Depression Effects on the Family Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Depression-Effects on the Family

There are few families today that have not been affected by a relative or close associate who suffers or has suffered in the past from depression. During the average life span, more than twenty million Americans will experience or suffer some degree of depression at some point. Moreover, the ratio of families that will be directly affected is one in five (Papolos 3). With statistics such as these, is it any wonder that there are daily commercials on television touting the latest pharmaceutical mood enhancing drug or that book stores devote entire sections to depression and emotional disorders? Moreover, support groups for those suffering from depression and/or are affected by someone who is, can be found in any community, large and small, across the country. Demitri F. Papolos in "Overcoming Depression" states that "mood disorders are the common cold of major psychiatric illnesses" (Papolos 3). Clinicians have observed for years that "depression and manic depression are very common illnesses and tend to concentrate in families" (Papolos 3).

Depression and mania are not synonymous with the normal mood cycles of joy and sorrow. Upon first observation, mood disorders mimic the highs and lows of life, however, the difference is that depression is not short lived. Severe mood disorders can last from a few months to several years (Depression 438). Sadness is a natural response to loss, disappointment, or trauma, and may actually be psychologically beneficial due to the fact that it allows one to withdraw from unpleasant or offensive situations, thus aiding in recovery. Moreover, feelings of elation from success or a blissful circumstance are normal (Depression 438). However, extreme moods that last longer than relatively brief periods of time are indications of severe disorders. A depressed person may slow down to such a degree that decision making becomes impossible and "everyday tasks and challenges become intimidating" (Papolos 5). Those who suffer from manic-depression swing from "periods of super-activity, manic elation, and grandiose schemes to periods of despondency, immobility, guilt, and inability to experience pleasure or even think normally" (Papolos 4). Psychiatrists now call this disorder 'bipolar.' Those who suffer "depression without the highs, are said to have unipolar or nonbipolar major depression" (Papolos 4). Professionals group these disturbances together "under the rubric major affective disorders" (Papolos 4). Although, the cause of depression is not entirely understood, family tendency, heredity, seems to be a factor (Depression 438).

In another book by Papolos, "The Bipolar Child," he says "Our study sample showed that over 80% of the children who developed early-onset bipolar disorder had what is known as 'bilineal transmission' - substance abuse and mood disorders appeared on both sides of their families" (Papolos 7). Research has found that positive parent-child relationships create a buffer for a child facing the daily stresses of life. There is evidence for both direct and indirect relations between paternal depression and behavioral problems in young children (Marchand 353). Research indicated that a father's depression during postpartum is a significant predictor of maternal depression, and thus, the mother's depression is a predictor of behavioral problems in young children and teenagers alike. However, a father's depression contributed greatly to the conduct problems of female adolescents and the anxiety levels of male adolescents (Marchand 353). "The mother-child interactions reflect interpersonal processes within the mother-child relationship which may serve as an important pathway by which mothers' depressive symptoms affect the development of externalizing and internalizing behaviors in their young children" (Marchand 353). Depressed mothers tend to exhibit behaviors that range from withdrawing and under-stimulating to becoming hostile, intrusive and over-stimulating (Marchand 353). Studies have long proven that childhood experiences with parents and depression status are important variables in predicting one's perceptions and behaviors in relationships. Negative childhood experiences with a parent or caregiver leads to an insecure adult attachment. Moreover, these experiences are likely to influence depression in adulthood (Hock 167).

There is no one symptom that identifies a child with bipolar disorder. However, irritability, prolonged temper tantrums, hyperactivity, and a history of mood disorders and/or alcoholism within the family are a few indicators. Living with a bipolar child is difficult and exhausting. One parent described it this way, "We feel like we've been thrown into a tornado that is big, black and powerful" (Papolos 7). Parents describe their…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Depression Effects On The Family" (2002, October 29) Retrieved December 8, 2016, from

"Depression Effects On The Family" 29 October 2002. Web.8 December. 2016. <>

"Depression Effects On The Family", 29 October 2002, Accessed.8 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Family Break Up

    Family Break Up For a humane, the word 'community' hints at people trying to work out solutions to common problems. The term 'community' generally stands for a group that is bigger and more diverse than a family or any group of people bound together with relationships. It also has more elements than being of the same neighborhood or enclave, though not as large as a county or a nation. Certainly it

  • Family Violence in Recent Years

    The research indicates that domestic violence has a negative impact on each of these areas. One of the prominent concerns concerning domestic violence is the megative impact that it has on children. According to Stenberg (2006) "In the first decade of research on family violence, many researchers documented that victims of physical child abuse were frequently characterized by behavior problems and psychiatric symptoms…More recently, researchers have also emphasized the risks associated

  • Depression Currently Depression Is a

    So, although the reverse of these characteristic is not indicative of depression, their expression within the context of grief suggests the lack of clinical depression. With the fundamentals of depression outlined, it is reasonable to wonder why such symptoms and behaviors manifest themselves in certain people and why they do not in others. Many different researchers coming from many different scientific backgrounds -- from psychology to biochemistry -- have investigated

  • Depression All in the Mind

    Not all physical activity could tackle depression. Researchers at Glasgow University interviewed hundreds of men and women about the types of exercise they engaged in (Templeton 2002). They discovered that housework, unlike vigorous exercise, not only failed to improve the morale of depressed people but also worsened their condition. They found that physical activity performed as paid work had no effect on well-being. There was no improvement in the mood,

  • Family Structure Influence on Children s

    At the same time, children being raised in single-parent families has doubled. Statistically, by the age of 18, over 50% of children in the U.S. are going to spend a portion of their childhood in a single-parent home. These numbers, experts say, make it crucial that we understand how the changes in the structure of the family influence many areas of children's lives, including educational outcomes (Schneider, Atteberry, &

  • Effects of Family Violence on School Aged Children

    Family Abuse on Children The widespread prevalence of family abuse has been increasingly the focus of media, societal, and scholarly attention. This research paper examines the effects of various forms of family abuse on the psychological development of children, and its long-term consequences for adult functioning. The scope of the paper includes research on the causes of family abuse and a discussion on the need for social interventions to minimize

  • Depression the Nature of Depression Depression Exists

    Depression The nature of depression Depression exists as a regular mental disorder presented in the form of loss of interest, depressed moods, and feelings of low self-worth, guilt, poor concentration and disturbed sleep. The most common symptoms of depression are manifested in the form of anxiety. The problems could become recurrent or chronic, leading to notable impairments in a person to become responsible. When it reaches its worst stage, depression might

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved