This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Understanding Depression: Family Systems Theory Essay

3790 words - 15 pages

Depression is classified as a mood disorder by the DSM-IV (1994) and is defined as a mental illness characterized by sadness, general apathy, a loss of self-esteem, feelings of guilt, and, at times, suicidal tendencies (Lexicon, n.d). Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses that individuals receive treatment for today. In any six-month period, 9.4 million Americans, and 340 million people in the world, suffer from this disease. One in four women and one in 10 men will develop depression during their lifetime (An Overview of Depression, n.d). Although the DSM-IV has defined depression, its etiology, contributing factors, and interventions differ among the schools of thought in psychology. One such example is the different stances taken by those following the family systems theoretical perspective and those siding with cognitive-behavioral theory.


Description and Definition of Depression
The underlying theme of the article by Crethar, Snow and Carlson (2004) stems from the assumptions of family systems theory (FST). There are several points regarding etiology and interventions for the treatment of childhood and adolescent depression made, which are delineated by its concepts. Based on the perspective of FST, family communications and their distortions are speculated to play an etiological role in severe psychiatric disorders, especially depression (Slesnick & Waldron, 1997). It is seen as symptomatic of the dysfunctions of a family’s interactions which commonly affect their children (Crethar et al., 2004). The idea, that the occurrences within a familial context affect children within that system, stems from the idea of interdependence in FST, in which each member is being affected by and is affecting another (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2001). It is further postulated that the family system will function in a way that maintains its equilibrium, so if there is a change, either external or internal, the entire system as a whole must adjust to restore its equilibrium (Lamanna & Riedman, 2000). These changes are any events or occurrences within the family that cause imbalances in the dynamics and patterns of behavior which cause conflict and distress.

Within the Cognitive-Behavioral Perspective (CBP), Possel, Horn, Groen and Hautzinger (2004) explain that depression is a malfunction of one or more information-processing stages which may result in a dysfunctional interpretation of situational stimuli. This explanation is based on the social information-processing model of social competence (Dodge, 1993). This model describes behavior as a consequence of information-processing in reaction to stimulus of a certain event or situation (Possel et al., 2004). The interpretations of social competence model that Possel and his colleagues examine are a variation of what Beck, Rush, Shaw, and Emery describe as negative automatic thoughts. These negative automatic thoughts are generated by dysfunctional beliefs (i.e.,...

Find Another Essay On Understanding Depression: Family Systems Theory

Analysis of the Spectrum of Depression

2795 words - 11 pages Analysis of the Spectrum of Depression Depression has many degrees of severity from a passing feeling to a serious illness, which destroys lives and relationships. Major depressive disorder is the most severe form of depression. It is extreme and persistent, rendering the patient inconsolable and helpless (1). Depressed patients often cannot continue working and have difficulty dealing with family and friends. Other symptoms of major

Toward an Understanding of Major Depressive Disorder

2076 words - 9 pages , Endocrine Dysfunction, Structural Brain Changes, Chronobiological Theory, abnormalities of Neurotransmitter Function). See Appendix A for a brief description of each MDD etiological theory Pscyhodynamic Theories. Kaplan Sadock suggest that “the psychodynamic understanding of depression defined by Sigmund Freud expanded by Karl Abraham is known as the classic view of depression” (533). The four key tenets of psychodynamic theory are: (1) disturbances in

The Impact of Suicide and Drug Related Deaths on the Family

1901 words - 8 pages entire experience of family members and friends in the anticipation, death and subsequent adjustment to living following the death of a loved one. When a family is in a period of bereavement, problems can arise in adaptation, individual experiences of grief, as well as alterations in relationships and living arrangements. Bowen Family Systems Theory As learned in class, Murray Bowen was a psychiatrist who studied the connection between

Bulimia and Depression

2378 words - 10 pages because of possible bias." (Levy et al., 1989) Furthermore, many studies did not work with control groups which leads to a possible bias. Levy et al. (1989) recommend that more familial studies using structured interviews and blind family interviews are needed for a more precise understanding to the relationship. Sleep abnormalities have also been investigated in the search for understanding the relationship between depression and bulimia

Bronfenbrenner's Ecological System Theory Paper

814 words - 4 pages Bronfenner’s ecological systems theory identifies five environmental systems with which child interacts. The model consist of five major systems; microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem. Bronfenbrenner believed that each system joins with each other to affect a child’s development. The first level is the microsystem, which is made up of the child’s daily activities, and the people with whom the child interacts with

Youths with Depression

1319 words - 5 pages Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory, human development is influenced by different environmental systems. These environmental systems include microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem and macrosystem which represents the different communities. SOS and CHAT services fall under the exosystem, as it reaches out to the public and thus has a broader scope of influence. Through these welfare services, youths with depression are able to get help from the wider

Are we Really in the Midst of a Depression Epidemic?

