Family Issues

Being part of a family, whether it is blood-related, adopted or a foster one, is a major aspect of life. Family as a system is vital to our survival and well-being as it influences almost every facet of our lives, from the very beginning to the very end. For the majority of us, families are experienced as caring and supportive and whilst this can be true most of the time, families are not always perfect. Indeed, all families go through difficult periods, occasionally facing difficulties and conflict. Family issues can arise between parents, spouses, partners, children, siblings, and other relatives. Sometimes these problems can become overwhelming and difficult to deal with.

Every family is different but many families might go through similar issues. Family issues may occur due to life transitions such as marriage, blending families, career changes, birth of a child, loss of loved ones, divorce or separation.

Other triggers for family issues might be:

  • Addiction issues (alcohol/drug use/gambling)
  • Differences in opinions, personalities, beliefs, values or goals
  • Financial issues
  • Issues relating to sexuality
  • Mental/physical health issues
  • Natural disasters

Signs of family issues may include:

  • Abuse (physical, emotional, sexual)
  • Avoidance/indifference
  • Breakdown in communication
  • Constant arguments and disagreements

Family issues not only affect the relations between family members, but can also impact each family member separately leading to distressing feelings such as: 

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Eating and/or sleeping problems
  • Exhaustion
  • Feelings of isolation, loneliness or withdrawal
  • Low life satisfaction
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor concentration
  • Sadness
  • Stress
  • Use of substances as a coping mechanism (alcohol/drugs)