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Treating Teens’ Depression Can Help Parents, Too

teen depression

Good news for parents! Getting mental health treatment for your depressed teen may ease any depressive symptoms you’re feeling as well, according to a small study of more than 300 American teens and parents (of which 87 percent were mothers). The takeaway: Happier kids make happier parents.

Nearly 13 percent of adolescents in the U.S. experience at least one episode of major depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. And numerous studies link teen mental health to depression in parents.

The findings drew on data from a large 2007 study that examined how depressed teens responded to antidepressant drugs and cognitive behavioral therapy as well as a combination of the two. The researchers discovered that regardless of treatment type, the psychological health of their parents improved.

“We found that parental depression symptoms improved over the course of the study,” Kelsey Howard, a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University and a co-author of the new research, told NPR. And this improvement correlated with the children themselves feeling better over time.

But why?

Like addiction, depression is a family disease and can have a ripple effect — through families, through communities and maybe even beyond, noted experts. It makes sense that when your child is in a better mood, your spirits as a parent are lifted as well. “We exist in families, we exist in social networks. And a lot of our well-being, a lot of our highs and lows might come from these relationships,” Howard told NPR.

Howard and her colleagues hope these findings help encourage more parents to seek mental health help for their kids and to be more involved in the treatment process.

Help for Depression and Addiction
Many young adults struggling with addiction are also battling depression. We understand the sensitive relationship between substance abuse and mental health problems and provide family therapy, outpatient rehab, at-risk programs, therapeutic consulting, crisis management and recovery coaching as part of our comprehensive co-occurring disorder treatment. To learn more about our addiction treatment services, call today: 305-595-7378.

Addiction Counseling in Miami, Florida

Family Recovery Specialists offers adolescent and adult substance abuse counselors, treatment and consulting in Miami.

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*** This program is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families to provide substance abuse services in Miami, FL.

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