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Dad's Depression May Raise Kids' Risk of Emotional Problems

Study Shows Impact of Fathers' Depression on Children's Emotional Development

Signs of Depression

Alan Manevitz, MD, a psychiatrist at New York City's Lenox Hill Hospital, says the new findings "make total sense."

"In general, the psychologic well-being of the father will impact on children as it does with moms," he says. "It also makes total sense that depression in moms has a higher percent of impact on kids because moms traditionally are the chief operating officer of home life."

Knowing the signs and symptoms of depression can help you catch it early, Manevitz says. Men and women may express their emotions differently. Women traditionally have been more open to admitting they are sad, but men suffer quietly and don't share as much, Manevitz says. "Men may get angry and or drink more alcohol,"  he says.

That said, some signs of depression are similar among men and women.

These include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Changes in appetite
  • No longer taking pleasure in things they used to find enjoyable
  • Decreased sex drive

"Treatment is available, and can help the whole family," Manevitz says.

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