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Depression in the Family: An Opportunity to Strengthen the Ties


Depression in the Family: An Opportunity to Strengthen the Ties


Depression is an emotional condition that can wreak havoc on a person’s thoughts, emotions and health. Its effects can extend from the individual, disrupting their relationships, including their bonds within the family. Therefore, “depression is not just a medical matter. It’s a family one, too,” says Psychology Today.

It is well documented that depressed parents have higher risks of having depressed children. By being somewhat “malleable,” they can recover from the distressing impact of depression in the family, similar to how they might develop the condition later in their maturity. Depressed wives or husbands are likely to have depressed marriages as well, sharing the difficulties and taking up the displaced responsibilities of the depressed one. The effects on households are so profound, these can extend beyond the nuclear families.

Despite the negativity that depression carries, there is a way out. With family support and help from a professional, your family can overcome the challenges that may damage the ties that bind your family. Family therapy can transform the challenges into opportunities to fortify their ties by fostering understanding through effective communication.


How the Depressive Effects “Spread”

The moods and behaviors of a depressed family member can affect the entire household in many ways. Being constantly together, the effects of depression can potentially spread from one family member to another, draining the energy of the household in ways you didn’t imagine. Psychology Today says that, “Like the flu, depression is a highly contagious disorder that can be transmitted socially, jumping from one family member to others. And just as individuals can be depressed, so can whole families, often without their awareness.

Depression can push the affected member to avoid others, withdrawing into their private sanctuaries, in the guise of doing homework or other tasks. Sad and hopeless, the depressed family member can be irritable, lashing out at others and derailing further family exchanges. Thus, dialogues and interactions can become elusive and silence may be sought, further hindering the chance for understanding and conflict resolution.

Depression can naturally breed conflict, even in the healthiest and happiest families. It can lead to challenging, exasperating, and hurting exchanges and interactions among the members of the family. These may range from minor annoyances to repressed resentments, and from seeming simple feelings of irritation, guilt and/or disenchantment to highly-charged dynamics and arguments.


Families: A Major Force of Love and Support

Depression can hurt families as it erodes vigor, motivation and the ability to find pleasure, which are important factors in nurturing and sustaining a family. However, they can also be key forces of love, comfort, care, and provide an opportunity to find a treatment. With the right help they can improve your family’s resilience, so that depression becomes an opportunity to fortify your family ties and love.

A family can do a lot of things for a loved one suffering from depression. They can help discern what may appear as virtually “indiscernible” changes in their behavior. They can provide actual physical support to work through the emotional condition. They can immensely contribute to the emotional tone in your home or emotional environment of the depressed member, so that they can help with their recovery process. This is why families can fare better than individuals when it comes to recognizing the symptoms of depression.

Supporting a loved one who is depressed isn’t easy. It is generally, physically tiring and emotionally demanding. Under the situation, the emotionally stable members may similarly be under tremendous strain, caring and supporting the affected one, as well as meeting the displaced responsibilities. These can result in everyone being more vulnerable to the “spread or transmission” of the depressive symptoms, affecting their health and wellbeing. It is, therefore, not surprising that many families suffer emotionally and physically, and it is important that each member look out for one another.


Supporting Your “Depressed” Family

Being the major force of love and support, your family has an important role to play in the recovery of its depressed member. Helping your loved one, though, can be enormously challenging. The emotionally stable members may also be struggling with helplessness and pressure. This is when family therapy can help.

Family therapy can help your family stay strong in the face of depression and other adversities. According to Mayo clinic, it “is a type of behavioral counseling that can help family members improve communication and resolve conflicts.” Through family therapy, you can better understand the concern, so you can recognize the depressive symptoms and be realistic about its potential impact. Understanding can also lead to learning about your options and making tough decisions, such as encouraging treatment for the depressed member and seeking out family therapy for the household.


Transforming Depression into Opportunity

Ultimately, if a family member – you, your child or spouse – is depressed, the best thing to do is to find the right help in the way of professional treatment. Depression is an emotional condition that may need to be treated for the symptoms to improve. It can distress, not only the affected one, but the family as well, as unhealthy dynamics disrupt the functioning of others in the household.

If you are depressed, you can help your loved ones by focusing on your treatment and getting well. If you are the family supporting a depressed member, you can also seek help. Dramatic and distressing behavioral changes can bring about repeated conflicts, impacting others emotional and physical health, particularly when you are living in the same house. It is considered an important part of treatment to include the whole family in the process. These services are just a call away, if you live in or near Southern Pines, NC.

