Depression is spreading exceptionally fast worldwide. The World Health Organization predicts it will become the second greatest cause of human disability in the world by the year 2020.

Recent research shows that depression is far more of a social problem than a biological condition. The rapid rise of depression sufferers can be explained by the family and the social environment. Unfortunately it doesn’t just affect one member of the family and then stay contained within him or her. Depression affects others through relationships. It wreaks havoc and destruction on marital relationships, family relationships, work relationships, and the whole community.

Antidepressant medications can address some of the symptoms for about 50% of adult sufferers. However, they do not help the person learn to address their thinking and their relationships. Neither do medications help the person address the social insights and skills needed to be learned in order to overcome depression episodes and prevent relapses.

Research shows that family members are often uncertain about how to face the condition their spouse or parent are dealing with and how to be in a relationship with their loved one when they are depressed. Family members experience pain, stress, isolation, and helplessness. Children of a depressed parent often have relational and social skills deficiencies and experience a sense of abandonment that makes them vulnerable to depression themselves.

The bottom line is, depression is distressing for both the person with the condition and for their family members.

Therapy can not only help you develop the skills you need to think differently and relate to others in more constructive fulfilling ways but it can also help you protect your family from depression.

Baya Mebarek, Psy.D., LMFT

San Diego Couples and Family Therapy serves the surrounding areas of Sorrento Valley Road as La Jolla, UTC San Diego, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, Poway, University City and Escondido.