Thursday, September 9, 2010

An Increased Risk for Depression?

This is a really interesting article about parents and their increased risk for depression.


The article describes research done in a new British study with 87,000 families. Apparently mothers and fathers were at highest risk for depression during the first year of their child's life, with 39% of mothers and 21% of fathers experiencing an episode of depression. The risk for depression for both mothers and fathers "dropped considerably" during the second year of their child's life, (to about 19% for mothers (dropped by 1/2), and about 5% for fathers (dropped to 1/4th)), but "remained steady through a child's 12th year."

Of course indicators for those at highest risk for depression were parents with a history of depression, younger parents, or those with lower incomes.

The article states that the study listed "several potential triggers" for the increased risk for parents, such as: "lack of sleep, change in their responsibilities, and the demands made on the couple's relationship."

This study provided new data on fathers experiencing an increased risk of depression. The authors of the study recommended that there be "appropriate detection of depression among fathers," similar to the "routine screening... among postnatal mothers" already in place.

Interesting, huh?

I was feeling rather depressed during my hiatus from running (due to my injured knee). Honestly, I don't think I have ever felt depression like that. Now that I am running again, I can definitely blame The Knee, but at the time, I was really looking for answers to determine the likely causes for my emotional state. I never would have thought to blame my kids. I really think I was much more emotional before having kids. Anyways, during those two weeks, I was blaming everything else under the sun, but not the fact that I have four children. Now I know that I could possibly have a (19% x 4)% risk of depression (recently dropped from (39% x 1 + 19% x 3)% when my youngest turned 1-year). Wow, I'll know what to blame if I ever feel depression like that again and I'm still running.

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