Monday December 9, 2019

Study Shows Strong Association Between Pregnancy and Depression

For the study, the researchers included over 600 pregnant women who were asked about their satisfaction with appearing pregnant, weight gain concerns, and the physical burdens of pregnancy

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gender inequality
FILE - A woman adjusts cardboard boxes assembled to form a display highlighting the issue of teenage pregnancy in Mexico City, May 29, 2014. VOA
Women go through several physical and emotional changes during pregnancy and their negative attitude towards body changes during this time can lead to depression after childbirth, suggests a new study.
In the study, published in Psychological Assessment journal, the researchers discovered that pregnant women’s feelings about their changing bodies could help predict how well the mother might bond with her unborn baby and her emotional well-being after childbirth.
“Women are under constant pressure about their appearance during pregnancy and after birth,” said Catherine Preston, a psychology expert in body image at University of York, England.
“It is important therefore that pregnancy care is not just about the physical health of the mother and the health of the unborn child, but also about women’s emotional well-being, which can give us a lot of important information about how they might react to being a new mum in the longer-term.”
depression
Depression has significantly increased the risk of early death in women. Wikimedia Commons
For the study, the researchers included over 600 pregnant women who were asked about their satisfaction with appearing pregnant, weight gain concerns, and the physical burdens of pregnancy.
The study’s findings showed that women who felt more positively about their body changes during pregnancy were more likely to have better relationships with their partners; lower depression and anxiety scores; and were better at interpreting their bodily signals. They also showed a more positive attachment to their unborn child.
Whereas, women who had negative feelings about their appearance during pregnancy needed additional emotional support during pregnancy and also required monitoring after birth for signs of postnatal depression.
“There is growing evidence that women’s experience of their body during pregnancy can have a positive or negative impact on both maternal and infant well-being, so more should be done within our care systems to protect women against the more negative effects,” suggested Preston. (IANS)

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Depression in Parents Responsible for Brain Differences of Kids

Brain differences detected in kids with depressed parents

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Brain structure
Researchers detect brain differences in children with depressive parents. Lifetime Stock

Researchers have found structural differences in the brains of children at high risk for depression due to parental depressive history.

Depression is a common and debilitating mental health condition that typically arises during adolescence. While the causes of depression are complex, having a parent with depression is one of the biggest known risk factors.

Studies have consistently shown that adolescent children of parents with depression are two to three times more likely to develop depression than those with no parental history of depression.

“The findings highlight a potential risk factor that may lead to the development of depressive disorders during a peak period of onset, said study author Randy P. Auerbach, Associate Professor at Columbia University in the US.

“However, in our prior research, smaller putamen volumes also has been linked to anhedonia–a reduced ability to experience pleasure–which is implicated in depression, substance use, psychosis, and suicidal behaviours,” Auerbach said.

Depression brain
Having a parent with depression is one of the biggest known risk factors for the brain of the child. Lifetime Stock

“Thus, it may be that smaller putamen volume is a transdiagnostic risk factor that may confer vulnerability to broad-based mental disorders,” Auerbach added.

For the study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, the researchers analysed brain images from over 7,000 children in the United States participating in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive development (ABCD) study, led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

According to the study, about one-third of the children were in the high-risk group because they had a parent with depression.

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The research found that in the high-risk children, the right putamen–a brain structure linked to reward, motivation, and the experience of pleasure–was smaller than in children with no parental history of depression.

“Understanding differences in the brains of children with familial risk factors for depression may help to improve early identification of those at greatest risk for developing depression themselves, and lead to improved diagnosis and treatment,” said study researcher David Pagliaccio. (IANS)