Analytic Depression, Depressed Feelings Babies Can Experience


A baby who is separated from their object of interest in the long term can experience disturbances, socially, emotionally, intellectually, and even physically. When it comes to depression, it’s not just adults who are vulnerable. Babies are also at risk for depression, one of which is analytic depression .

Analytic depression usually refers to a physical or psychological disorder that occurs when a baby is separated from its mother or primary caregiver for a long time. Here are complete facts about analytic depression that are interesting to know.

1. What is analytic depression?

The word ” anaclitic ” in psychoanalysis means “to lean on”. The scientific literature focusing on the study of analytic depression defines it as an object that the infant likes (in this context the mother or primary caregiver).

In other words, analytic depression is a condition when a baby is separated from its mother or primary caregiver for a long time, which tends to exhibit physical, intellectual, social, and emotional disturbances.

Although it sounds alarming, a 2017 study entitled Anaclitic Depression stated that this depression is temporary. A 1967 study in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine that focused on animal infant studies including primates, guinea pigs, and mice exhibited symptoms similar to those exhibited by human infants with analytic depression.

2. A brief history of analytic depression

Reported by Healthline , the discussion of analytic depression was initiated by René Spitz in 1945, through an article published in the journal the Psychoanalytic Study of the Child.

In 1946, Spitz described his study of 123 infants aged about 6 to 8 months who were separated from their mothers for 3 months. Researchers paid attention to the behavior patterns of these babies which he called striking syndrome .

The behavioral patterns shown by the babies included crying, screaming, withdrawing, and being unresponsive. Meanwhile, some babies also lose weight, sleep poorly, and are more prone to colds or eczema. Gradually, it can be concluded that general development tends to decline.

3. Symptoms

Basically, the symptoms of analytic depression are almost similar to the symptoms of depression in general, namely:

Feelings of anxiety, sadness, and crying.
Loss of appetite.
Weight loss.
Developmental barriers.
Facial expressions tend to be flat and emotionless.

4. Handling

Analytic depression is likely to subside and go away when the infant and mother or primary caregiver are reunited. During the research, Spitz discovered an interesting fact, namely when the baby and mother are together again, the baby quickly becomes happier and more interactive. In addition to these impressive changes, the researchers also measured a marked spike in the baby’s development.

Spitz also explained about progressive syndrome, which is when the moment of a happy meeting between baby and mother after a critical point of 3 months of development becomes irreversible. In fact, it is possible that this can cause the death of almost a third of babies.

5. Can adults develop analytic depression?

Not many studies have focused on cases of analytic depression in adults. One study in the journal Psychology and Psychotherapy Theory Research and Practice in 2002 showed that people with secure attachments were less likely to develop depression.

In other words, analytic depression in adults is more likely to occur when a person develops a busy attachment style or an anxious attachment.

Symptoms of analytic depression in adults include:

Tendency to have perfectionist beliefs.
Feeling the need to meet the high standards of others.
Feelings of loneliness often hit.
Fear of being left behind.
Since the basis of analytic depression in adults appears to be attachment styles, it is important to learn how to build secure attachments such as self-regulation, empathy, and harmonious communication with others.

Basically the relationship between the baby and the mother or caregiver can not be separated. If it is separated, it is possible for babies to experience analytic depression . Although it is temporary, the impacts that occur tend to be negative, such as disruption of children’s development in general.