This research seeks to investigate how does Chronic Depression of a parent influence the children? It also seeks to find what treatments modalities are readily available in the market for both the parent as well as the child? If they are present, are they effective in their treatment of chronic disorder? This study is vey important because, it is an issue that affects the lives of many American families nowadays and the world at large. There have been various research carried out by individual researchers as well as other institutions on this topic. The scholars have more or less agreed about my topic, and my paper argues for a better interpretation. Perhaps, in order to understand the topic well, chronic depression is defined as a psychological condition, which is characterized by a feeling of sadness, which is extremely overwhelming. It is also known as dysthymia. It is a mild version of depression and can linger for a long time; even up to two years or more.
This research has put into use comparative case study as the methodology. The study utilizes the benefits associated with the use of comparative case studies in the topic of discussion, which is, how Chronic Depression of a parent influence the children, as well as, what treatments modalities are there, available for the parent and the child. This is because there is a lot of information dealing with this research topic. By taking a look at previous researches, this study looks at effects of chronic depression on children that have already been established as well as the treatment that are available in the health care system.
One of the findings of this study is that, those individuals afflicted by dysthymia, more often than not, can continue with their daily activities without any problem. However, they are constantly sad and affect those they live with, especially their immediate family members. It is an ongoing condition that is noticeable in about 15 per cent of the patients suffering from depressive disorders. This is a form of depression that stretches over at least two years. It has symptoms resembling those of major depression, but they are not the same.
Chronic depression has been attributed to a number of causes. Some individuals have developed dysthymia because of extreme stress they encounter in their day to day activities (Klein 2003). These stresses can be brought about by loss of a loved one, poverty, high levels of pain, as well as unemployment. This is a disorder that can adversely affect the brain in addition to the emotions of a patient.
The research has also established that chronic depression is characterized by episodes of depression which are long and shortly separated by intervals of normal functioning. It is also a type of depression that is more major in women than in men. Individuals' mood can be low most of the days over as long as a span of two years. They feel disheartened most of the times, and a number of the following characteristics: An increase or a decrease in the appetite. Low levels of energy, self esteem as well as feelings of despair and hopelessness. Moreover, they may oversleep, have a feeling of insomnia and experience disturbances in sleep. Lastly, they are usually unable to concentrate on tasks which are very simple.
Usually, individuals who are affected with chronic depression or dysthymia go through bouts of major depression simultaneously. Moreover, they can get into a session or two of major depression and then go back into the milder version of dysthymia. This condition is what is known as double depression.
This research has also found out that, the good thing about chronic depression is that, though a serious condition, it can be treated by qualified health professionals. The treatment can incorporate drugs as well as psychotherapy. The drugs do help in correcting chemical imbalances as well as treating the feelings of sadness. On the other hand, psychotherapy aids in the resolution of personal issues, which could be accountable for the depression (McCullough 2003).
Some of the antidepressants which can be used in treating dysthymia can include: selective reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), like fluoxetine and sertraline, which is important in increasing the levels of serotonin; tricyclic antidepressant (TCAs), like amitriptyline, imipramine, and nortriptyline; and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), like anylcypromine and phenelzine, which work by obstructing the action of the enzyme monoamine oxidase, in the central nervous system (CNS). However, these drugs must be taken under medical supervision due to the side effects they have (McCullough 2003).
A lot of supportive therapy should include provision of reassurance, advice, sympathy as well as education about the chronic disorder. Cognitive therapy should involve identifying and correcting thought patterns, which promote attitudes that are self-defeating. On the other hand, behavioral treatment is supposed to improve the social skills and teach the ways to manage stress as well as unlearn the learned helplessness (McCullough 2003). In addition, psychodynamic therapy should help a patient in resolving emotional conflicts. Interpersonal therapy should also aid in patients coping up with personal loss, disputes, as well as separation, and transitions among social roles, which can be the main causes of the condition.
This research has also established that there have been reviews done of controlled research which found out that medication is somehow superior to psychotherapy when dealing with dysthymia. However, for many, combining long-term psychotherapy as well as medication can be the most effective. It has been established that a solid relationship with a professional can be essential; in the maintenance of willingness to continue with medications. The recovery from dysthymia is a long process. More often than not, the symptoms return after some time. So, after recovery, many of the patients feel it helpful to continue with the drug or psychotherapy.
In the treatment of dysthymia using therapy, there are a number of others that can be used. One is the use of Electro-convulsive therapy in conjunction with the Talk therapy. However, it is important that the patient's consumption of certain drugs like caffeine, alcohol, marijuana, and others should be regulated. The patients would also try working out or any other outdoor activity so as to make their minds wander away from the depression. Its prognosis is something good for individuals who are ready and prepared to heal.
There are other tips that one could use to keep dysthymia at bay. Since it is a type of disease which requires a lot of attention, avoid self-medication. It is advisable to look for professional care as self-medication will worsen it. It is also advisable for one to change his or her lifestyle. This is because chronic depression is a disease that has a lot to do with what an individual feels, thinks as well as does. The patients should see to it that they live on positively. One should also try to conquer the mind, as it is a powerful tool. The symptoms as well as treatment can be initiated with the right mind. Individuals need to keep up their spirit as well as healthy minds (Arnow 2003).
In itself, dysthymia is a condition that if goes untreated, will create beliefs and perceptions that are not real. Those with this condition might start thinking that they are being disliked. They are usually sensitive to rejection. Therefore, it is advisable to see a health professional so as to overcome all these problems. The talk therapy is in different forms: cognitive, psychoanalysis as well as behavioral therapy. So, one has to choose an appropriate one for best results.
