My parents depress me (+ What can you do)

This article will discuss how the relationship with your parents can cause you to be depressed. For that, the article will explain what are healthy and unhealthy parental relationships, and in what ways you can cope with this.

Why are my parents making me depressed?

Your parents can make you depressed because of the type of relationship you have with them. But it is important to remember that any person can get depressed. When you are depressed, it seems like the world has lost its color. You feel intense sadness, with lower self-esteem, and decreased sense of self-worth.

Depression can also make you feel less energetic, make you isolated, more irritable. You can also experience excessive crying, and sometimes even think of death or have suicidal thoughts. 

And as you start treating your depression through therapy, you might start to question what is the root of all of this suffering and anguish you are feeling. And sometimes, the root of it all might be a bad relationship with your parents.

There are some reasons why your relationship with your parents might be making you depressed, let’s take a look at them.

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.

They are holding you back 

When you are a kid your parents usually decide what you need to do, and have said because they know better. But as you grow, it becomes increasingly important for you to experiment with new things and get a taste of freedom. 

If your parents keep trying to prevent you from living your own experiences, it can make you resent them, and cause you to believe that you need to make them happy.

Too much pressure 

Another way they can make you unhappy is by putting too much pressure on you. This can happen by saying you are the most important thing in their life or putting too much expectation on your achievements. 

Emotionally unavailable parents 

If it is hard to connect to your parents, or they act cold with you, it might mean that they are emotionally distant parents. This can make it harder for you to form healthy relationships in the future. And this can leave you with a constant feeling of disconnection and isolation.

They make you anxious 

It can be that your parents’ presence causes you to feel anxious, and sometimes even panic. This is a huge sign that there is something wrong with your relationship with your parents. You might feel drained, and less focused when they are around.

You got some dysfunctional behaviors from them 

If your parents had dysfunctional behavior it can be that you got some of it as well. And while other kids might have been taught to talk about their feelings, your parents might have taught you how to avoid them and isolate yourself when there is an issue. All of this can make you have a higher risk of developing depression.

You get affected by their mental condition 

If your parents have a mental health illness, it might be that you grew up with that burden. This can have turned them unstable, absentee, which can have its effects on you. 

Substance abuse in the family 

Parents with substance abuse can be neglectful, unreliable, and emotionally distant. This prevents them from being stable parents that teach you how to deal with emotions. This causes children to be prone to substance abuse as well, or develop mental health issues.

Abusive relationship 

Going through abuse, be it physical, emotional, or psychological, can have a huge impact on your life. It can make it harder for you to have stable and careful relationships throughout your life. 

Unsupportive parents

Your parents might be unsupportive, even when you are dealing with depression. They don’t show care or make any effort in trying to make you feel better. They might question why you are depressed or not validate your feelings, causing you to get even worse.

How to cope with your parents making your depression worse?

If you are dealing with parents that are bringing negative effects to your mental health and causing you to feel depressed, it might be time to make some moves in your life to preserve yourself and guarantee your treatment. This is what you can do.

Go after your emotional safety 

If it seems hard to be validated in your depression by your parents, remember that other people in your life love you. Get in touch with them, it can be friends or more distant family members. Find a strong support network that makes you feel safe and cared for.

Keep your treatment 

If you are depressed and under treatment, stick to it. If you are not in treatment, it might be necessary to look for it. This might help you understand better what is going on with you, help you understand your symptoms of depression, and maybe create strategies to cope with it. 

Find some space

If your relationship with your parents is harming your mental health, try to find some distance. If you live with them, this might be hard, but try to find ways to focus more on yourself than on the relationship with them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Why are my parents making me depressed?

What can I do if one of my parents is depressed?

If one of your parents is depressed, it can be a hard thing to deal with. Seeing them in that fragile way can be overwhelming. It is a change of role, it might make you feel like you need to care for them when it should usually be the other way around. 

You might feel the urge to support or fix how they feel, but it is important to understand there is a difference between being supportive and fixing it. You can offer to listen, help them look for professional help, but keep your boundaries and your individuality, even as a way to preserve your mental health.

How can I help my friend when I think they are considering suicide?

If you think your family is considering suicide, the first thing you might want to do is ask them. This will allow you to have an open and honest conversation with them about this. It might also be a relief to them that you bring this topic up. 

When people are considering suicide, they can be afraid of telling people not to worry them, or can even be ashamed of it. In that conversation, it is important to ask them if it is only something they thought, or if there is a plan to put it into action. 

After this talk, make yourself present as much as you can, it can be physically or even digitally. You might also want to get in touch with other people that are part of their support network so you can set a schedule to keep your friends safe. 

Along with that, if you understood, from the conversation, that it might be something they are already planning, you might want to get in touch with the professional that is treating them. Not leave them alone, and take out of the place things they might use to harm themselves. 

Hopefully, in time these thoughts will go away, and with treatment, your friend will feel better.

I am a teenager and I need therapy, how do I tell my parents?

Teenagers are usually more private about their thoughts. And it might be hard to tell your parents how you feel. But if you are feeling depressed and need treatment, you might need them to take you to it. The first thing, in this case, is to remember that it is okay to ask for help. Don’t be ashamed of it.

You might just want to bring the topic up with your parents, you don’t need to do a big sit-down talk. As soon as you feel comfortable, just tell them how you have been feeling, and how you think treatment would help you improve. As soon as you mention treatment, let them know you are looking for someone to help.

This can make the idea of treatment seem simpler. But if it all doesn’t happen in the first conversation, it might be that your parents need some time to adjust to this. But don’t take too long to bring it up again. Let them know this is an important matter to you, and that you need to handle it. 

How do I know my parents are toxic?

Some signs might show you that your parents are toxic. It can be that they are overly involved in your life, or you feel p constantly guilty. This happens because you assume that you need to make them happy all the time. 

When that relationship is toxic, going to see them might be hard for you because it usually drains you. This can cause you to feel obligated to see them. It can also be that you feel as if you are never enough, or that the roles are changed, and that you end up taking more care of them than the other way around.

In a toxic family environment, there is always someone that plays the role of the victim. And it can cause you to create a pattern of always relating to toxic people, and you tolerate it because you have low self-esteem.

How can I protect myself from a toxic family?

The first thing to do when you have a toxic family is to set your boundaries and stick to them. It might be strange at first, but with time you will notice how beneficial it was to you. Through this, you can allow people that have a positive influence on your life to get closer.

You will have a lot of energy to spare, once you are not consumed by your toxic family, to be around people that make you feel good about yourself. And even though you might hear that family is important, know that, even though they are, they are not more important than you.

Have in mind that being raised in this toxic environment can have its effects on you. And even if you still don’t realize them, try to look for professional help. This will give you a judgment-free space,  in which you can share all your thoughts and feelings, and deal with those patterns of behavior you got from your family.


The article explained why your parents might be making you depressed, or making your depression worse. Through it, it was discussed what supportive and abusive parental relationships are. Along with that, the article showed what are ways to cope with that situation.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write it in the section below.


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