Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Family don't get it

Community Member

Hello, I'm writing as I'm so very confused. I was diagnosed in 2013 with GAD and borderline depression due to 21 year marriage breakup. After counselling and time I recovered enough that I stopped having anxiety attacks, I was able to cope with everyday life. Until this year. I had a big move with relocating and changing jobs. I returned to nursing after 8 years away. So, having to settle a child into a new school, as well as re-learn my profession I have struggled to keep anxiety at bay. My sisters ambushed me in May of this year...well, as you can imagine that ended well...huge anxiety attack, and that has made me avoid them completely.

I have a very supportive partner who is completely aware of my anxiety and encourages me to see the counsellor. But, my family don't get it. They say I shouldn't listen to someone I barley know (meaning my partner, we've been together 18 months), I should just get over it or take medication. When I have bad days and feel depressed I'm told I'm looking for attention, when I apologise for seeming that way, I'm also seen to be extending on that. I feel as though I'm the black sheep of the family, but, once again I told to get over it, there are people worse off, people are busy, it's not all about me etc. I understand this. In the last two weeks my anxiety is getting worse, I second guess everything, about work and home. The one time I called my mother to talk myself down I was dismissed, within 5 minutes of calling.

They dont believe I have made the right decision to move, begin my career (that I love) and they don't like (but they don't know him) my partner, all because he encourages me to be happy with my decisions, to be strong and not afraid of taking a chance.

No one from my family has contacted me since that day of being told I'm attention seeking to see if I'm alright, no text messages, emails etc. The only one that is truly happy for me in a new relationship is my ex husband, we have a good relationship now. My kids are happy 22,19 & 11 year olds, it's only my 11 year old that I'm in care of now, the boys have grown up and left home.

Im so angry at them but also so very sad. Nothing I try to explain about this gets through to them. Am I doing the wrong thing by cutting them out of my life to a degree? I want to be happy and feel I can't while this is playing in my head.

2 Replies 2

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear KJB

Hello and welcome to the forum. It's good you have found your way here and I hope we can give you the support and care you need.

Families can be a huge problem for all sorts of reasons and it is so disappointing because these are the people we think we can depend on. Depression and anxiety are unseen illnesses. There is no wound, broken bone, rash and you have not had a stay in hospital for surgery or anything of that nature. Believing that it is an attention seeking ploy when someone says they are anxious or depressed is quite a common reaction, unfortunately.

You can ask them to read about it on BB or you can read the literature on BB and get hard copies sent to you to give to your family members. This may be useful as BB is a respected organisation and may carry more weight than you, sad as that is. What do they think about you going to a counsellor? Does this also rate as someone you barely know.

I have to tell you this because I feel it is important for everyone to understand. There are always people who appear to be worse off or better off than you or me or anyone. The reality is that what happens to you is your difficulty or problem. No matter what others are managing, you are the most important person in your life and you need help in various ways. We all need help and refusing this help because someone else appears to be worse off will not help you or the other person. You have no idea of what is really happening in someone's life so cannot decide if they are more or less worthy of help. Please tell your family this.

Are you looking for attention? I doubt it. You are experiencing a mental illness and as a nurse you can appreciate this is an illness like any other. If taking a pill would cure me, my hand would go up immediately. It's interesting your family urging you to take medication as most families insist medication is not necessary.

In your last paragraph I take it you are angry with your family not at your sons because they have left home.

Just getting over it is what we all want to do and if all it needed was someone to tell us that, it would be great. Did your family support you when your marriage ended? I wonder if they feel a little guilty if they did not and want to blame you in some way. I would like to suggest you do ignore them and lead your own life. I know this is hard to do, so perhaps less contact would be the way to go.

I want to write heaps more but out of word allowance. Please write in again.


Hi kjb

Please google

Topic: they just won't understand, why- beyondblue

Tony WK