When a parent is depressed children suffer

just read an article on psych Central, one of my favorite mental health webpages confirming what family therapists have known for years.  That children being raised in a home where a parent is depressed is at increased risk for a variety of psychological problems.Not only does depression make one parent less available emotionally, there is rarely discussion about what is happening in the family, leaving the children confused.  In these families, children tend to take on more responsibility than they should and frequently blame themselves for their parents’ unhappiness.Children, of course, are at less risk if parents get treatment for depression.  And some of the treatment should involve family therapy.  But just as important as the therapies is how the depression is viewed by the family. If it is seen as shameful, or a character weakness and never talked about, the children will continue to be harmed.  On the other hand if it is seen as is a brain disorder that is treatable, life gets more manageable for everyone.And speaking of brain disorder, from a genetic perspective, children of depressed parents are at increased risk for having their own depression.  As they grow, they should be made aware of signs and symptoms and risk factors. And it is critical for parents to role model the attitude that depression is what someone has and not who someone is.This study was done with depression.  But the same would hold true for any chronic illness in the family.  The more it is open and simply becomes a fact of life, albeit a difficult one, the less it becomes a burden for everyone in the family.http://psychcentral.com/news/2009/03/09/children-at-risk-when-parent-depressed/4613.html

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Load comments