Children with a depressed parent do worse in school than peers, a study finds. But other research shows that early diagnosis and treatment can help turn that around for the whole family.
A large Swedish study showed that grades may decline when a parent is depressed.
The quantity and quality of education can make a difference well beyond school years. It’s one of the “strongest predictors of health and life expectancy that we have,” she says.
The needs and demands of children can be overwhelming even for mentally healthy parents, much less those struggling to cope with depression.
But, there is a silver lining: Depression is extremely treatable. “At the end of three months, if mom got better, the children got better.”
Clinical depression is common, and a large number of adults can be expected to suffer a serious episode at some point in their lives. But even if you’ve inherited a propensity to depression, Weissman says, you can get diagnosed and treated as soon as possible, to good effect.