Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 803771

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Maternal depression/ NY Times magazine/12/30/07

Posted by stargazer2 on January 2, 2008, at 10:03:09

Hi all, I don't usually post here since I don't currently see a therapist (have twice in the past) but this article caught my eye and I wanted others to see it.

The magazine featured all those who had died in 2007 and one of thse was a woman by the name of Marian Radke-Yarrow. She was the first to document the effects of maternal depression.

She did a study from 1979 to 2002, which showed how maternal depression affects the children of these mothers, who she classified as "children that mature in a sadness not their own."

One of her findings is that "depression is prismatic. Beneath it's flatness, depression has some style. An irritably depressed mother may have a very different effect on her children than, say, a mother who sits in silence."

She documented angry depressions, irritable depressions, anxious depressions, exhausted depressions, each one of these making its own imprint on the child that was exposed.

Mothers who were angry in their melancholy (mine) were more likely to rear rejection-sensitive children (me) than were nondepressed mothers. The daughters were more likely than sons to respond to their mothers' moods. Girls tried to help. Boys however seemed to shrug maternal gloom off more easily. She found that sometimes only severe maternal depression could elicit intense empathetic behavior in boys.

She found that some children (my sibs) of depressed mothers suffered no ill effects, making her one of the first to identify the phenomenon of resilience.

Although, her name is unknown to me, the work she did was obviously very important in the recognition of the impact of maternal depression on the children raised by these mothers.

My mother definately has some form of depression, has escaped diagnosis and treatment since she stayed home and her biggest impact was on the way she raised her children, very controlling and with lots of blame and anger.

Her lasting imprint is on her children and I seem to have had the least resilence of my siblings and have always had a extreme reaction to rejection.

Today I still blame her for my issues and my decision to not have children, since my upbringing was so fraught with pain and depression triggered by her criticisms of any decision I made. I would never want to put a child of mine through what I went through and this was my way of ensuring that didn't happen.

For anyone interested, she may have written books about maternal depression that can further elicit her studies on this subject.

Happy New Year and I hope 2008 brings peace and contentment to all of our lives.

Stargazer

 

Re: Maternal depression/ NY Times magazine/12/30/07 stargazer2

Posted by Phillipa on January 2, 2008, at 20:17:43

In reply to Maternal depression/ NY Times magazine/12/30/07, posted by stargazer2 on January 2, 2008, at 10:03:09

Stargazer I do understand how well I do. Love Phillipa thanks for posting that . I don't come here often either.

 

Re: Maternal depression/ NY Times magazine/12/30/07 stargazer2

Posted by sunnydays on January 2, 2008, at 22:51:22

In reply to Maternal depression/ NY Times magazine/12/30/07, posted by stargazer2 on January 2, 2008, at 10:03:09

Very interesting. Thanks for posting this. I have suffered the effects of that myself.

sunnydays

 

Re: Maternal depression/ NY Times magazine/12/30/0

Posted by Dinah on January 2, 2008, at 23:18:39

In reply to Maternal depression/ NY Times magazine/12/30/07, posted by stargazer2 on January 2, 2008, at 10:03:09

She never met my son. :)

He's exquisitely attuned to even minor changes in mood. And he tries so hard to fix things.

I'm sure both my genetic endowments and being around me contributed to that, and I'm sorry for the pain it will cause him. But I'm also so impressed by the value of his empathy, the positive aspects of it, that it helped me accept the same qualities in myself.

I think it was my therapist who pointed out that children with depressed mothers often go into the helping professions. It's not *all* negative.

And I'm not sure you can blame the mother's behavior for all of it. Surely there's a biological link as well? And of course there is the child. Any relationship has two parts, and kids aren't really clay ready to be molded. A child brings his own responses to the dyad, molding both mother and the relationship, just as the mother molds the child and the relationship.

 

Re: Maternal depression/ NY Times magazine/12/30/0

Posted by elanor roosevelt on January 13, 2008, at 17:03:42

In reply to Re: Maternal depression/ NY Times magazine/12/30/0, posted by Dinah on January 2, 2008, at 23:18:39

Thank you for posting this. Not only is my mother a non-diagnosed depressive who can find something wrong in everything, she also suffered post-partum depression after my birth.
"children that mature in a sadness not their own"
that says it

i am a mother of a daughter
she was born when i was 39
after years of therapy i felt i could raise a child without being mean and judgmental

my mother's negativity and depression still slays me
she is 83 and sorry to be alive

thanks again


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