We see the subject of depression brought up frequently because it is a pervasive problem that can occur even in the most average of families. Further, depression both affects and can be affected by relationships.
Discussions about this subject often approach it from the back end. How can depression be treated once it has been diagnosed?
Obviously this important question can’t be ignored. Depression is a global problem that can have lasting consequences within families, and causes are often nuanced and multi-layered. Researchers are learning that biological, social, and psychological factors often interact, not only to produce depression but also to ameliorate it. In fact, the most successful treatments for severe forms of depression often include a combination of psychotherapy and pharmacology: treatment of the biological factors along with sociopsychological factors.
But as the adage says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Considering the fact that the average age for onset of childhood depression is significantly lower today than it was fifty years ago, it makes sense that researchers are actively working to come up with that precious ounce. If families could somehow learn how to prevent stressors from triggering depression, what would that mean for future generations?
Severe and persistent stress, anxiety, and grief are three major transit systems that can potentially speed individuals and families down that road. Anxiety disorders in particular are known to co-exist with depression in as many as 58 percent of cases. But researchers believe there are actions families can take to increase resilience under these circumstances, and to prevent depression from taking hold.
For more on the subject of resilience, please see my other articles.