As children and young adults, family is at the very core of our development. So, if you have a troubled relationship with one or both parents, it can have a knock-on effect on who you are as an adult.
Marie Yap, the associate professor of psychology and lead at the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health at Monash University, explains that young people can experience estrangement - especially from a figure as important as a parent - as a deep rejection. She adds: 'Research has clearly shown that perceived rejection from parents increases young people's risk of mental health problems like depression or anxiety disorders.'
Counselling Directory member Georgina Stumer points out that estrangement is painful for everybody involved - even a person who chooses it. 'Family relationships are at the core of how we see ourselves, and how we interact with others,' she goes on.
Below are a few ways it might affect a person's mental health in the long-term...
Sense of belonging
Not having a stable family environment can have a knock-on impact on the way we feel we fit in the world. 'Our family of origin offers us a sense of belonging, of community,' says Georgina. 'If we are cast out from that family, or choose to separate ourselves, then we lose that sense of belonging. This can impact on our sense of identity and make us question who we are.'
Guilt and shame
There's a lot of stigma associated with estrangement, and the guilt of that can be hard to handle. 'There might be a sense of guilt that we caused the estrangement,' says Georgina, 'or that we didn't do everything in our power to keep the family together. 'We might feel embarrassed when other people find out that we are estranged from our relatives. This can all lead to a sense of shame that we have done something wrong because we are bad, or because there is something fundamentally wrong with us. 'This can weigh heavily on how we feel about ourselves, on our own self-esteem.'