2196 words - 9 pages increase in depression diagnosis explains that the exact cause of depression isn't known and several factors can be associated with its development. It does not a result from a single event, but from a combination of recent events and other longer-term or personal factors. The complex interaction of social, psychological and biological factors affect a person, life events, changes in the brain, personal factors associated with family, personality

Attachment System Theory Application

1461 words - 6 pages Family life can sometimes be perceived as chaotic and unreasonable when faced with challenges. However, from a systems theory perspective, these erratic behaviors can often be explained by the interdependent workings of the family itself and reveal reason within chaos. Applying the attachment theory to this theory, an explanation for a child’s reactions within the situation and in the future can be attributed to the relationship between the

Depression in Children and Adolescents

3613 words - 14 pages Mood Disease.      Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press. Patterson, Gerald. (1990). Depression and Aggression in Family Interaction.      New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Rehm, Lynn. (1981). Behavior Therapy for Depression – Present Status and Future      Directions. New York: Academic Press, Inc. Empfield, Maureen, & Bakalar, Nicholas. (2001). Understanding Teenage Depression.      New York: Henry Holt and Company

Depression: Symptoms, Types, and Treatments

2063 words - 8 pages depression or recurrent depressive disorder is the most severe depressive disorder out of all of the depressive in my estimation. Major depressive disorder is a condition in which affects a person’s family, work or school life, sleeping, eating and general health. It is important to emphasize that we can understand the mechanics of this disorder and how it affects people with major depressive disorder. Etiology By understanding who gets a

Are we really in the midst of a depression epidemic

1864 words - 8 pages , and poor concentration”. Beyond blue an organisation created in response to the increase in depression cases explains that “while the exact cause of depression isn't known, a number of things can be associated with its development. Depression does not result from a single event, but from a combination of recent events and other longer-term or personal factors”. Life events, changes in the brain, personal factors (family, personality, serious

Similar Essays

Family Emotional Systems Theory Essay

1482 words - 6 pages shift anxiety and divert focus and also as a means for understanding the father-mother-child relationships. Finally, I will examine the intergenerational transmission of patterns, themes and roles of the members of the Clark family. In conclusion, I will critique the merits and the shortcomings of Bowen’s family emotional systems theory using Hutchinson’s (2010, p.30) five criteria for evaluating theories in the practice of Social Work

Bowen Family Systems Theory Essay

1595 words - 7 pages regression causes difficulty for parent to raise their children then a period of progression (Bowen Theory, 2014). Societal emotional process refers to societal regression, which can occur from an economic depression, resulting in forces inhibiting differentiation (Gladding, 2011). In conclusion, Bowen’s family system theory is genius. Bowen’s theory categorizes different aspects of the family and reason for family behavior. Bowen clearly defines

Family Systems Theory Essay

1103 words - 4 pages According to Richard Charles (2001) “the effectiveness of family systems theory rests not much on empirical research but on clinical reports of positive treatment outcomes, the personal benefits experienced by the families that underwent this kind of treatment, and the elegance of Bowen’s theory” (p. 279). Bowen’s family systems theory views the family as an emotional unit and is a theory of human behavior. Systems thinking are used to

An Investigation Into The Relationship Between Anxiety And Depression Among University Students

1645 words - 7 pages and anxiety. In this report, Eldeleklıoğlu (2006) also identified social support systems as a vital element in people’s lives hence; the purpose of the study was to see how the lack of social support contributed to depression and anxiety in university students, as well as the level of the effects. Eldeleklıoğlu (2006) highlighted in the article, that adolescents suffering from depression are sad and broken down; they feel lonely but can continue