Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Anaclitic depression

Anaclitic depression term coined by Rene Spitz in 1946 for a syndrome that develops in infants who are separated from their mother after having had a normal relationship with her during at least the first six months of life.

Despite adequate food, warmth and diapering, these infants became seriously depressed and often died from these type of depression.

It is characterized by feelings of helplessness, weakness, depletion and being involved. The anaclitically depressed individual fears abandonment and struggles to maintain direct physical contact with a need gratifying object.

During the first year infants also may exhibits whining, withdrawal, weight loss, slowed growth, lowered immune system, dazed or immobile facial expression and intellectual decline.

Spitz considered the dynamic structure do analytic depression as fundamentally distinct from depression in adults.

Depression symptoms of school age children 6-12 years old more closely begin to resemble adult symptoms. School age children may exhibits all of the symptoms of a major depression episode.  
Anaclitic depression

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