Emotionally unavailable parents don’t meet their children’s psychological needs and can’t provide the comfort and validation needed for proper mental health growth.
Children who grow up with detached guardians may develop deep-seated insecurities, fears, depression, bipolar disorder, dissociative identity disorder, and even PTSD. Many also have anger management issues that continue well into adulthood if not addressed.
Why are some parents emotionally absent?
Reasons abound, including:
- Trauma: Trauma has a profound impact on our physical and mental health. If someone was treated poorly as a child or experienced a negative life-changing event, it may cause detachment from their children. Getting therapy may help.
- Mental Health Condition: People of all ages are affected by mental health conditions — even parents — and certain neuro divergences may cause emotional detachment. Try to remember that mental health disorders aren’t a choice. While you have every right to shield yourself from harm and wrath — and should — sometimes, blaming someone for a personality condition is like blaming someone for getting breast cancer. Again, getting therapy will help, but you cannot force anyone to do something they don’t want to do.
- Hormone Deficiency: Hormones play a huge role in contouring our personalities and behaviors. If a parent has an undiagnosed imbalance of these mood-regulating chemicals, it can cause them to be emotionally detached.
- Crippling Insecurity: Pathological insecurity can stun a person into inaction because it often leads to fear. In other words, an individual may be emotionally unavailable because they’re afraid of messing you up or raising you incorrectly. Usually, this type of relationship can be healed with the right approach — because there is love.
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder: People with NPD are incapable of genuinely caring about anyone but themselves. If one of your parents deals with this condition, it’s useful to read up on it to gain some perspective. Doing so will make you realize it’s not your fault!