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Family Therapy: When a Family Member is Depressed


Family Therapy:  When a Family Member is Depressed


A family is usually the first line of support that comes rallying when you or any member is confronted with difficulties. Their unconditional love can be your source of strength when things turn unfavorable in your life. While they may not waver in their love and support for you, the challenges may also weaken them. It can distress and make them just as vulnerable to many emotional and medical conditions.

To continue supporting you, it can be productive and proactive to bring in outside professional assistance in the form of family counseling or therapy.


Depression: How It Impact Families

Depression can hurt not only the affected member, but everyone in the family. Depression can:

  • Put a strain on your interactions. With symptoms, such as anhedonia, social withdrawal, and irritability, even loving families can have difficulty supporting you when you are depressed. Depression can make you sad, unreasonable and short-tempered. There can also be many other related reasons that cause conflicts among family members.
  • Challenge their patience when you refuse to embrace your treatment. Depression is a condition that needs to be treated for the symptoms to become manageable. Knowing how important the treatment is for you, they may become sad and discouraged when you refuse to seek or sustain your treatment.
  • Burden them with additional responsibilities. Once your symptoms take a downward spin, there could be an increased likelihood that your functioning will decline. In this event, they are also likely to step up to fill the void or take care of your responsibilities. This can mean additional chores for them, tiring them out physically.
  • Put your finances in a quandary. If you are a breadwinner, depression may make it difficult for you to hold down a job. Considering the potential loss of income and the additional expense that your treatment may cost your family, things can quickly become difficult with financial issues.
  • Distress them as they live with your symptoms. It isn’t easy to live with someone who is depressed. Those you live with can do their best to be patient with you and to support you, but they may also be distressed in the process. They may feel guilty if they perceive they aren’t providing you what you need to improve your condition. They can feel discouraged when you don’t adhere to your treatment program. Watching you suffer can make them as helpless and hopeless too.
  • Isolate family from people. Depression can make your family forego activities and occasions, particularly when they sense you don’t like it. The added responsibilities may not only tire them out, but also take more time, especially with the added job of picking up the slack. This means social withdrawal can be brought about by the perceived need to do more because you are depressed.
  • Impact your family’s overall health. The strain, the burden, the financial issues, the emotional weight of helplessness can hit your family hard. It can affect their emotional and physical health.


Family Therapy: Seeking Refuge and Enlightenment

With treatment, depression can be managed. Seeking treatment from an experienced therapist is a good, first recourse to ease your symptoms. Your treatment can help your family because it can remove the challenges the depression may be causing.  The support of your family plays an important role in how you will overcome depression.  If your family, however, has become dysfunctional in the process, they too will need help. Help can come in the form of family therapy.

According to Mayo Clinic, Family therapy is a type of psychological counseling… that helps family members improve communication and resolve conflicts.”  In the face of depression when there are more issues to potentially cause conflicts, family therapy can be an effective strategy to keep the whole family resilient. It can work as a primary mode of treatment to help you with your depression. It can also be a secondary mode of treatment to address the other issues that arose from depression, including family conflicts.

Just as a family can be the source of support during this trying time, they can also contribute to the deterioration of your condition. If they don’t understand depression and how it can impact your relationships, they can’t be effective in their roles and they can end up hurt and overwhelmed. Out of fatigue and confusion, their “expressed emotion” can be excessive worry, distress, resentment, and criticism.  This will not help you or the rest of the family.


Finding Help for the Family

There can be no substitute for your family, insofar as loving and supporting you is concerned. With the right help from a therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – Cameron, NC – on Hwy 87, near Linden Oaks, they can be your most loyal and trusted supporters. They can step up on your behalf. They can encourage you and stay with you through your journey.

These are the reasons why a family’s emotional health must be taken care of while you are depressed. As your first line of support, their emotional health and all other family interactions matter. Along with the assistance of a therapist contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – Cameron, NC, your family can continue supporting you in the healthiest way possible.

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Cameron, NC

Counties: Harnett County

Areas: Cameron NC, Linden Oaks NC, Sprout Springs NC, Anderson Creek NC, Olivia NC, Pineview NC, Johnsonville NC, Spring Lake NC

Zip Codes: 28326, 28327, 27332, 28394

Rose Thomas, MA, LPC, LCAS, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Children, Teens, Individuals, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder, ADHD, Relationship Issues, Marriage Counseling, Parenting, PTSD/Trauma Recovery, Acute Stress Disorder, Adult Sexual Abuse Survivors, Adjustment Disorders, Depressive Disorders, Persistent Depressive Disorder, Bipolar and Related Disorders, Self-injurious/Self-Harm, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Separation Anxiety, Disruptive Disorders, Conduct Disorder, Marital Conflict and Discord, LGBT, Substance Use Disorders
 Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Tricare Prime, Tricare Select, Extra, Retired, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express


Specializes in: (Ages 4+) Children, Individuals, families, PTSD, Trauma, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Adjustment Disorder, ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, communication skills, and Parenting Skills, Behavior Management, Life transitions, Family Conflict, Difficulty Coping, Relationship Problems, Depression, Anxiety

InsuranceBCBSTricare, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted and Apple Pay

Credit cards:  


Shirlisa Daniels, MS, LPC, NCC

Specializes in: (Ages 4+) Children, Teens, Adults and Individuals, Families, Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Panic Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, ODD, PTSD, Relationship Issues, Conflict Resolution and Life Transitions
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Cash (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

Holly Ring, LMFT

Specializes in: (Ages 7+) Adolescents, College Students, Individuals, Couples, and Families, Anxiety, Depression, Trauma (child and adult, TFCBT certified), Relationship Issues, Coping Skills, Adjustment Disorders, Life Transitions, Suicidal Ideation, Self-esteem, OCD, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting Skills, LGBTQ
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Cash (credit cards accepted)
 Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: (910) 716-8006 (Fastest way to schedule)
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Carolina Counseling Services - Cameron, NC
35 Plantation Drive, Suite 100B and 100C
Cameron, NC 28326

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PO BOX 9909
Fayetteville, NC 28311

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