Family discord is natural and inevitable, since no family can live in perfect harmony at all times. But when discord lasts longer than a few days or weeks, tensions tend to rise, and it can be tough to handle – a drastic, prolonged, and negative change in family dynamic can be an indication that professional help is necessary.
There are numerous causes for family discord, but some are more common than others. Oftentimes parental conflict, sudden life changes, emotional distance, or other destabilizing factors can throw off the family dynamic. Parental depression is associated with family discord and studies have shown that it’s a consistent risk factor for major depressive disorders and anxiety disorders among their children. Family discord factors may also be a risk factor for major depressive disorders and substance use disorders in the children of non-depressed parents.
When your family is struggling with discord, it’s easy to feel as if no one understands. Clinicians can help clients to understand their diagnoses, treatment progress, potential red flags or slips, and how to support behavior modification and/or cognitive restructuring, as well as addressing any unresolved issues with siblings, parents, or other family members.