Below is a post I put up a couple of weeks ago referencing an article and a study demonstrating how the emotional state of mothers affects the brain development of their children. How parents' emotional lives affect the development of their offspring is obviously not a subject I've shied away from, and I've aroused the ire of many parents as a result.

Well, today comes another article and another study reporting that when parents are depressed or under stress, their suffering can leave a lasting mark on their children’s DNA — and not for the better. You can read the entire piece by Sharon Begley, entitled "How Stressed Parents Scar Their Kids," by clicking on the title.

Here's an excerpt and below is my previous post with links to other previous posts on this matter:

"When it comes to finding culprits for everything that’s wrong with us as children and even as adults, parents are everyone’s favorite default option. And why not? Decades of research in child development and psychology have linked maternal depression to children’s mental and physical illness as well as language and cognitive deficits, shown that when the parents’ marriage is riven by conflict children grow up to be emotionally insecure and have difficulty forming loving adult relationships, and found that when parents are under significant stress their kids are more likely to have behavior problems, to have difficulty handling stress, and to be at greater risk for mental illness. If there was any doubt about the power of this parental legacy, an upcoming study should dispel it: when parents are under emotional, financial, or other forms of stress, it can alter their children’s patterns of genetic activity at least through adolescence and perhaps longer. And since some of the altered genes shape brain development, the effects of parental stress might permanently wire themselves into children’s brains."

Well, as is so often the case, out comes a study this week entitled: "How Sad Moms Change a Child’s Brain: New research shows that children with depressed mothers can have enlarged amygdalas, the part of the brain responsible for emotional responses—and detecting threats."

I'm not looking to be right here, folks, I'm just fed up with the insidious partnership between the mainstream medical establishment, claiming that brain chemistry is unrelated causally from a child's environment, and parents who don't want to do the self-work necessary in order to qualify themselves for parenthood.

There's nothing disgraceful about acknowledging one's limitations and dysfunctions as parents. What is disgraceful is the denial and refusal to seek appropriate healing at the expense of our kids and society at large.


Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ. This is the only page on the whole worldwide web I found which still dares to hold these views (and bring new input), despite the massive pressure of parents' organizations and pharmaceutical firms. I've outgrown autism, mostly. Every damn day, step by step, I have to fight each of my traumatic fears of hurting a masochistic mother whatever I do or say, and my traumatic fears of being killed by a violent sadistic father whatever I do or say. Each victory I win is another confirmation of the direct link between my parents' violence and my autism, which so many "professionals" tried to "help" me deny. You defend the parents, everybody sides with you. You defend the kids, you're called a misogynist, or far worse (if that is possible). Thank you for your courage. You are a brave man. Keep up the good work. When I hear those parents' organizations succeeding in shaming ayone stating that some parents may have a part of responsibily for their child's autism, I feel like I'm being murdered a second time.

Laura Nelson said...

Bruno Bettelheim was proven as a fraud. This has been documented in various formats including the New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and books such as Fraud and Education: The Worm in the Apple and The Creation of Dr. B. It was also included in a PBS special about autism.

I am disturbed that this man, who wasn’t even a doctor of child or any other psychology, continues to be referenced in any way at all.


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