Home > Depression Issues > Impact of Family Depression on Kids

Impact of Family Depression on Kids

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 4 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Depression Mothers Fathers Children

A new study shows what many people have already feared or known – parents who are depressed can have a negative impact on their children's mental health. This recent research also showed that as parents' depression improved, their children's mental health similarly improved. Yet, if parents sink deeper into depression, their children will suffer from more mental health woes.

The study is important because it highlights just how significant a depressed parent's impact is on their child. With millions of people in Britain estimated to suffer from depression, it is only a small percentage who access the necessary services to treat their depression.

Studying Depression in Families

The aim of the study was to find out just what needs to be done to treat significant clinical depression, such that it stays in remission. In this way, it's not just a case of improving the symptoms of depression but also helping people to move beyond their depressive condition.

Depressed Mothers

When looking at depressed mothers, researchers investigated the effects on their seven to seventeen-year old children. When mothers were successfully treated for their depression, children showed dramatic benefits to their mental health. Sadly, those mothers who did not obtain effective depression treatment had children with increased mental health problems.

In this particular study, only one-third of the mothers obtained complete relief and successfully treated the depression. Also, only half of the mothers brought symptoms down by fifty percent, which researchers believe is the absolute minimum needed to provide benefits to the children of the depressed parent.

Other studies have shown that depression can flow through generations, which means it is particularly important that parents seek treatment now and continue to obtain treatment to ensure that depression symptoms are kept at bay.

Fathers and Depression

Researchers for the study commented that fathers can likely also affect their children's mental health if they are depressed. Although a mother's depression might have a stronger impact than a father's depression – given the more dominant role mothers tend to have – the effect should still be considered in terms of depressed fathers.

Differences Between the Sexes

When fathers are depressed, the mother might act as somewhat of a buffer to reduce the impact on the child. However, when a mother is depressed, the effect can be more direct and intense. This isn't to say that depressed fathers should not receive the same level of attention with regards to an effect on their child's mental health. It does, however mean that a mother's depression can be particularly damaging to her children while a father's depression perhaps less so – but still evident.

Successfully Handling Depression

Studies into depression and the effect of depressed parents on their children's mental health are clearly important, given that research shows a parent's depression can ultimately affect their child's mental health. In this sense, it is vital that depressed parents obtain treatment and help immediately.

They must also persevere and try to find the right treatment to put them into depression remission. Not only is it important for their own mental health, but also it benefits their child's mental health and well-being.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Sasha
    Re: Depression After an Abortion
    Im 8 and half weeks pregnant. I am 38 and have a 9 and 11 year old. This wasnt planed. My husband wants me to get an abortion but…
    26 July 2017
  • Nells
    Re: How to Reduce the Risks of Depression Reoccurring
    I found these article extremely useful.I was able to identify with almost everything. I was also liked…
    21 July 2017
  • Matthew
    Re: How to Rebuild Your Life After a Breakdown
    I have just finished writing myself through a prolonged period of mental illness and think that I may have come…
    20 July 2017
  • Anon
    Re: Depression After an Abortion
    I had a medical abortion today... I had the intention of keeping my pregnancy but something within me kept tugging on that thought…
    2 July 2017
  • kunjumol
    Re: Driving and Depression
    i am taking medicines for anti depression i am ok but i very nervey and memory level is not good anxiety and ,negativity the qualities…
    28 June 2017
  • less
    Re: Depression After an Abortion
    I had also an abortion ten years ago i got depressed until now because my ex wanted to abort our baby and i am so scared with my…
    26 June 2017
  • debily
    Re: How To Assert Yourself
    Hyy, I'm a student pursuing my B.tech carrier,currently in the final year of it. criticism and comments arouse out of some of my foolish…
    17 June 2017
  • Mrs P
    Re: How to Rebuild Your Life After a Breakdown
    Returning To Work After Depression Have had several depressive incidents in the past, both reactive and through…
    9 June 2017
  • Mrs P
    Re: How To Assert Yourself
    Have had several depressive incidents in the past, both reactive and through steroid side effects. In each case, once on meds have…
    9 June 2017
  • Devistated
    Re: Depression After an Abortion
    I had a medical abortion 3 weeks ago and the grief, upset, heartbreak is consuming me! I went through with it due to no support,…
    4 June 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the OvercomeDepression website. Please read our Disclaimer.