Successfully treating a mother with depression isn’t just good for the mom; it also can provide long-lasting benefits for her children’s mental health, new research shows.
About 1 in 8 women can expect to develop depression at some point in her life. Incidences peak in the childbearing years, with as many as 24% of women becoming depressed during or after pregnancy. More than 400,000 infants are born to depressed mothers each year in the U.S.
And decades of research have borne out the old expression “when Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” About half of kids with depressed mothers develop the condition–three times the typical risk.
Sadness isn’t the only symptom. Children of depressed mothers are more likely to be anxious, irritable and disruptive than other kids.