The offspring of mentally ill parents are at a higher risk of becoming psychologically disturbed than their peers, according to mental health experts in Germany. In addition to genetic factors, the chance of developing a mental illness increases depending on the psycho-social stress a child is exposed to.
These children are also likely to experience poverty, discrimination and lack of people to relate to, according to Christa Schaff of the Stuttgart-based Professional Association of Child and Teenager Psychiatry, Psychosomatics, and Psychotherapy. Schaff says it's important that affected children receive emotional and psychological support as soon as possible. The basis for that support is the effective treatment of their parents.
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