A counselor independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC can assist the depressed family member in the restoration of their functioning and the whole family in transforming the challenges of depression to become opportunities. Since depression can distress the whole family and since family support is a major force in the healing of the depressed member, the entire home can benefit from the professional help of a therapist independently contracted with CCS – Southern Pines, NC.

With family therapy, the family can more effectively work together as the communication skills and problem-solving abilities are boosted. With their enlightenment and renewed vigor, the family ties and resilience can be reinforced and improved. Call Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC today!

Confidential / Private Sessions

Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC contracts with Licensed professional counselors/therapists/psychologists who provide a friendly, caring, and relaxed atmosphere in the Southern Pines/Pinehurst/Aberdeen/Raeford area. These independently contracted therapists/counselors assist adult individuals, couples, families, and children with resolving issues and getting back to enjoying their lives. Whether you are non-military or military, the independently contracted therapists with Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC are able and happy to assist you!

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC

Counties: Moore county, NC, Lee County, NC, Montgomery County, NC, Richmond County, NC, Randolph County, NC, Chatham County, NC

Cities: Southern Pines NC, Pinehurst NC, Aberdeen NC, Taylortown NC, Pinebluff NC, West End NC, Seven Lakes NC, Eagle Springs NC, Ashley Heights NC, Ashmont NC, Five Points NC, Wind Blow NC, Jackson Springs NC, Whispering Pines NC, Vass NC, Cameron NC, Carthage NC, Eastwood NC, Lakeview NC, Narrow Ridge NC, Robbins NC, Roseland NC, Tramway NC, Troy NC, Zion Grove NC, Biscoe NC

We are located at:

Carolina Counseling Services - Southern Pines, NC
780 NW Broad St. Suite 210
Southern Pines, NC 28387

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: (910) 585-6745 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: (910) 308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
  • Click here and use our Contact Form (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
  • Call or Text for your New Patient Appointment Anytime!
  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:15pm
  • New client appts may be scheduled when therapists have openings, which may include daytime, evenings and weekends.
  • Established/Standing Appointments are made directly with your therapist!
  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!

Choose your Therapist

  • Kristin Vernon, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Children, Adolescents, Couples, Families, Anxiety, Depression, Self-Esteem Issues, Grief and Loss, Communication Skills, Divorce, Adjustment Disorders, Mood Disorders, Coping Skills, Parenting, Family Conflict, Marital Conflict, Relationship Issues
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare, cash
    Location: Southern Pines, NC
  • Gretchen Montesanto, MA, LPC, NCC

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Teens, Individuals, Anxiety, Depression, Self-Esteem Issues, Grief and Loss, Stress, LGBT, Adjustment Disorder, Motivation, Life Transitions, Mood Disorders, Military Spouses

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Southern Pines, NC
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare and Cash
    Location: Southern Pines, NC
  • Jaime J. Fitzpatrick MS, LPCS, LCAS

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Adults, Families and Couples, Anxiety, PTSD, Trauma and Abuse Recovery, Depression, Military Life Issues, Adjustment Disorder, Relationship Issues, Marriage Counseling, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Trauma Focused Therapy, Addictions, Emotional Disturbance, Coping Skills, Impulsivity, Grief and Loss, Self-Esteem
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Southern Pines, NC
  • Kelly ErkenBrack, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 3+) Children, Teens, Adults, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Loss, Mood Disorders, Trauma, Adjustments and Life Transitions, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting, Relationship Concerns, Self Esteem
    Insurance: BCBS, Medicare,  Tricare Prime/Select and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Pinehurst, NC and Southern Pines, NC
  • Kathryn Wiens, PsyD. HSP-P

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Adult, Individuals, Couples and Families.
    Insurance: BCBS, Medicare, Tricare Prime/Select, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Pinehurst, NC and Southern Pines, NC
  • Tracy Goldberg, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Individuals, Adolescents, Adults, Couples, Children and Families. Attention Deficit, Oppositional Defiance, Behavioral Issues, Peer Relationships, Family Conflict, Depression, Anxiety, Parenting Anxiety, ADHD, Self-Esteem Issues, Family Conflict/Divorce, Marriage Counseling, Adjustment Disorders, Relationship Issues, Grief and Loss, Communication Skills, Behavioral Issues, Coping Skills, Mood Disorders, Parent Skill Building, Christian Counseling upon request
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare, Cash, HRA and FSA accepted

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Southern Pines, NC