Depressed dads could have damaging effects on kids - AmericaNowNews.com

How depression affects your kids

As parents, we all want our children to follow in our footsteps. But for dads who are feeling the blues, this is one experience they may not want to share with their kids.

Depression in mothers is known to hamper a child's school performance and emotional health. But a recent study finds a father's mental state may have a similar impact.

Cleveland Clinic Child Psychologist Dr. Joe Austerman says, "This is the first large-based study that looked at depression in fathers and how it correlates to emotional and behavioral problems in children. And interestingly, in this study, it also looked at the mother's role and found that there was both a high correlation with mother's depression, as well as the father's depression. So, I think this is the first study that really shows that fathers are important and the well-being of the father is very important to the upbringing of the child."

The study suggests children with dads who have depressive symptoms are more likely to have emotional or behavioral problems themselves. And having two parents with depression increases a child's chances of having mental issues by 25 percent. With more fathers more directly involved in parenting, researchers say it's time to pay closer attention to their mental health.

Family members should be on the lookout for signs.

"What you look for is a dad that has been distant from the family, has been irritable, signs of depression," says Dr. Austerman. "Dad's not sleeping anymore, dad's not eating, he's withdrawing from the family. Those are important indicators that something may be going wrong with dad. And males aren't very good self-reporters on depression. It usually takes other people to say, 'Hey there's something wrong with you.'"

Dr. Austerman adds that men tend to hide their feelings and are more likely to discuss physical rather than emotional distress. So if you think a dad is depressed --- urge them to seek professional help.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:49 AM EDT2014-07-25 12:49:07 GMT
    Fugitive Fridays tracks down Central Virginia's most wanted. Take a look at the photos and see if you can help police track down these suspects.
    Fugitive Friday helps track down Central Virginia's Most Wanted.
  • Hidden fire danger in your home

    Hidden fire danger is likely lurking in your home

    Since most us probably have a phone charger plugged in at home right now, we decided to do an investigation to see how exactly a phone charger can cause a fire.
    Since most us probably have a phone charger plugged in at home right now, we decided to do an investigation to see how exactly a phone charger can cause a fire.
  • Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Parents desperate to get their troubled sleepers to bed are turning to synthetic melatonin, which is a supplement sold over the counter. But expert warn it could have adverse effects on child development.
    Many adults turn to sleep aids like melatonin, but now more parents are giving them to their kids, too. We talked to physicians to see what they had to say about how it could affect your child's development.
Powered by WorldNow