Social networks of depressed patients
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Psychiatr Pol 2007;41(5):651-663
Aim. The purpose or the research was to analyse the structure of social networks as well as types and sources of support received by patients with unipolar disease. Method. Assessment was made according to Bizon's method and Cohen's ISEL. Results. In general, the networks of patients function worse than the networks of healthy people. Patients with unipolar disorder do not mention many people of their environment as significant or providing support. They devote less time to social life, are often isolated and lonely and restrict their interactions to family members. That is the group of people from which they obtain most of support, and all supportive functions often lie in one person. These patients have a sense of receiving a small amount of mainly emotional (self-esteem) but also appraisal, belonging and tangible support. Conclusion. Stabilising supportive relations in different aspects of life should be one of the aims in the therapy both in hospitals and in outpatient departments. Surely that is one of the pathways which may at least to some degree alleviate the huge suffering caused by affective disorders.
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