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Mental Health Improves in Kids When Mother Treats Depression

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photo by Daisy Romwell

According to a new study, when mothers are successfully treated for depression, the mental health of their children tends to improve. The basis of this research is the idea that children who come from parents that have to deal with serious instances of depression, tend to be at a higher risk of being diagnosed with psychiatric disorders.

Study of 80 women and their children

For the purpose of their analysis, researchers included 80 women who suffered from depression, and their children ages 7 to 17 in the study. The mothers, in order to be able to accurately express their symptoms and issues were enrolled in the U. S. National Institute of Mental Health trial which was created to help patients who suffer from depression, but didn’t respond to the first few attempts to treat it.

After carefully documenting all of the cases and results involved, researchers noted that children of women who were in early remission and showed improvements in dealing with their psychiatric disorders tended to have kids who were mentally healthier. On the flip side, children whose mothers took longer to go into remission or show signs of improvement when dealing with their depression showed an increase in outward-directed symptoms of poor mental health like disruptive behavior.

"This study shows that [depression] remission, even after several months of treatment, can have major positive effects not only for the patient but also for her children," said researcher Myrna Weissman.

This study appears in the March 15 edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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