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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tuesday"s Psychology Tips: Positive Parenting When Depression Runs in the Family

Thought for the Day: On Tuesdays I have been sharing Psychology Tips that I have written in response to questions on HealthTap.  Recently, I received a National Grand Champion Special Recognition Award for helping 1, 800,380 people during 2013. It is a wonderful resource that is available 24/7 for all your medical and mental health questions. Today, I'd like to share not only my answer to an important question but some of the answers of my colleagues on HealthTap. Since each response is limited to 400 characters, reading a few doctors responses rounds out the picture and offers an even more comprehensive answer. You can follow me and other physicians on HealthTap by clicking on our names below. It is always challenging when we know that a serious illness runs in our family that has a strong hereditary factor. Here's how I and three colleagues responded to this mother's difficult question. 
A 28 year-old female asked:
My family has history of bipolar & major depression. I was diagnosed w/ major depression too. What can I do to ensure a healthy mental life for my kid?
Dr. Barbara Lavi answered:
Treat your
depression. The better you manage your depression and understand both the psychological and physiological components the better you will be able to raise your children. They need to know about depression since they may inherit the physiological component and need to seek treatment later in life. The more you learn how to cope with your feelings the better you will be able to teach them how to deal with theirs.

Dr. Johanna Fricke answered:
Take care of your-
self, first & foremost. If you stop your medications &/or counseling, your depression can recur. Unfortunately, maternal depression harmfully impacts child development. Genetic loading for Bipolar Disorder: Usually, if only one parent has it, a child has a 20% chance of having it. In some families in which it is autosomal dominant, the chance is 50%. Daily structure & consistency are important.

No guarantees
Family history is an major risk factor for depression and BD both. Fortunately, it is not an absolute, but your children are apt to be an increased risk of one or both. Keeping yourself healthy is a key factor in being there for them, and seeking help promptly if your children begin to display problems also is crucial. At present, we have nothing that's a guaranteed preventative strategy/

Dr. Douglas Bey answered:
Tell about your illness
Talk to your kid about the symptoms & the treatment of affective illnesses & tell your kid they run in your family & what they should do if they start having symptoms-- reassure them it is treatable

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