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LDS Family Counselor: Depression Is A Family Matter

Most people experience some degree of depression in their lifetimes; but an experienced LDS family counselor can tell you that there is a difference between fleeting bouts of mild depression and the kind of depression that can ruin lives and relationships.   If you or someone you love is struggling with depression, here are some things you should know about what depression is, how it affects families and how an LDS family counselor can help:

  • What Depression Is

Depression is classified by the mental health profession as a mood disorder with symptoms that can vary widely from one person to another.  Depression not only causes emotional disturbances like feelings of sadness, despair, guilt, worthlessness, anxiety and apathy, it can also manifest itself in physiological symptoms like insomnia, fatigue, loss of appetite and diminished sex drive.  It can affect the ability to think clearly, to notice and remember details and to make good decisions.  Depression can affect behavior and lead to alcohol or drug abuse, suicide attempts and other self-destructive behaviors.  The two most-common types of depression are major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder.  Major depressive disorder affects one end of the mood continuum – depression.  Bipolar disorder affects both ends – depression and euphoria.

  • How Depression Affects A Family

People who are depressed are suffering.  They feel hopeless and helpless, not just occasionally but all the time.  In fact, when hopelessness and helplessness become their normal operating mode, depressed people stop trying to live a normal life with normal relationships.  They stop caring and they withdraw from life, which makes them even more depressed.  And, as their lives deteriorate, it affects those around them.  Close friends and family members can suffer, too – not only because they’re watching a loved one pull away, but because attempting to maintain a close relationship with that person means exposing themselves to negativity that includes never-ending complaints, criticisms and loss of emotional closeness.  Spouses can feel especially hurt and alienated though older children can experience feelings of guilt, resentment and self-blame.     

  • How Therapy Can Help

Depression is normally treated with antidepressant medications, therapy or a combination of both.  Antidepressant medications like Prozac and Zoloft, are widely-prescribed and have been shown to reduce many of the symptoms of depression.  Therapy is often more effective, though not quite as fast-acting as medications, for treating depression.  People who receive therapy tend to have a lower rate of recurrence of their depression and tend to feel better as an active participant in the recovery process.  There are a number of types of therapies that can be used, including cognitive therapy, behavior therapy and interpersonal therapy.  Family counselors can help individuals as well as entire families deal with depression, its symptoms and its repercussions.

If you are depressed, get help by calling the best LDS family counselor, Jody VanDrimmelen at Insight Child & Family Counseling, at (972) 426-9500.  You can also visit to find out more.

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