Four months ago I was diagnosed with depression by my family’s doctor. I started taking antidepressants but I they were making me feel woozy and restless so I asked to stop taking them and just continuing with regular visits to a psichologist to see how I was holding up. The thing is my family, especially my mom is always criticizing my life and my choices… I never really cared before but now it’s really starting to affect me. I’m really scared to what I might do if my family keeps this non-supportive attitude… My psichologist says that if they are hurting me I should stop spending time with them… But we are still family… I can’t just cut the connection… Is there any way I can make my family understand what I’m going through? Because every time I try to explain to my mom that she’s hurting me, she just keeps telling me that I’m too soft and need to toughen up if I want to make it in this world…

I agree with your psychologist. If they are hurting you, then you should spend less time (or no time) with them. I understand that they are your family but that is no excuse. Just because they are your family, doesn’t mean that you should tolerate abuse. Blood is not always thicker than water.

You wrote that you tried explaining your situation to your mother and it has no impact on her. You can continue that approach but it will likely be wasted effort. It’s important to realize that you can’t change your mother. She is who she is. It is up to you to accept that reality and to modify your behavior in accordance with how she treats you. You should never tolerate abuse from anyone. That can be a difficult lesson to learn, especially when it comes to family.

You mentioned that your “mom is making you feel bad about yourself.” No one can make you feel anything. Your feelings originate inside you. They are your feelings. Your mother’s words may be impactful but that’s only because you have allowed her to have that type of power over you.

It’s good that you’re in counseling. It is where you should be. Hopefully, it will help you to accept the truth about your mother and adapt accordingly. Obviously, it would be better if your mother treated you kindly but that is not your situation. You have to deal with the truth, no matter how unpleasant it is. Once you accept the truth and adapt your behavior accordingly, your mental health will likely improve. Good luck with your continued efforts.

Dr. Kristina Randle