Using interview data from 11 family members and grounded theory methods, this study describes family members' experiences in living with a member with depression. Findings suggest that this process can be described as family transformations. In the first stage of this processacknowledging the strangers within - family members described observing the metamorphosis of the person and other family members, finding socially acceptable explanations, living two lives, searching for reasons and solutions, and hoping for what was. In the second stage - fighting the battle - family members alternated between the strategies of holding our ground (protective) and of moving forward (coercive) to counteract the metamorphosis, and the strategy of working the system to get help for their ill member. In the third and final stage, family members described gaining a new perspective and identified preserving oneself, refocusing on others, redesigning the relationship, and becoming hopeful as strategies used in this stage.
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