Parents and Teenage Depression
It is common sense that parents have a significant role in keeping their children healthy and safe. But all too often this is seen in the narrow context of physical health and safety rather than the big picture of mental health and safety. A study recently conducted by University College London has shown that parental depression has a significant impact on adolescent depression. Contrary to popular belief that because the mother spends more time with the child, that she is primarily responsible for the mental health of the child. Fathers are now being increasingly seen as a significant link in good or poor mental health in their children.
Parents who display depressive symptoms are more likely to be tired and irritable and are therefore more likely to argue with their adolescent children. This arguing can lead to low self esteem for the child and indeed even the child bringing to develop depressive tendencies and symptoms. It will come as no surprise that treatment is the key, in the first instance, parents with depressive symptoms should be getting the therapy and treatment that they need. Also, it is essential to intervene in a child’s mental health as soon as symptoms start to develop. Early intervention may mean the avoidance of long term treatment and therapy later on in life.