Thursday, June 08, 2006

Passing Depression to Your Children

Findings that appear in the March issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that by effectively treating a mother's depression within the first three months of a child's life, can reduce the risk of psychiatric and behavioral disorders in her children. Also, mothers who remain depressed increase the risk of passing disrupting behaviors and thoughts to their children. Research shows that parents who have depression is a high risk factor for childhood anxiety, disruptive behavior disorders and major depression. Children of depressed parents often develop psychological difficulties before reaching puberty and can continue into adulthood, thereby manifesting themselves in the next generation. Although many feel that major depression has a strong genetic component, other factors such as disrupted parent-child attachment and poor bonding may also play a very significant role. For children who are likely to be vulnerable, reducing stress that is associated with maternal remission may reverse the symptoms.

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