Does the family “need” depression? A pilot study of family consultations
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Zakład Terapii Rodzin, Katedra Psychiatrii UJ CM
Zakład Zaburzeń Afektywnych, Katedra Psychiatrii UJ CM
Submission date: 2015-02-26
Acceptance date: 2015-03-06
Online publication date: 2018-06-30
Publication date: 2018-06-30
Corresponding author
Martyna Chwal-Błasińska   

Zakład Terapii Rodzin, ul. Kopernika 21a, 31-501 Krakow, Polska
Psychiatr Pol 2018;52(3):573-583
The aim of the presented study was to analyse associations between drug-resistant depression and the way the illness is described by patients and members of their families. In particular, a hypothesis to be verified was that being ill may be a factor stabilising the family system, and consequently treatment of this kind of depression may encounter additional difficulties and enforce “drug-resistance” by “sustaining depression” by the family.

The study included 20 patients and their families. The consultations that were conducted with each of the families constituted data for the presented research. Initial results indicate an explicit association between the way the patient and his or her family define circumstances of the illness and treatment and the type of interactions between them that are manifested verbally and nonverbally.

Results of qualitative analysis indicate that if a patient during consultation reflects on how to describe his or her situation and precipitating factors of the illness, it usually takes place in opposition to other members of the family of origin. On the other hand, if a patient manifests depressive symptoms, he or she assumes a dependent role, while the rest of the family express an attitude of warmth towards him or her.

Drug resistance depression should be considered, also with the context of the patient’s family.

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