Health

Treating Teen Depression Might Improve Mental Health Of Parents Too : NPR

Treating Teen Depression Might Improve Mental Health Of Parents Too : NPR

When a teen’s symptoms of depression improve as a result of treatment, it’s more likely that their parent’s mood lifts too, new research shows.

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Roy Scott/Getty Images/Ikon Images

When a teen’s symptoms of depression improve as a result of treatment, it’s more likely that their parent’s mood lifts too, new research shows.

Roy Scott/Getty Images/Ikon Images

An estimated 12.8 percent of adolescents in the U.S. experience at least one episode of major depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. According to previous studies, many of those teens’ mental health is linked to depression in their parents.

But new research suggests there’s a flipside to that parental effect: When teens are treated for depression, their parents’ mental health improves, too.

We tend to think of depression as affecting individuals. But Myrna Weissman, a psychiatry professor at Columbia University, says “Depression is a family affair.”