Clinical depression affects almost 1 in 10 American adults, and the condition can impact both body and mind.
Depression changes the way you feel about yourself, your life, and the people in your life.
Many people suffering from depression find this dramatically impairs their well-being as well as their relationships.
Depression, like addiction, is a family disease, then. The effects ripple outward far beyond the person suffering from depression. Finding a treatment plan for Depression doesn’t have to stop you from getting the help you need. Substance abuse can often occur from the onset of depression. Notably, depression is not something you should leave alone. When it occurs, it’s important to take measures to counter this mental health condition with salient therapies and a supportive community of mental health professionals armed with the expertise to overcome this disorder.
How Depression Affects Families
There are many ways in which untreated depression can create problems at home.
- Conflict develops in your close relationships
- You can cause negativity to seep into those around you
- Your depression can affect the physical health of loved ones
- Parental depression can affect children adversely
Conflict develops in your close relationships
If you have clinical depression, those in close contact with you often become antagonistic and hostile, overly emotionally invested in your wellbeing to the extent unhealthy dynamic sets in. This is known as expressed emotion, and it’s commonplace among caregivers.
Beyond this, when you consider some of the following common symptoms of depression, it’s not surprising it puts a strain on relationships:
Sleeping too much
Not sleeping enough
Passivity and general lack of interest
Diminished enjoyment in favored activities
If you are suffering from depression, it’s vital that any loved ones who act as caregivers in any capacity educate themselves as much as possible about the dangers of expressed emotion, and take safeguards to prevent this from further damaging the relationship and/or worsening your symptoms of depression.
You can cause negativity to seep into those around you
As outlined, depression can easily trickle into others close to you.
Ask yourself how much time you spend in the company of others complaining about life in general, and your life in particular. How much positive energy are you expending in any social interaction? How much negativity are you throwing out toward others?
While it can be difficult to think empathetically about your loved ones when you’re in the depths of clinical depression, take some time to visualize what you’re putting them through.
Your depression can affect the physical health of loved ones
It’s not just the emotional health and wellbeing of your loved ones that can suffer if you have untreated clinical depression. They could even end up physically harmed.
Family members and caregivers of those with depression frequently experience fatigue, stress, anxiety, panic, and depression themselves. Physical conditions precipitated by close contact with someone suffering from depression include:
- Body pains
- Acid reflux
- Compromised immune system
Parental depression can affect children adversely
When a parent or caregiver suffers from depression, this takes a heavy toll on children.
Depressed parents often respond negatively to their children, and they are often overly critical.
Children of depressed parents may find they have a narrower social network than many of their peers.
Having a depressed parent can cause teens to abuse substances. It can also lead to the development of depression and anxiety disorder.
What Can You Do To Fight Back Against Depression?
If you feel you have clinical depression, you should make an appointment with your doctor.
Depression is treatable using a medication, psychotherapy, or both.
Even if you don’t feel like getting help, take the small but important step of getting a diagnosis. Only then can you formulate a plan for effective treatment.
This may involve trying antidepressants until you find effective medication. Expect to wait from two to four weeks before symptoms start reducing in intensity. Treatment with antidepressants lasts from six months to a year.
Psychotherapy like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) can help you to overcome the negative thought patterns leading to symptoms of depression manifesting.
How Your Family Members can Help
Help your family to learn as much as possible about depression. The better informed they are, the smoother things will be.
Communicate openly and honestly about the way you’re feeling, your frustrations, and your needs. The more frankly you communicate, the more your loved ones can understand what you’re going through.
Involve your loved ones in treatment if appropriate. Many depression treatment programs offer a family therapy component. Here, you’ll learn to better communicate with less conflict but more resolution.
Depression Treatment Center: The District Recovery Community
If your wellness is suffering and you need to visit a rehab center for depression, we can help you here at The District Recovery Community.
For anyone also presenting with a co-occurring alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder, we have a dual diagnosis treatment program. This highly specialized treatment program will address your addiction and mental health condition simultaneously. This is proven to be the most effective method of treating co-occurring disorders.
Whatever the nature and severity of your depression, you don’t need to suffer in silence, and you don’t need to do this alone either. Pick up the phone and call the friendly TDRC team at 844.287.8506.