Teens Of Mothers Who Suffer From PPD At Greater Risk For Depression

Those of us who provide medical care primarily to women have known for years that children of depressed mothers — those with long-term or chronic problems — are themselves at higher risk for problems. These range from lower cognitive abilities, learning issues, and affective/mood disorders.

However, a new study reports that psychologists are seeing these results in the teenage years. To me, this is just further proof of the far-reaching effects of perinatal depression and it substantiates the need for screening, treatment, and preventive measures.

This groundbreaking research is from the psychiatry division of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). While the study doesn’t prove that a mother’s depression causes problems for her children, it does confirm a correlation. And, we therapists hope it will encourage treating depression in pregnant women.

The report repeats the signs of prenatal depression that are similar to general depression. It’s worth including them in this post: loss of appetite and energy, not enjoying life, and dangerously, thoughts of not wanting to be around.

Cheryl Bemel, a psychologist who is quoted in the JAMA study, said, “At times, medication is warranted and appropriate. If that’s the case, there are medications that are safe to use. It is better to take a preventative approach to mental health issues than wait to treat them at a crisis point in order to prevent the mother and her child from suffering, especially since the study suggests it can become a generational concern.”

An interesting outcome of the study is that it supports the belief that “the causes of depression can be linked both to nature and nurture. We know that when mom is pregnant,” Bemel explained, “the infant is in the womb and swimming in a sea of hormones. One such hormone is cortisol, which can exacerbate depression if a child is exposed to it. The nurture factor becomes relevant after birth.”

The nurture factor is a subject that I concentrate on, in this specialized area of treating perinatal depression and anxiety disorders. I work to facilitate the mother-baby connection, as bonding can be affected if she is experiencing a depressive episode. Because this attachment is so crucial to both mother and child, the patient and I work together to navigate the disorder. And as the title of my book suggests, we come to a result that finds her with a happy ending.

Read more: POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION: Kids see increased risk in teen years – KMSP-TV http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/23663297/postpartum-depression-kids-see-increased-risk-in-teen-years#ixzz2hcN5y2nB

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~ by ppdsus on October 18, 2013.

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