It is a fact that so many people who take care of members suffering with depression can take on the depression themselves as well. Being unable to cheer someone up or wanting to “fix” them but having mixed messages about this concept can be stressful and frustrating in itself. Most people with depression don’t want their family members to be in pain but they also don’t always want to be helped or thought of as a cause or a burden. We can see how this would lead to the high levels of anxiety and distress as well as an overall sense of burdening on both sides. It may lead to resentment in some cases. In addition, such articles could somehow also relate to those who are caretakers to a family member with terminal illness. Even though depression doesn’t seem as negative or unable to resolve as a terminal illness to most, counselors believe it slowly extinguishes the good or happy parts of a family. It is agreed that providing education on depression would help to alleviate the burden family members feel. Counselors really like that the group members were able to meet without having the depressed patient involved, because as a group leader we don’t want certain things to come up in a session that might be damaging to the already unhappy individual.
The counseling community would be curious to see if the effects are longer term than 9 months, but we do agree that this progress is worthy to note.
It should also be wondered if the therapy these articles talk about cover the topic of emotional triggers. Just like with substance abuse, it is thought that depression also has triggers and sometimes we are not clear on what they are. People think that that would be very important to identify what may lead to the depression spiraling out of control and how to deal with it better. The counseling community also thinks that members should be aware of this while also not being too quick to judge.
In our study, we have decided to read another article about depression and family relationships, which includes some good ideas for healing. It not only talks about the ways in which depression hurts all family members, especially children and intimate partners but it suggests some adequate solutions. The theories that Bell, Marshall, & Harper found most relevant to the practice described are postmodernism, systems theory and the biology of cognition. The beliefs, attitudes, values, and assumptions held by individuals and families proved to be most important in treatment to assess. First, a context for creating change is established. The core constraining beliefs are identified and then these constraining beliefs are challenged, altered, and modified. Facilitating beliefs are affirmed and solidified because facilitating beliefs increase solution options. Some helpful interventions included writing therapeutic letters to families and focusing on spirituality in therapeutic conversations with families. This proves to the community that psychoeducation for family members is still the most highly recommended intervention because it is only with more educated minds that family members can make judgements and have more accepting beliefs. The article also talks about circular pattern diagrams, also called CPD, in which circular patterns of communication could be diagrammed. The purpose of these explorations was to highlight the ways in which the affect, behaviors, and thoughts of one family member influenced the affect, behaviors, and thoughts of one or more other family members. In addition, therapeutic letters can be effective as an intervention. Because therapeutic letters are distinctly different from social letters they are able to have a different context, content, intent, and effect on the individuals. It is known that this article was very helpful in the community and informative and should be drawn attention to in the hope that maybe it will prove to help others with some additional research on this population.