Ability to Love, Impulse Control, Moral Reasoning

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Dr. Michael Benjamin

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Safe Relationships

Clinical Depression in Mother or Father?

Clinical Depression is an illness that interferes with a mother or father's ability to parent. The symptoms of this illness are:

1. Decreased ability to feel pleasure.

2. Decreased Interest in things.

3. A feeling of sadness much of the time, or complete loss of feelings.

4. Decreased or increased sleep.

5. Change in appetite.

6. Hopelessness, helplessness and difficulty concentrating.

7. Thoughts of suicide.

(Just like other illnesses, every patient does not have all of these symptoms. You don't have to have all of these to be diagnosed and treated for depression.)

Several studies link maternal depression in particular to antisocial behavior in children and later adult antisocial personality disorder. The purpose of telling you this is to induce action. You can overcome depression and its effects on your family!

Getting Help

There are now many studies showing that children from families where there is too much sadness and/or anger have impaired ability to love. The right amount of joyfulness in the home nurtures children to develop empathy. Life with a clinically depressed parent can handicap a child.

If you have depression, please get help. Thanks to medical science, there is now very effective treatment for depression. The right kind of help will reduce the level of your depression and teach you to live, even during times you are suffering.

Never tell your child you are suicidal! Never let him over hear you talking of suicide! Parental suicide and talk of suicide can permanently damage a child.