Teens' Depression Treatments Improve Parents' Mental Health

About five percent of American teenagers are depressed and so are one quarter of their parents new research suggests. But parents also get better when their children are treated

About five percent of American teenagers are depressed and so are one quarter of their parents new research suggests. But parents also get better when their children are treated

When a teen's depression improved through treatment, so did depression experienced by his or her parent, according to Kelsey R. Howard, MS, of Northwestern University, who presented the findings.

RHITU CHATTERJEE, BYLINE: We tend to think of depression as affecting individuals, but Myrna Weissman says.

Participants in the study comprised of 325 teenagers who were diagnosed with depression and 325 of their parents or caregivers. The treatments were not family-based, although some parts did include the parent.

The recent study is said to be a novel approach to long-established theories on the reasons for depression. In the study, information about the teenagers' parents was also included. When treating children, clinicians may consider assessing depression levels in their parents as well.

Depression is a serious issue among teenagers, with over 10 percent of adolescents suffering from a major depressive disorder.

Almost half (45 percent) of parents struggle with depression as well. That depression can be treated in teens. She proclaimed that there is a high rate of depression in the children of depressed mothers.

We know that everything from air pollution to poverty in our environments can tip the scales in depression's direction.

These DNA risk factors are shared by parents and their children, who also influence one another's mental health just by being around each other.

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"The concept of emotions being "contagious" and spreading from person to person is well-known by psychologists", she added. According to The National Institute of Mental Health, 12.8 percent of teens experience depression, with many of these children being girls.

Psychologists investigated the condition of 325 adolescents and their parents.

Depression in teenagers and adults shares some core characteristics, but it can look different in younger people.

About a quarter of the parents told researchers they felt moderate to severe depression, too.

The teens were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups for a one-year period - those who received cognitive behavioural therapy, which helps patients identify and resolve negative thoughts and behaviour, those who took an antidepressant, and those who used a combination of both.

As their child's mental health improved over the course of treatment, the parents reported feeling better too.

'We believe our study is among the first to evaluate how the emotional health of a child can impact that of the parent, ' said Dr Reinecke.

Here is what a new study has found.

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