Do babies become depressed?

Do babies become depressed?

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Depression is the disease of our time. Everyone is at risk, even babies! Bihter Mutlu Gencer from ELELE Child and Family Psychological Counseling Development and Training Center, “Infantile depression can occur from the first months of life and can move into childhood, primary school and adolescence, as long as the mother's emotional deprivation, depression, or fluctuations of emotions continue.”

: What is infancy depression?
Bihter Mutlu Gencer: Although infancy depression is not identified as a developmental and structural problem, the social development of the baby (smile, relationship with others, etc.), cognitive development (ie mental-environment exploration, use of objects) and even physical development (inadequate weight gain) are negatively affected. The reason is that the mother (or primary caregiver) cannot be with the baby in the spiritual sense, even if not physically, that is, the mother's “emotional deprivation”.

: How many months does depression manifest itself in infants?
Bihter Mutlu Gencer: Infantile depression can occur from the first months and can be carried to childhood, primary school and adolescence as long as the mother's emotional deprivation, depression or fluctuations of emotions persist.

: If the mother has depression, can she pass from mother to baby?
Bihter Mutlu Gencer: Postpartum is a period in which the mother has to deal with this great change and many difficulties in life. Regardless of how prepared the mother is, sleepless nights, caring for the baby almost without interruption, getting used to this new role (the rolü mother role ine added to the roles of being a woman, being a wife, adopting a child, working environment), and even physical recovery after birth. a process of adaptation full of challenging factors awaits it. For these reasons, most mothers may experience a period of dalg fluctuation of emotions başlayan that begins within 3-4 days after birth and lasts for several weeks. In this period, mothers may have difficulty in controlling their emotions. When they are very happy, they can suddenly become sad after five minutes. This is very normal. If these fluctuations of emotion last longer and are replaced by general sadness and inability to enjoy life, we call it “post-partum depression”. Unfortunately, we see signs of depression in mothers who are depressed.

: Why does the mother's depression affect the baby?
Bihter Mutlu Gencer: A mother who is depressed cannot take care of her baby enough and has difficulty understanding her needs. He cannot give him the need for love and trust for his emotional development. It cannot provide the stimuli necessary for cognitive development. It may not provide the necessary nutrients for its physical development adequately and in a timely manner. It was observed that the mothers who were depressed could not use the spoken language by examining the voice of healthy mothers and rounding the words that we call konuşma baby talk konuşma with their babies. As a result, it is difficult to establish ”safe attachment olan which is essential for healthy development in the baby. The baby forms an insecure attachment. Because of the mother's emotional deprivation, the baby develops a “sense of loss and emptiness.. As a result, she begins to develop inappropriate reactions to protect herself from the negative, angry, “tidal duygusal emotional attitudes of the mother.

: What symptoms does a depressed baby have?
Bihter Mutlu Gencer: According to the developmental stages of depression symptoms can be listed as follows:

Depression of the mother during pregnancy: Inadequate pregnancy care and nutrition, birth before death, low birth weight, or even cause a miscarriage can cause.

In the first infancy:
The baby may cry too much (because the mother cannot predict when the baby cries because of depression), the social smile that should occur during the first 2 months is delayed, frequent illnesses may occur, even in the absence of the mother or the person taking care of the baby in the first instance (for example, immediately after birth). even in infant deaths.

After 1.5-2 years and preschool period:
In this period, as long as the mother's depression and inadequate care and relationship continue, she cannot establish appropriate relationships with other children and adults around her unless she is securely attached to the baby and the mother. After all, her relationship with the mother has created a template-model for other relationships in the infant. In addition, an inadequate development of autonomy and self-esteem (independent exploration of the environment and new trials), introverted-depressive or extroverted-destructive behaviors, poor mother-to-child problem-solving skills, cognitive underperformance (the infant may have low values ​​in developmental tests).

School term:
Inability to exist independently at school, adaptation difficulties, anxiety disorder, inability to establish friendship and inability to maintain friendship, academic hyperactivity, attention, learning difficulties and poor intelligence performance may be experienced.

Of course, problems will continue in an adolescent who has reached the above difficulties until adolescence. In this period, again, a normal and healthy adolescent may experience more weak social relations, anxiety disorders, phobic situations, and poor academic performance.

: What kind of study is followed when the baby is diagnosed with depression? How should parents approach a depressed baby?
Bihter Mutlu Gencer: Depression in infants It is appropriate to follow a treatment plan by treating the mother's depression as well as supplementing with infant (or child) play therapy. Since the antidepressant drugs that the mother will receive during the milking period can be transferred to the milk, the use of the medication under the control of a doctor should be applied. Individual psychotherapy or family therapy is absolutely necessary even if the medication cannot be used or even if the medication is being used. In addition, good use of support channels should be provided to help the mother recover from depression. In this sense, it is important that the mother can share her feelings with her husband, support her family and have friends to talk to.

ELELE Child and Family Counseling Development and Education Center

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