How Depression Affects Family Members

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How Depression Affects Family Members

Various mental disorders affect the family adversely. One of the mental disorders is depression which is a persistent negative issue in the brain of human being that affects his normal thinking and way of doing things. It is a disorder characterized by low mood, loss of interest and a feeling of sadness (Davidson, 2000). Depression has a great impact on the victim and the people around him/her especially the members of the family. This paper expounds more about depression and how it affects the family. Depression is a feeling of severe low spirits, discouragement, downheartedness, despondency, despair, and loss of hope and courage.

Studies show that depression and fluctuations in mood are different and occur at different times caused by different reasons (Lam 2012).Fluctuations in mood are experiences that people go through as a part of normal life which caused by everyday challenges of every day that do not constitute depression or stress. Psychologists say that grief resulting from loss of someone close or someone you love may also be assumed to be depression, but if the grief does not persist it is not depression, however, depression can be related to persistent grief resulting from the death of someone. Depression can be caused by various factors as genetics, biological factors, environmental factors, psychological factors and psychosocial factors which cause discomfort ultimately resulting in a brain disorder and medical concerns.

Depression can happen to any member of the family not respecting their age or their health conditions. Most cases occur during adolescence and adulthood, although it may also occur in children who experience low mood and experiences that are diminishing to them. In midlife or older adults, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and many other serious medical illnesses may co-occur with depression (Perri, 2002). Sometimes medications given to physical illnesses may cause side-effects that greatly contribute to discomfort to the body and therefore depression. Chronic pains or chronic conditions and abuse of recreational drugs can accompany depression or result in it.

People can become completely incapable of taking their normal life responsibilities. There are various symptoms of depression which must be observed on suspicion that one has depression in order to take the necessary precautions. One may have insomnia, hypersomnia, fatigue, poor or impaired concentration, poor decision making or indecisiveness, significant loss of weight, low appetite or too much eating and recurring thoughts of suicide or death among many others (Wasserman, 2011). Lack of pleasure in almost all activities that one is used to doing or finds delight in may be one of the first and major symptoms of depression which if nothing is done in consideration to that one may have to suffer the predicaments of depression which not only affect the victim but people close to them and the family.

Symptoms vary depending on the stage of illness. The more severe the symptoms are the higher the stage of illness. The severity and frequency of symptoms will clearly show the stage of depression. How long symptoms last depend on a particular victim, some victims will have the symptoms in longer periods and the effect of depression will not be fast to note while others will take a very short time to have the symptoms so severe. The severity of this illness also depends on the age and the cause of the illness. Different victims will be affected differently by depression depending on the weight of the causative agent and the age of the victim (Davidson, 2002). Precautions and treatment should be taken in the early stages which will ease the risk, duration, cost of treatment and impact to the victim’s body, his/her activities family and the society.

Depression has physical effects which mainly impact the brain and other parts of the body. It affects the normal way of thinking where a decrease in brain volume is one of the side-effects. Depression causes pain in various parts of the body and can ultimately cause heart diseases. If a member of the family is affected by depression they affect the whole family through the predicaments that come along with depression. They also adversely affect the family through not playing the role they normally play effectively (Casey, 2000). This means that if this particular member of the family does not play their role in the developments and progress of the family he/she leaves the family with a deficit of one person.

Depression has disadvantageous effects on the family. A good example is if a parent who may happen to be the main provider of the family is depressed. This means that the family will have to look for other sources of provision; it also means that they will have now to look after their depressed father who will not attend to their needs effectively. Socially the parent will be impaired since the depressed parent will not have effective communication, will have a low mood and therefore will not give the best of his/her parenthood mandate and responsibilities to the children. During treatment, the children will spend time and money as they ensure that their parent’s wellbeing is restored.

In conclusion, depression has negative health effects, social effects, and pain. It results in decreased performance in the daily activities, substance use and abuse and withdrawal from the family, friends, workmates and everyone trying to be social with the patient. Depression can also cause more serious results such as suicide attempts and therefore should be cured immediately the signs and symptoms are noted.



Richards, S., &Perri, M. G. (2002). Depression: A primer for practitioners. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Pub.

Davidson, R. J. (2000). Anxiety, depression, and emotion. New York: Oxford University Press.

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Wasserman, D. (2011). Depression. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bottom of Form

Lam, R. W. (2012). Depression. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Peacock, J., & Casey, J. (2000). Depression. Mankato, Minn: LifeMatters.

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