What Is Anaclitic Depression?

When a newborn is kept away from their mother or other primary caregiver for an extended period of time, anaclitic depression typically refers to the physical, intellectual, and social-emotional impairment that may result.

Continue reading to learn more about this ailment, its signs and symptoms, and the theories supporting its causes.

What Exactly Is Anaclitic Depression?

You quickly look up “anaclitic” in the dictionary and learn that it means to feel love for something. Anaclitic refers to “leaning on” in psychoanalysis.

Which of these definitions applies to anaclitic depression? A newborn who is long-term isolated from the thing they depend on and love will often exhibit physical, mental, and emotional deterioration. The mother or primary caregiver is often the subject of a baby’s affection in the scholarly literature about anaclitic sadness that dates back decades.

Research appears to indicate that anaclitic depression in infants is temporary, which is excellent news. This indicates that the signs of anaclitic depression go away when the mother or other primary caregiver is reunited with the child. The potential long-term behavioral impacts, however, are unknown to researchers.

It’s interesting to note that earlier studies on infant animals, including monkeys, guinea pigs, and rats, conducted in 1967, discovered that these animals’ infants exhibit symptoms that are comparable to those of infants who suffer from anaclitic depression in humans.