How Does Depression Affect the Family Context?

People who have seen depression first hand know that it is a psychological disorder that in many cases does not limit its damage only to the person who develops it on their own skin.

It is true that some people tend to try to hide that they are very sick emotionally, but depression usually results in objective facts that grab the attention of those in their immediate circle, especially if they are. know for a long time. And often the way this psychopathology is not only a warning sign for these people, but it also hurts them, More indirectly.

In this article, we will focus on those who spend the most time in the company of depressed people, and who are also usually those who feel a stronger emotional connection with them: their loved ones.

    How does having a family affect someone with depression?

    It is clear that there is no single family model and if each person is a world, the unique characteristics of each family unit multiply, as many other unique and irreplaceable characteristics come into play.

    This is why, both in theory and in practice, no house suffers from depression in the same way.

    However, the large body of research that has been done on the effects of this mood disorder means that we now know of a number of psychological patterns that are statistically relatively common in families.

    Based on that, here is a summary of how this psychopathology affects the person’s family background; but keep in mind that this will not happen in all cases, and that the best way to know the impact of depression on a specific group of people is to consult a psychologist, so that this professional can analyze the case. in a specific and personalized way. path.

    1. Generates a greater propensity for discussions

    Depression Often Causes Problems in the FamilySince the person expressing these symptoms feels decayed and lacking in energy, they are not too willing to get involved in tasks that are not considered essential.

    This easily leads to frustration on the part of the family members, who observe in the other a passivity that they are not always able to understand, and on the other hand generates irritability in the depressed person, who feels that she cannot isolate herself. I would like. The mixture of the two elements results in confrontational situations, which sometimes become hostile on both sides.

    2. Make the cake feel guilty

    Guilt is a relatively common feeling family members who are traditionally given a protective role in relation to the person with depression: Specifically parents and siblings of a similar or older age.

    This occurs to a lesser extent in cases where these people are well informed about the characteristics of depression and know that it is a psychopathology, the causes of which are in most cases beyond family control at first. . However, where this guilt has arisen, it is important that it transforms into a willingness to help by collaborating as much as possible in the therapeutic process, rather than leading to self-sabotage and trying to avoid thinking. to the problem.

      3. Increased propensity to develop depression

      It is clear that depression does not spread like some medical illnesses, but it is true that when embodied by actions, it can help create contexts that facilitate the onset of psychological disorders in which they are regularly exposed.

      Thus, for example, it has been seen that young sons and daughters of people suffering from depression also have a higher risk of developing it, even taking into account factors of a genetic type.

      4. Promotes isolation

      Many families are ashamed of the pain they feel in the depressed person, and they adopt a lifestyle in which privacy is most valued and one tends to be confined, Total or partial. For example, families in which one person suffers from depression are less likely to attend social events together.

      This, in turn, tends to make it difficult for the depressed person to recover, as he or she becomes less likely to have access to a number of stimuli and activities, and with less ability to pose new situations. to connect with emotionally.

      Are you looking for psychotherapeutic help?

      If you believe that you and / or a member of your immediate family are suffering from an illness which may be caused by depression or other psychological disorder, please contact us. Fr Advanced psychologists We have been helping patients with this type of problem for over 20 years, and today, in addition to psychotherapy for people of all ages, we also offer family and couple therapy, parenting counseling, psychiatric care. and rehabilitation. Neuropsychological and sexology services. In addition, you can count on us both in person at our center located in Madrid and through online therapy. To see our contact details, click on this link.

      Bibliographical references:

      • American Psychiatric Association -APA- (2014). DSM-5. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Madrid: Panamericana.
      • Balaban, CD; Thayer, JF (2001). Neurological basis of balance-anxiety links. J Anxiety disorder. 15 (1-2): pages 53 to 79.
      • Bettis, AH; Forehand, R .; Sterba, SK; Preacher, KJ and Compass, BE (2018). Anxiety and Depression in Children of Depressed Parents: Dynamics of Change in Preventive Intervention. Journal of Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology, 47 (4): pages 581-594.
      • National Research Council (US) and Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Depression, Parenting, and Healthy Child Development; England, MJ and Sim, LJ (eds) (2009). Associations between parental depression and parenthood, child health and psychological functioning of the child. Washington (DC): National Academies Press.
      • Sander, JB and McCarty, California (2006). Juvenile Depression in the Family Context: Family Risk Factors and Treatment Models. Clinical journal of child and family psychology, 8 (3): pages 203-219.

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