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Growing Up With Chaos – Keep It Your History Not Your Fate

Family History Growing Up With Chaos

For those of you who grew up with a lot of family chaos and pain, you may wonder how the rest of your life will pan out.  Do you have concerns that you’ll lash out uncontrollably like your mom did at you?  Do you fear developing an addiction like your brother?  Do you wonder if you will lose touch with reality like your dad?

It’s true that family history of mental illness can make someone more likely to develop similar problems.  But by no means is someone’s history an absolute part of their destiny.  If you are determined to break (or continue to break) your family history of chaos and self-destruction, you have strong hope for the future.

Individuality Makes The Difference

The source of your hope is your human individuality.  You are not your mother, your brother, or your father.  It doesn’t matter how much you may resemble or have in common with them.  Even identical twins have individual traits and opportunities that make them unique people.

If you you have mental health issues in your family, your concern may certainly be justified.  Your family genetics and your social environment can influence how likely you are to develop a mental illness or other life difficulties.  However, these influences aren’t cut-and-dry like genetics determining hair color or passing along a disease through a recessive gene.

Your Awareness Of Family History Gives You Strength For The Future

Your awareness of this influence can make all the difference in your life.  With this knowledge, you can learn how to live differently from your family members.  If you have alcoholism in your family, take extra care when you consider having a drink.  If you have depression in your family, learn a lot of coping skills and develop a great support network.

You can apply this approach to nearly any family history issue you may be worried about.  And even if you do develop similar problems, you may be able to steer yourself in a better direction more quickly for a better recovery.

Be encouraged about this – you are a unique human being with lots of choices.  Your family history may present some challenges and concerns, but your history does not have to dictate your future – it simply doesn’t.  Honesty, awareness, and determination can help you create your own family destiny from this day forward.

Your Thoughts On Family Chaos

Readers – Have you lived through a lot of family chaos? What did you do to navigate through it and stay on track?  Or, did you stumble along the path despite wanting things to be different?  Anyone out there want to get away from their family history but feel stuck?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

Creative Commons License photo credit: n28ive1

Growing Up With Chaos – Keep It Your History Not Your Fate

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP is a practicing licensed mental health counselor in Nebraska.

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APA Reference
Krull, E. (2010). Growing Up With Chaos – Keep It Your History Not Your Fate. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 21 Sep 2010
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