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Depression proven to be an asthmatic trigger for children

If your child has asthma and is experiencing symptoms of depression, you may want to reconsider buying advanced tickets to the Twilight’s Eclipse. New research shows asthmatic children with depression are 50 percent more likely to have an attack when placed in stressful environments, and this includes the box-office hits, too.

The study, which was conducted by Dr. Bruce D. Miller at The State University of New York in Buffalo, placed 90 children between the ages of 7 and 17 in a theater to watch ET, (the Steven Spielberg movie where an alien comes to earth and tries to phone home.) Half of the kids had depression symptoms; the other half did not.

Dr. Miller’s research showed that depressed children were more susceptible to heightened states of stress. The Edmonton Journal, which originally published an article about this topic stated: “…scenes of family distress, loss, and death,” were most difficult for the asthmatic and depressed children.

The Journal also stated: “Miller’s team reports in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, breathing patterns “considered typical and adaptive in response to emotional stress,” among kids without symptoms of depression.”

This means that while many children are be able to take a sigh of relief when removed from a stressful environment, depressed children can’t shake the trauma as easily.

When placed under stress, the children with both asthma and depression experience a change in their breathing patterns. This influx leads to tightening of the airways.

Think about trying to take deep breaths in a coffee-stir straw. Not so easy. After time, the airways start to resist, and the child experiences an asthma attack long after the movie credits have rolled.

To read the full article go to Sad, stressful events may worsen kids’ asthma

Depression proven to be an asthmatic trigger for children

Rochelle Oliver, Associate News Editor

APA Reference
Associate News Editor, R. (2018). Depression proven to be an asthmatic trigger for children. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 18, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.