • Pick Your Fights

It may be difficult to confront and oppose every offense. Find a balance between tackling worries and letting other things go. This does not necessarily mean you agree with the crime; rather, it could be a means of self-defense.

How Therapy Can Assist People Who Have Been Affected by Controlling Parents

Therapy is often a great way to deal with one’s own emotions associated with having controlling parents. People can opt for individual therapy, family therapy, etc. 

It helps you in dealing with problems caused by domineering parents. Each creates a safe environment in which to learn about and understand how to handle the impacts of controlling parents. 

Therapy also helps to learn further about diagnoses, active listening, coping techniques, good boundary establishing and also maintenance of those boundaries, ethical relationship development, and raising your overall discomfort threshold.


It may be difficult to admit our difficulties, but we don’t have to face them alone or in silence. Taking the initiative to seek help is a brave move. With the issues that come with having overbearing parents, talking to a therapist, a trustworthy friend or coworker, or a community group can help. Keep in mind that your pain is genuine and deserves to be addressed.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Can Controlling Parents Cause Depression?

What happens if parents are overbearing?

Manipulation and over-involvement can also have long-term detrimental consequences for psychological well-being and mental health. Anxiety, despair, low self-esteem, and excessive stress levels have all been linked to youngsters in studies.

How can you get away from a tyrannical parent?

Here are a few suggestions for dealing with a domineering parent:

Sometimes don’t put yourself in the role of the victim. This may make your parents defensive, leading to additional conflict.

Accept responsibility for your own well-being

Allow some disparities to exist

Be willing to make concessions

Is it possible for OCD to be caused by overbearing parents?

We find that paternal regulating and meddling parenting attitudes are associated with the development of OCD and depression with repetitive features, but not depression itself.

When should your parents relinquish authority over you?

Not only can having a domineering parent impair your upbringing as a kid and teenager, but fathers are likely to continue to manage their children until they reach the age of 18. Many parents will continue to meddle in their children’s lives well into maturity.

Is it possible for parents to produce mental illness in their children?

Mental health issues, like many afflictions, tend to run in families and can be handed on from parent to kid. If both spouses have a condition, the risk goes up much higher.

Is it OK to place blame on your parents?

Trying to blame parents all the time might keep a person locked in the past. Your identity is shaped by more than just your parents. Other factors include disposition, heredity, and other interactions and encounters. A person’s connection with their parents can be improved by expressing current goals and requirements.


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