What role do families play in our lives?

Lisa Oz
Health Education

Families are the ultimate relationship arena. It is here that we experience our first, deepest, most complex, and sometimes most painful interactions. In spite of the inevitable dysfunction that exists in all families, they generate a certain intimacy and honesty that we rarely encounter elsewhere. There is permanence to families - even broken ones. They remain a part of our lives on a fundamental level, regardless of the passage of time or the distance between members.

One of the most noticeable things about familial relationships is that while the definition of the role stays the same (once a daughter, sister, or mother, we are always that), its meaning in our life changes as we change. We gain or relinquish responsibilities as dependent, caregiver, partner, or even adversary. As we grow from child to adult, spouse to parent, who we are is characterized by our place in the family.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.