According to latest research that has been carried out and reported by Washington University’s School of Medicine, children who are diagnosed with depression are at a greater risk of suffering cardiac problems as adults. Additionally the researchers found that teenagers who experience symptoms of depression are more likely to smoke, be obese and live sedentary lifestyles.
The researchers found that the link between childhood depression and later problems with heart health was mediated by a tendency to take up smoking during their teenage years.
The researchers analysed a sample of children looking at the long term impact of depression. They compared the health and lifestyle choices of a child who had been diagnosed with depression to their siblings and their non-depressed peers.
The research team lead by Professor of psychiatry Dr. Robert Carney reported that a child diagnosed with depression at the age of nine was likely to be smoking by the time they are 16 years old, partake is significantly less physical activity than their siblings or peers and as a result are meet the criteria to be diagnosed clinically obese by the time they are in their late teens.
The findings also reported that these same children were more likely to suffer from heart disease and die earlier than children who did not suffer from depression.
Depression is the label given to a collection of symptoms including the feeling of hopelessness, inability to carry out activities that were previously found to be enjoyable, weight loss or weight gain and social detachment.
Depression is reported to affect one is seven people in their life time but the chances of developing depression in childhood are lower.
Mindfulness meditation such as that taught by Dav Panesar could be taught to children at a young age. Mindfulness could help train a child to deal with negative emotions and unfavourable situation in ways that mean they do not fall into a state of depression and therefore used as a preventative for added problems in adulthood.