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Depression, also known as major depressive disorder (MDD) or clinical depression, is listed as a medical illness in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) and is recognized as a serious mood disorder.

The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that depression is “characterized by persistent sadness and a lack of interest or pleasure in previously rewarding or enjoyable activities,” resulting in significant impairment in one’s daily life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depression affects nearly ten percent of the general population in America. Depression does not only affect the individual struggling with the disorder, but it can permeate and adversely affect every member of his or her family and the family dynamic. Family therapy for depression is a widely used intervention and is often an integral component of one’s treatment plan. 

Family Therapy

Family therapy is a type of psychological counseling that is designed to help improve the interactions of individuals within the family unit, improve the overall wellness of the family, and change patterns of dysfunction. It is the focused treatment of what is arguably one’s most influential support system. It is highly common for people with depression to experience interpersonal problems, which undoubtedly seep into and cause fractures in family relationships. Through family therapy, a family member of an individual battling depression can expect to: 

  • Learn how to effectively support your family member through skills focused on healthy family structure, systems, and behaviors.
  • Learn about the effects of depression through psychoeducation, which teaches facts about depression and can help to correct any misinformation or fears you may be harboring.
  • Develop new ways to manage your own feelings related to your loved one’s depression (e.g., helplessness, guilt, etc.) through emotional coping skills and self-care practices.

Family therapy sessions can include joint sessions with everyone or smaller sessions with a subsection of the family unit (e.g., two family members). It can be used as a long-term supplemental treatment or short-term support. Including family therapy in one’s treatment from depression can not only enhance his or her recovery outcome but also serve as much-needed support for the entire family.

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At {Upwell Advisors}, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at sean@upwelladvisors.com. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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