Maternal Depression

Maternal Depression-Moms who are depressed often suffer in silence, but this common illness can also take a heavy toll on their children…

As many as one in four women will suffer from this biological illness at some point in her lifetime, including about 10 percent of new mothers who develop postpartum depression(PPD). Not only is a child with a depressed parent two to four times more likely to develop depression himself before adulthood, but extensive research has shown that a mother’s depression, especially when untreated, can interfere with her child’s social, emotional, and cognitive development.

Mothers are often so focused on their families that they disregard their own well-being and even if they recognize the symptoms they often assume that they are just stressed and will eventually snap out of it. However, research has found that the longer your symptoms go untreated, the more likely you’ll be to suffer from future episodes of depression. Getting treatment is as essential for depression as it is for diabetes, because moderate to severe depression rarely goes away on its own: With the correct treatment, depressed moms can still be excellent parents who are less critical, more supportive, less irritated and more able to coordinate social and academic plans affectionately.

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms you might be depressed: Prolonged sadness lasting for more than two weeks, frequent fearfulness, changes in sleep or appetite, loss of energy, inability to take pleasure in former interest, social withdrawal, increased irritability, agitation, worry, or anxiety and thoughts of death or suicide.

Reading this article may be difficult, but you owe it to yourself and your children to get the help you need.

Dr Desere Ferreira