a baby sucks his hands as his parents thinks about childhood stress

Childhood Stress Contributes to Depression

When most people think about stress, they usually think of it in adult terms. Stress from work, relationships, and home may all come into play in the lives of adults. However, there is another side to this problem that many people may not take into consideration: the stress of children. Today, children undergo massive amounts of stress, more than we could imagine. Unfortunately, new research has discovered that childhood stress contributes to depression. If your child struggles with stress and depression, contact the experts at Promises Behavioral Health today.

What the Research Says About Whether Childhood Stress Contributes to Depression

New research using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) shows that childhood stress such as abuse or emotional neglect, in particular when combined with genetic factors, can result in structural brain changes, rendering these people more vulnerable to developing depression. The study led by scientists at Trinity College Dublin has just been published in the international scientific journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

Commenting on the significance of the findings, Trinity’s Professor Thomas Frodl at the School of Medicine and Trinity Institute for Neuroscience said: “This improved neurobiological understanding shows how stress and genetic variants interact and affect brain structure and function. In turn, it demonstrates how it could affect a person’s propensity for depression. These structural alterations of the brain are associated with a higher vulnerability to depression and a more chronic course of the depression might be associated with further structural changes.”

“Therefore, early intervention in the case of major depression is necessary to increase the chance of a good disease outcome. Fortunately, depression can be treated very well by psychotherapy and antidepressant medication. Moreover, prevention strategies for childhood neglect and misuse are highly important to increase public health and to avoid in later life for these individuals, the burden of major depression.”

More Research Determining Whether Childhood Stress Contributes to Depression

The world health organization (WHO) found that major depression is one of the most important human diseases with a prevalence of about 10% worldwide. Approximately 500,000 people in Ireland have or will develop major depression in their life. The WHO has forecast that major depression will be the second most common cause of disability by 2020. Advances in this area will have a high impact on overall disease costs.

The study was conducted on a total of 24 patients (aged 18-65 years) being treated as inpatients for major depression. They were investigated with high-resolution structural MRI and childhood stress assessments. Special analysis programs were used to measure brain regions. These patients were compared with 27 healthy control subjects from the local community who were matched for age and gender. Further research is needed in a larger number of patients and controls to identify the underlying causes of depression and stress-gene interaction on the brain’s structure as well as function.

Get Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Promises Behavioral Health

Unfortunately, many people struggle with depression as well as addiction. Substance abuse disorder can either be caused by or cause mental illness. If you struggle with both problems, we can help. At Promises Behavioral Health, we help people who struggle with both addiction and mental illness, such as depression.

If you’ve seen your childhood stress contribute to depression, we can help, with our dual diagnosis treatment program. Dual diagnosis treatment essentially treats both disorders simultaneously. This treatment is one of the primary ways to prevent relapse after treatment. Our addiction treatment programs include:

To learn more about childhood stress and the problems it can produce in your adult life, contact Promises Behavioral Health today at 844.875.5609

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