Does Dad’s Depression Affect His Children?

Blog-Does Dad’s Depression Affect Children

“Real men don’t cry.” That unhealthy stereotype can be particularly detrimental to men with a psychiatric condition. Since men learn from a young age to bottle up their emotions, they are far less likely than women to seek treatment for a mental illness. This is especially true of depression since women are diagnosed with the complaint more frequently than men.

Major depressive disorder affects six million men each year in America and many millions more will choose to tough it out rather than admitting they need help.

Sadly, those who suffer from depression may never know how their ailment influences other people in their life. A recent study shows that depression in fathers has a direct effect on the behavioral problems of their adolescent children. This should come as a wake-up call to the multitude of men who are attempting to manage their symptoms by white-knuckling their way through the pain.

Since depression can have a negative influence on the entire family, it is time for men to step up and get help. Delaying treatment for depression can have significant personal, interpersonal, occupational and social consequences.

If you are struggling with symptoms of depression, here are nine proven strategies that can help you:

1. Know Your Type

Did you know that there are different types of depression? Knowing your type can help reduce stigma, provide hope and guide treatment.

2. Stress Less

It is easy to become overwhelmed in our fast-paced society. To reduce stress, try meditation, yoga or other relaxation techniques.

3. Quality Sleep

Insufficient and inconsistent sleep can increase irritability, moodiness and poor judgment. To remain at the top of your game, it is recommended that you get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

4. Step into the Light

Daily exposure to appropriate levels of sunlight can boost serotonin and vitamin D3 levels which can improve your mood.

5. Get Moving

Exercise is the most important thing you can do when feeling depressed. Exercising releases “feel good” chemicals in your brain that can promote a sense of well-being.

6. Eat Good Mood Food

Good mood foods like lean protein, raw spinach and walnuts contain bliss-enhancing nutrients which can elevate your mood.

7. Kill Your ANTs

ANTs are the Automatic Negative Thoughts that pop into your head, causing you to get upset or depressed. Once you identify an ANT, jot it down, identify it and then kill it by writing a more realistic version of the same thought.

8. Talk it Out

Most men aren’t comfortable talking about their feelings. However, opening up about personal struggles can have big benefits for those who deal with depression. Whether in a support group or with a therapist, talking it out can reduce your sense of isolation and provide relief from your symptoms.

9. Get a Brain Image

Depression is not the consequence of a character flaw or personal weakness, it is the result of biological problems in the brain that can be balanced. By looking at our patient’s brain function through brain SPECT imaging, we can identify the underlying brain biology of a person’s depressive systems, allowing us to tailor a treatment plan to begin the healing process.

At Amen Clinics, we understand that depression is not a simple disorder with a one-size-fits-all solution. We have helped tens of thousands of people with depression from all over the world and can help you, too. Call us today at 888-288-9834 or visit our website to schedule an appointment.


  1. Dr Amen, I had struggle with my son with emotional issues since he was very young,he has anger management problem,he took depokote for backnwhen he was only 15 years old, he wasn’t consisconsistent, he is 29 years old struggling in life and he has a 10 year old daughter that is showing same signs, I watched your nephew ‘s video,I need to to know where the nearest clinic in northern California and how much are your brain images,I know it will benefit both,please send info , I don’t want my grand daughter to struggle in life, like my son,I believe in you Dr Amen! THANK YOU SO MUCH! Martha

    Comment by Martha — January 4, 2018 @ 8:52 AM

  2. Hello Martha, thank you for reaching out to Amen Clinics. We have a clinic location in Walnut Creek, CA – To get more information about treatment options, pricing, and insurance please call our Care Coordinators at 888-288-9834 or submit a form with further questions that you have here –

    Comment by Amen Clinics — January 4, 2018 @ 9:14 AM

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