When one or both parents are depressed, the entire family can be affected. According to a 30-year study of families at risk for depression, the offspring of depressed parents have a higher risk for depression, death, and serious disease that extends into middle age. The study assessed the health of the offspring of depressed parents at 10- and 20-year intervals. After establishing baseline health, interviews were also conducted at 2, 10, 20, 25, and 30 years. This study confirms the findings of previous research that children of depressed parents continue to have a three-fold increase in the risk of major depression or anxiety. This means that depressed adults have more reasons than their own health to seek treatment for depression.
Protecting your children is just one of many reasons to get treatment if you are depressed. If you’re wrestling with depression, Plains Area Mental Health is here to help. We understand how depression can invade every part of your life, even the futures of your loved ones, and we offer proven techniques for helping you lift the darkness. You and your family deserve to be healthy again. Call one of our offices today or you can also take our on-line assessment on this website.
P.S. A family history and assessment of major depression can help identify individuals at long-term risk for depression.