No-one would be able to discuss the effects of depression in family life than someone having depression. Depression, as it affects the entire life of the patient, has a great impact on family. Having to live with a mental disorder, your relationships with other people is changed from the beginning.
As someone suffering from clinical depression, I wanted to list the ways that depression might affect our family life. As a structure, family is the core of a society and therefore relations between a person with depression and his/her family might reflect the relations between the society.
One of the main problems that a person in depression might face is the unawareness of his/her family. As a common misapprehension, family members might confuse depression with being depressed or sad. This leads to overlooking of depression and therefore might delay beginning a depression treatment. Depression treatment starts with diagnosis, and an unaware family might result in untreated depression for a long time. If my family had been more aware of my situation, perhaps my depression treatment would have started years ago.
Families can become a great source of cure for depression as the opposite is also possible. An emotionally unhealthy environment is one of the main reasons of youth depression (Goodman & Gotlib, 1999). Family relations are important but even more important for an adolescent. When they are looking for a feeling of security, guidance and improvement, family plays the greatest role. Several studies show that adolescent depression symptoms are positively affected by parenting characterized by coldness, rejection, harsh discipline and unsupportive behavior (Jogsan, International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 2, Issue 8, August 2012 1 ISSN 2250-3153). According to a research made in 1990, children of depressed mothers have an increased risk for depression and 50% of them will experience depressive episode by the end of high-school. (Downey & Coyne, 1990)
On the other side, a person with depression can have mood swings and may become intolerable and hard to live with. A patient with low self-esteem, low energy and low motivation can have difficulties with interpersonal skills. This results in trouble between a man and woman.