Childhood abuse, parental addiction impacts recovery from depression

Adults with depression who were abused as children or whose parents had substance abuse issues may take more time to “bounce back” from depression, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Toronto looked at a sample of more than 1,000 depressed Canadian adults from the National Population Health Survey and considered various factors that might effect recovery. The participants were re-assessed until remission occurred, for up to 12 years.

They found that the average time to remission from depression was nine months longer for adults who had been physically abused as children. It was roughly five months longer for adults whose parents had struggled with addiction.

The study did not answer “why” adverse childhood experiences are associated with longer recovery times, but may open the door to future research on this question. 

“Bouncing back: remission from depression in a 12-year panel study of a representative Canadian community sample,” appeared this month in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology.