Parental Depression Effects On Children - Sovereign Health Group
Articles / Blog
10-20-12 Category: Mental Health

The effects that a parent’s depression has on a child lasts a lifetime when left un-addressed. Identify your depression to treat its symptoms and reduce the negative impact it is having on your children.

If you suffer from depression and you are thinking about having children, or you already have children, you need to read this information.

First of all, did either of your parents live with the symptoms of depression, or were either of them every diagnosed with depression? If so, you, as their child, are more susceptible to depression yourself. Along with that, the child of a depressed parent can develop a negative temperament, less successful social skills, lower self-worth, and a lowered ability to handle stress effectively.

Parental Depression

Parental Depression

If the pattern is not broken, you will passing down the same effects onto your children. The good news is that depression is treatable and you do not have to continue living with the symptoms of the mental illness.

When you can take an honest look at your family of origin and the family you have created on your own, start looking for these signs of depression identified by the Mayo Clinic’s staff:

  • feelings of sadness or unhappiness
  • irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
  • reduced sex drive
  • insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • changes in appetite:
    • depression often causes decreased appetite and weight loss
    • in some people depression causes increased cravings for food and subsequent weight gain
  • agitation or restlessness
    • examples: pacing, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still
  • irritability or angry outbursts
  • slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • indecisiveness, distractibility and decreased concentration
  • fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy
    • even small tasks may seem to require a lot of effort
  • feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself when things aren’t going right
  • trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide
  • crying spells for no apparent reason
  • unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches


Although depression shows up differently for everyone, this list can help identify its existence. If you feel depressed, talk with someone who can help so you can break the cycle of depressed parenting so your children do not have to feel the effects of parental depression.

Listen to a mental health success story from a SovCal patient:

Blog Post By:Jared Friedman

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