Clinical depression is an overwhelmingly common, psychologically debilitating, and at times fatal illness that affects approximately 6.7% of adults in the U.S. every year, affecting countless American families (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2013). The illness’s indirect impact on the family and close friends of depressed individuals can be severe and ongoing, and often leaves loved ones feeling worried, helpless, burdened and even depressed themselves (Benazon & Coyne, 2000; Joiner, Katz, & Lew, 1997).
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