It is very important that an ill individual stays away from any substance abuse, because most of these substances complicate the treatment of dysthymia (McCullough 2003). So as to treat the depression, one needs detoxify from any addiction to any substance like alcohol, they just worsen the situation. It should also be noted that dysthymia is a serious disorder and not a minor depression. Though they share a lot of characteristics, there have been some cases reported where dysthymia was more depressing than major depression.
Another finding of the study is that, children of parents with chronic depression usually undergo a life that is hard. The children undertake a lot of responsibility for the parent who is ill as well as for the other members of the family. Taking this into consideration, it is therefore important for the health services to take note of this and have support roles support roles for the whole family members. They should not just focus on the ill individual.
Many other studies have been carried out and all point to the fact that the daily life of the family changes. It changes and becomes more complicated if a parent who is dependable suffers from dysthymia. The whole family is affected when there is an uncertainty on what is happening to the parent. A chronic depression will mean that the ill parent becomes exhausted as well as tired. This will bear down heavily on the daily life of the children in that household. More over, the depression will change the relationship existing between the parent and his or her children. This is because there is no longer the usual communication that existed before. The interaction in the family decreases. In addition, the parent who is depressed withdraws from the other family members while the children will feel that they have been left on their own.
The children will tend to take responsibility for the parent who is depressed, the siblings as well as themselves; in case they notice that the parent cannot handle the situation. The family, as a whole, tries their best to cope with the situation. This is because they want their daily lives to be restored to a level that can be more manageable. More over, the children take responsibility to monitor and keep an eye on the parent who is depressed so that he or she cannot commit suicide, as some of them might think of taking their own lives. There is a long time associated with children suffering since the depression will always come back after some time.
The research has also established that it is important to involve the whole family when a parent is affected with a chronic depression, for both the parents and children. It is important that the care and support given to the whole family should be well-defined and guaranteed. The healthcare personnel should have the opportunity to focus on providing the best health care on the family, so as to help them get through the depression smoothly. It is essential to put into focus the needs of the whole family and particularly the situation of the children.
It has been established that any individual can suffer from depression at one point in their entire life. The feeling of sorrow or hopelessness is inevitable. However, there are a few to whom the depression becomes a disorder which will then require an active treatment. There has been debate on interpersonal instances which can lead to the onset of depression. For example, the environment within the family, the discrimination associated with gender in different cultures, and the socialization setting.
If the situation of a parent with chronic depression is not treated properly, there occurs an interpersonal relation between parents and children which is negative in nature. This negativity can lead to children experiencing feeling of lack of control as well as having a high risk of rejection, conflict, rejection, in addition to low self-esteem. The children will end up not acquiring socializing skills among their peers.
Research has also established that any change in the family environment because of parental depression can increase the risk of a child or children developing a mood disorder. This is because of the insecure attachment that the children learn to develop with the parents. Unless there is treatment, the emotional distress in the children will then affect the parents; this will cause a cycle which can never end since it keeps on rotating between the parents and children and end up getting worse. It is essential to note that the change in the family environment arising from the parents' depression is the one that causes the children to be depressed.
Different studies have shown that people who are depressed usually end up being dependant on others, especially family members. These individuals also constantly seek reassurance in a manner that tends to drive people away from them. On the other hand, children who are depressed behave like depressed parents. They also express anger, sadness, shame, as well as hostility which are self-directed.
It is also important to note that in a family environment, socialization is the only key in the maintenance of healthy relationship as well as feeling well deserved. Chronic depression can have huge effects on the social capacity of individuals who are depressed. It ends up affecting their social functioning as well as their capacity to react or deal with situations which are stressful in their lives.
Studies have proved that individuals with the symptoms of chronic depression test way below average in social activities, family activities, close relationships, in addition to network contact. However, they score highly in family arguments. Coping strategies are important to stressed persons in that it allows an individual to take care of his or her troubles without being overwhelmed. Children who are depressed usually experience an inability to cope with stress. A depressed parent will impact on his or her family social settings by portraying a lack of self-esteem, become more sensitive to others' opinions, and be less physically active.
The research has also established that if a parent is depressed, it will not be possible for him or her to help the child overcome his or her problems. This will increase the likelihood of depression developing of in the children. A parent not giving the child social support will lead to development of childhood depressive symptoms.
In conclusion, a parent who is depressed is always associated with an increase in the use of expensive resources in hospitals as well as a decrease in the use of preventive healthcare services in the family members especially the children. This shows how adult depression is costly. There have been a number of studies showing prevalence of depression in parents. It goes higher in parents who take care for a family member who is chronically ill. However, while research for better drugs as well as better forms of psychotherapy continues, the problem arises in that, most individuals with dysthymia do not receive the perfect available treatments. This is because, even when they see a professional, one may still not follow his or her prescription consistently. Some even abandon psychotherapy sooner than enough. So therefore, both the professionals and the public should understand that dysthymia is a disorder that is treatable, can be identified and followed through (Klein 2003).
This research has established that, dysthymia, if not treated left can have adverse effects on an individual. If it is a working parent, their work will be affected. They seem to be unproductive both at work and at home. A huge problem with individuals suffering from dysthymia is that they start feeling that the family as well as friends is a burden. This will affect the children very much. Extreme cases of chronic depression have been suicidal. Most researches show that they tend to experience a hard life and tend to take it away soon enough. This makes some children become orphans or end up in the hands of a single parent.