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Problems With Primary Support Group

Your primary support group is usually the family nucleus of your parents, grandparents, certain aunts and uncles, or siblings, and whoever was the primary support around you when you were growing up. 

The first ones are all related to your primary support group. When you’re listening to me right now you want to go back in your own journey of life to those who raised you and again, it could be mom, dad, it could just be mom, it could just be dad, it could be grandparents, it could be immediate family, it could be siblings, whatever it was – I need you to go back there and see if any of these life events occurred in your life and if they did how they impacted you. 

1. Death of a Family Member

The number one psychosocial stressor is possibly the death of a family member or a loved one. It is one of the most tragic and traumatic experiences to go through, especially when it is unexpected, or when it is as a result of illnesses that we were not ready for, or when it comes too soon in the journey of life. The death of a family member, health problems in the family such as parents or siblings can add fear and stress to a child’s mind when they notice that their parents’ focus is elsewhere or if they worry that they would not be taken care of. 

2. Disruption of Family

This is a common stressor that we often see in the field of mental health and addictions. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with a family going through a separation, divorce or estrangement, despite the reasons why it happened, the child is left feeling a certain way, especially if they are around the ages of 9 to 14 years old. That is the age when the child starts to individualize and recognize that they are a person separate from their family. If you have noticed when kids start listening to their own music or start dressing differently, or acting differently, it is because their brain is developing in a certain way. They may think that everything that happens around them is a direct result of them, and they think that everybody is always paying attention to them at all times. This thought process is what goes into children of divorces and separations and estrangements. 

3. Physical Abuse, Neglect, Sexual Abuse

The roots of this type of psychosocial stressor are deep because it starts to impact the self-worth of a human. In most cases, one or both of the parents themselves may have experienced abuse or saw abuse in their households. Without any type of intervention, or work on self, cycles tend to repeat themselves. 

4. Parental overprotection

Parents wanting to shield their children at all costs with control and codependency and not allowing them to individualize can have an impact on children as they grow older. Many parents tend to overprotect their children, especially when there is mental illness or addiction involved, however overprotection cripples them. It takes away the individual’s dignity to be able to solve their own problems in life. 

5. Inadequate Discipline

When there is a family discord and it turns into divorce, the child may start acting out, which causes one or both of the family members to have guilt because they think that their separation impacts their child. Due to their feelings of guilt and shame, their parents may not even discipline them. They go from being the parent to being the friend. 

6. Discord with Siblings

Sibling dynamics can be a very nuanced situation. Sometimes there may even be psychological, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse involved. It also impacts the children’s individual relationships with their parents as each new child comes into a family so that it changes their dynamic within the system. Although these events may not be inherently traumatic and bad, each individual in the family gets affected differently based on these life events.

Besides problems with your primary support group, there are several other psychosocial stressors that can contribute to the development or the aggravation of mental health issues, potentially addictions and other maladaptive behaviors. Learn more about the top 10 psychosocial stressors and their impact on mental health.

Today is going to be the best day of your life.

Kelsey Gearhart

Director of Business Development

Kelsey carries multiple years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. Her passion for this field comes from her personally knowing recovery from addiction.

Prior to Buckeye she held titles of Recovery Coach, Operations Director, and Admissions Director. Kelsey was brought on at Buckeye Recovery as the Director of Business Development. She has a passion for ensuring every individual gets the help that they need, and does so by developing relationships with other providers.

Kelsey also oversees our women’s sober living environments – The Chadwick House for Women. She is committed to creating a safe, nurturing, and conducive environment for all women that walk through the doors of Chadwick.