Why Depression Untreated, is Really Bad for Your Health

 Depression is a common mental illness that can easily be treated


by uprunforlife | Aug 1, 2017

Often times the person suffering from major depressive disorder is in denial that they have a problem and feel that they are just sad. Unlike a bout of sadness, major depressive disorder affects every aspect of your life and it isn’t something that will go away on its own.


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Is Your Teen Depressed, or Just Plain Moody?


TeenThe Checkup  By FEB. 13, 2017  Forward by Lindsay:  Oh those teen years.  Parents must deal with all those mood changes, but is this just moodiness?  Or is this depression?  Parents need to be diligent and watch their child, where do they go, who do they hang with, what their interests are and are their interests in more than normal school activities?

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Parents’ Depression Linked to Problems in Children






Like many other primary care doctors, I sometimes sense the shadow of depression hovering at the edges of the exam room. I am haunted by one mother with severe postnatal depression. Years ago, I took proper care of the baby, but I missed the mother’s distress, as did everyone else.

Nowadays it’s increasingly clear that pediatricians, obstetrician-gynecologists and internists must be more alert. Research into postnatal depression in particular has underscored the importance of checking up on parents’ mental health in the first months of a baby’s life.

But a parent’s depression, it turns out, can be linked to all kinds of problems, even in the lives of older children.

18 and Under


Dr. Perri Klass on family health.


MAY 7, 2012, 5:16 PM

Joyce Hesselberth

“Depression is an illness that feeds upon itself,” said Dr. William Beardslee, professor of child psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, who has spent his career studying depression in children and developing family interventions. “Very often people who are depressed don’t seek the care they need.”

In 2009, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council issued a report, “Depression in Parents, Parenting, and Children,” that summarized a large and growing body of research on the ways that parental depression can affect how people take care of their children, and how those children fare.

One in five Americans will suffer from depression at some point, noted Dr. Beardslee, who was on the committee that issued the report. “Untreated, unrecognized parental depression can lead to negative consequences for kids,” he said, ranging from poor school performance to increased visits to the emergency room to poorer peer relationships and adolescent depression.

Moreover, there is plenty of evidence that when depressed parents get treatment and help with their parenting, families are much better off.

How has depression affected your family? Join in the discussion below.

Depression is certainly treatable, said Dr. Mary Jane England, a psychiatrist and professor of health policy and management at Boston University School of Public Health, who led the Institute of Medicine committee.

But, she added, “because of stigma and lack of training of some of our primary care practitioners, we don’t pick it up.”

Depression damages the interactions between parents and children, and disrupts family routines and rituals. Children with a depressed parent are themselves more likely to manifest symptoms of depression, research shows, along with other psychiatric problems and behavior issues. They are more likely to make visits to the emergency room and more likely to be injured.

A depressed parent may have trouble following a plan of preventive care if a child has a medical problem like asthma. But higher rates of depression in parents whose children have chronic medical problems may also reflect the stress of dealing with those problems, especially for psychologically vulnerable parents.

Depression may become part of a vicious cycle in these families: An overwhelmed and depressed parent is less able to follow a complex medical regimen, and a child ends up in the emergency room or the hospital, creating more pressure and more stress for the family.

“There is a high burden of maternal depression, anxiety,” among mothers bringing children to an emergency room, said Dr. Jacqueline M. Grupp-Phelan, a pediatric emergency room specialist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. “It influences their own perception of how well they can deal with their kids’ problems.”

It’s also become clear that there may be genetic propensities to depression. Its appearance in parent and child may in part reflect inherited vulnerabilities.

And all of that reaffirms how critical it is for primary care doctors to ask the right questions and offer diagnosis without stigma.

“Moms appreciate being asked,” said Dr. Grupp-Phelan, who has done research on the acceptability of mental health screening. “It may be the only time they’ve been asked about their depression.”

I often find myself urging mothers to pay more attention to their own medical problems and mental health. Pediatric colleagues tell stories of depressed parents who break down and cry during a child’s visit, but then say they’re too busy taking care of the family to get help for themselves.

I don’t love the “do it for your child’s sake” argument; I worry it suggests that the parent isn’t important in her own right. But to be honest, I make that argument anyway, because it works.

“They are open to doing something about their own issues because it could help their kid, and that’s a very strong hook for mothers,” Dr. Grupp-Phelan said. And when the “doing something” includes a focus on the whole family, those routines and rituals and routines can be rebuilt, and there’s plenty of research to show that children are resilient.

So if parents are open to being asked, and if we know that identifying depression has important benefits for our patients and their parents, why aren’t we better at asking?

As a pediatrician, I tend to focus on the child, of course. Asking mental health questions of the parent can sometimes feel intrusive or invasive.

And there’s the worry that even if you identify a problem, there may not be good help available. When poverty and lack of access are combined with parental depression, not surprisingly, the risks are that much greater.

And in looking for parental depression, in asking about it and discussing the risks, there may be a sense that doctors are placing blame. I think we fear that parents who are struggling with these shadows will feel accused and inadequate.

“The last thing in the world we should be doing is blaming parents,” Dr. Beardslee said. “We should be reaching out and offering hope.”

Copyright 2012 The New York Times Company

Omega-3 Consumed During Pregnancy Curbs Risk For Postpartum Depression Symptoms

Omega-3 Consumed During Pregnancy Curbs Risk For Postpartum

Depression Symptoms

Apr 13 2011   – Fish has long been considered in myriad cultures to be “brain food,” but only recently has bona fide science begun to support this deep-rooted belief. Researchers now know that the omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish such as salmon and herring may play a critical role in both development and maintenance of the brain and nerves. Although sufficient amounts of these long-chain fats can be synthesized endogenously by most adults, experts recommend that pregnant women and infants get additional amounts of these compounds from their diets. This, combined with research suggesting that these fats play a critical role in cognitive and visual development during early life, has prompted much research and product development aimed at pregnant women and newborn infants. Studies have also suggested that higher consumption of certain omega-3 fatty acids may also benefit adult mental health as well for instance, as it might relate to lower risk for depression.

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Is there an association between a Mother’s Mood and Her Baby’s Sleep Patterns?

Is there an association between a Mother’s Mood and Her Baby’s Sleep Patterns?

Babies born to depressed mothers may have much more chaotic sleep patterns early in life. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Michigan Health System)

 ANN ARBOR, Mich. — If there’s one thing that everyone knows about newborn babies, it’s that they don’t sleep through the night, and neither do their parents. But in fact, those first six months of life are crucial to developing the regular sleeping and waking patterns, known as circadian rhythms, that a child will need for a healthy future.

It is crucial to developing the regular sleeping and waking patterns, known as circadian rhythms, that a child will need for a healthy future.

Some children may start life with the sleep odds stacked against them, though, say University of Michigan sleep experts who study the issue. They will present data from their study next week at the European Sleep Research Society meeting in Glasgow, Scotland.

Babies whose mothers experienced depression any time before they became pregnant, or developed mood problems while they were pregnant, are much more prone to having chaotic sleep patterns in the first half-year of life than babies born to non-depressed moms, the team has found.

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