Maltreated Children are More Likely to Suffer from Depression

November 12, 2012

Maltreated Children are More Likely to Suffer from Depression

King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry in the U.K. has carried out research which included 10 clinical trials and 16 epidemiological studies. Those involved numbered greater than 23,000. The finding from the study concluded that there is a greater likelihood of people who were neglected or abused when they were children developing depression.

It was further discovered that those who had been neglected or abused were less likely to respond well to any medical treatment for depression in addition to having double the risk of developing depression than those who had no history of neglect or abuse.

The report containing this information will shortly be published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Earlier research indicates that people who had been maltreated in some way have an increased probability of brain abnormality and their immune responses to stress are not standard. Researchers also believe that preventing abuse or maltreatment of children reduces their risk of developing depression in later life.

Being able to identify those with an increased risk of depressive episodes is vital if a good standard of health care is to be provided. Knowing that a patient has been maltreated earlier in life allows the physician to understand that treatment may be less successful and more episodes are likely. This information is crucial when determining a prognosis and deciding on the right treatment.

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