Recovering From Toxic Families (A Psychology Topic)

In psychology, the process of recovery of children who suffer from the trauma of having a dysfunctional family requires an unpredictable process. There are tendencies that the kids’ emotional crisis might still linger. That is especially when these young adults tend to hold on to their memories and past traumatic experiences. Sometimes, their emotional issues are brought by seeing other families out in public or just merely watching a film that genuinely strikes home. It will not matter if the wounds are fresh or old, as long as it is deep, their mental state is at risk. Yes, adults may witness that things are finally clearing up for the kids, but they will not know how a few strings can damage the process of their recovery. So what else is there to do?


Understand That It Still Hurts

Childhood traumatic experience is inevitable. It hurts and will continue to hurt no matter what. According to Dr. R. Y. Langham, Ph.D., “When a child’s social and emotional issues and psychological distress are left untreated, it can negatively impact his/her educational aspirations and developmental milestones.” But what is important is that adults should allow young individuals to learn to keep going. They need to imply that living each day of kids’ lives to the best of their abilities is all they got to do. Yes, these young individuals may tell people to back off and allow them to feel the pain. That is okay. They are entitled to their emotional and mental healing process with or without the presence of other people. The kids deserve to cry, and they have to know what it feels like when the world is not cooperating. From there, they need to find a way to take their selves out of the misery from having a dysfunctional and unhealthy family.

“When trying to keep a positive attitude, you must avoid people who thrive on negativity,” says Fran Walfish, PsyD. Recovering from the damage caused by the toxicity of people that are supposed to be there for the kids requires no rush. If it helps, the formation of healthy boundaries should become a requirement. Kids can seek out help from other relatives, friends, and classmates. As long as those individuals are capable of taking care of them, there is guaranteed assistance. Because when it is time, and the children feel they are ready, they will eventually develop the strength they need to sustain emotional stability. As for concern adults, they have to be there for the children in case they require a backup.


Self-Awareness Over Negative Thoughts

Young individuals’ brain contains more patterns compared to adults. That explains why even the most destructive habits can become too complicated to break. And since kids are currently in a disturbed mental state, they are weak and vulnerable. They can easily fall into adverse situations such as turning in to drugs and alcohol. The children who are often verbally, physically, and emotionally abused by a family member happen to grow up hating themselves and everyone else around them. These kids suffer from low self-esteem issues. With that, self-awareness should become a priority. “Self-love is not simply a state of feeling good. It is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth.” Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D. explains.

These traumatized kids are not perfect. They also have flaws and imperfections. But it does not mean they deserve the prolonged struggle of emotional and mental crisis given by their unconcerned family members. The kids deserve better. They need people that will genuinely support them no matter what it takes. They do not deserve to be left out or neglected. They should not curl up in a ball and retreat themselves from the world. These young individuals must feel every inch of love they ought to have. They need to be handled with care away from emotional exhaustion from holding back the tears from their unwanted childhood experiences. Yes, the whole routine can make them feel ashamed and uncomfortable. But it shouldn’t matter. The priority must stand that these young individuals get secured from anxiety and depression. That includes removing the people that cause the kids’ pain and never allowing these individuals to come back in their lives forever.


As adults, it is our role never to allow kids to view themselves the same way as their toxic families are. The process is not easy, but there is got to be an assurance that these young people must not hold onto the mistreatment. We should not allow them to equate the emotional and mental abuse to their sense of worth. We need to help them recover and fall back from having negative thinking. It is crucial that we reach out to them and let them know that we care about their well-being more than anything else. That no matter what happened in their past, it is not their fault. We need to keep them safe, loved, and secured.