Children Respond Positively to Mother’s Depression Cure.

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A new study which has appeared in The American Journal of Psychiatry has shown that the children of mums who had a depressive disorder of a major nature have show real positive outcomes in themselves in the 12 months after their mum has shown a response to treatment.

The improvement experienced by the children is that psychiatric symptoms improve all round. It has become evident over the years that the children of depressed parents are increasingly likely to develop psychological conditions of their own

The findings have been described as ‘encouraging’ by the authors of the study. According to the authors the improvement on both counts ‘represents an improvement in a child’s future prospects’.

80 mothers were taken as subject matter for the National Institute of Mental Health Study entitled ‘STAR*D,’ or Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression. The study was an analysis of how remission affects children. In the study all children were between the ages of 7 and 17. Myrna Weissman, Ph.D. said, “STAR*D was designed to offer a sequence of treatments to patients who didn’t respond to the first, or second, or even third treatment. This study shows that remission, even after several months of treatment, can have major positive effects not only for the patient, but also for her children.”

Overall psychosocial functioning in school and at home was found to improve in the children once the mother was in remission, with the children of those who only began to improve late into their treatment also experiencing very positive results, unless it was with regards to ‘functioning,’ in this case there was little or no improvement in the children of the mother.

There were likely residual effects from the lengthily depression suffered with long term consequences for the functionality of the children. The study also observed how children of mums who showed no improvement, also showed no improvement and in themselves showed an actual increase in disruptive behaviours.

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