Health Watch -- Depression Treatment: A Family Affair

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This week on Health Watch, we've been talking about how to treat depression. This mental illness is a major cause of disability, and there are effective treatments available, but many people who are affected don't seek help. There are stigmas to mental illness in our society, as well as an attitude that you should be able to pull yourself together.

But doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas say that's a very dangerous attitude to have, especially if you have children. They've found that children whose mothers have depression are more likely to suffer from anxiety, mental health problems and disruptive behavior, and they only get worse if their mothers aren't treated. But when mothers are treated for depression, the kids start getting better themselves, even without being treated directly. Dr. A. John Rush, a UT Southwestern psychiatrist who led the study, says the message to moms is that getting treatment will help both you and your children. So don't delay seeking help.


May 2006

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