Family Depression Essay

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Depression affects a couple's marriage by creating distress and conflict. It interrupts families as people try to deal with a parent/child/adolescent with depression. It can also be something that is learned socially, jumping from one family member to another, and can afflict numerous people within a family system. Multiple family members may be diagnosed with depression, or there may be depression that is not being treated. It can impact a family by eating up all the energy of a household, infiltrating it with negative emotions, and creating havoc. Depression may be comorbid with other illness, or disguised in bouts of physical illness that have no biological explanation, isolation of the family member, pessimism, sarcasm, stress, loss of income, and withdrawal of the depressed family member. It impacts family communication, problem solving, role functioning, and places strain on all family members involved. Family members suffering from major depression are also likely to bring consequences to the family environment such as disrupting the family’s homeostasis, cohesion, harmony, and ability to deal with everyday problems. Schoolage children and adolescents of parents who have experienced one or more episodes of major depressive disorder have problems in multiple areas of functioning, including higher levels of internalizing and externalizing emotional/behavioral symptoms, and higher rates of affective and nonaffective psychiatric diagnoses. (Compass, 2009)
Couples, in which one spouse is experiencing depression, may see changes in their relationship.
Depression creates marital dissatisfaction, disappointment, strife, anger, and discord. Numerous research studies show that marital problems can not only trigger depression, but ong...

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...nced by the involvement of the patient’s significant others. Depression not only affects the individuals, but the families in which the individuals are situated. Depression is likely to have an impact on family members, and their response to the depression can have an impact on outcomes for the depressed individual. Major depressive disorder needs to be treated with a comprehensive biopsychosocial, medical intervention, in which family therapy should also play a significant role in helping to reduce critical expressed emotion, and relationship distress.
Integrating the family into the treatment provides, not only support for the depressed person, but also hope for the family going forward. When the Pandora’s box of depression is opened, it can feel as though chaos reigns, but as in the legend of Pandora’s box, hope remained. Family therapy can be that source of hope.
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