Oxytocin could help with post-natal depression

Oxytocin could help mothers with post-natal depression feel closer to their children, according to new research.

Researchers from Australia and The Netherlands came to this conclusion after a short experiment on a sample group of 25 mothers suffering with the condition.

On two separate viewings, the group was administered oxytocin or a placebo, then asked to rate their mood and their relationship with their children.

According to preventionaction.org, the group typically felt closer to their children after receiving oxytocin, although their mood was also typically lower than when they were given the placebo. They were also more likely to focus on how tough it was to raise their child after being given oxytocin.

A lot of research has been undertaken with regards to the effects of oxytocin on those with mental illnesses. It could be an interesting topic for those in counsellor training to follow.

A report published by sciencedaily.com has suggested that the hormone also has mixed effects on individuals with autism, schizophrenia and severe depression.

It concluded: "The evidence suggests a role of oxytocin in the pathophysiology of some psychiatric disorders, particularly those characterized by impairments in social functioning. However, the preliminary nature of the currently available data precludes a clear understanding of the exact nature of this role."