Today, September 19, 2011, marks the writing of my 999th post on this Stop the Storm blog. This count does not include the many hundreds of ‘pages’ included as background information. It is only a count of the actual posts to the home-page. I am wishing I had something happy to write this morning but I am sad to say what is most pressing within me is about sadness itself — and not just any sadness. My concern today is about sad babies.
How do we begin to think that any child who suffers from depression is going to magically somehow in ‘the future’ manage to have a happy life?
Infant Depression? By Will Meek, PhD – posted November 10, 2006 – “ABC News had a report this week on the belief that 1 in 40 infants may suffer from depression.”
Personally I believe sadness in infants and toddlers under the age of two is much, much greater than the 1 in 40 figure stated in that article. How do we discover whether or not a little one is sad? What do we look for? What do we SEE?
What happens to such a little person to create such sadness? I do not believe ‘It’s in their genes.”
I heard tell of such a sad little person yesterday. Everything described to me lets me know this infant DID NOT get what she needed in her earliest infant-caregiver interactions to give her a safe and secure attachment base in the world. No, the child (18 months old) was not directly ‘abused’, but I heard all the signs that this little one was – and is – being neglected.
In a society that so barely recognizes our combined responsibility to STOP direct abuse to children, how can we begin to comprehend the many forms that neglect of the needs of little ones actually takes?
I have posted and reposted many times on this blog an article by Dr. Schore that describes in minute detail what a human being needs to BECOME FULLY HUMAN. The article is too complex and the material is too foreign for anyone to read and understand – so it seems. I suspect my daughter and I will in the future spend a great deal of time and effort to ‘translate’ this article into ‘human speak’. If we don’t comprehend what Dr. Shore is saying in this article we will never truly know what some parents do so rightly – and other parents do so wrongly.
By ALLAN N. SCHORE
There is nothing more important for our human species than adequate MOTHERING conception to age two. This article describes in detail what adequate MOTHERING is, how it happens, what adequate mothering provides to a human being, and what goes so terribly wrong when adequate mothering is absent. True, many humans receive their MOTHERING from others who are not their MOTHERS, but it is MOTHERING that humans need to build a human body and brain that will allow a human to become FULLY HUMAN — no matter who provides it.
FULLY HUMAN. What does that mean? Happy. Healthy. Present in the world and positively engaged in healthy and happy ways on all levels with self, others and the environment.
Sounds simple? Sounds basic? Take a look at Dr. Schore’s article and begin to understand that what nature has designed for human early development is massively complex! Mothers and earliest caregivers have been able to provide the kind of optimal care Schore describes for eons over the span of our human development.
What happens to change a human being born with full potential for being happy, healthy and joyous for a lifetime into a less-than fully human being? At a minimum, when safe and secure LOVING and ADEQUATE attachment relationships are withheld the survivor of this neglect simply shuffles down to the bottom of the pile of happy life fulfillment and most likely stays there for a lifetime. They become ‘the losers’ in ways that we recognize in our culture – at the same time we do not wish to recognize what happens to deplete these people.
In other words, we as a society are perfectly willing to let little ones suffer. Who cares? They aren’t OUR children!
The Role of Attachment in Healing Infant Depression – by Rita Brhel
The trauma of depression in infants: a link with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? By Frances Thomson Salo
Overprotective parents may raise worried kids.
By PT Staff, published on September 01, 1994 – last reviewed on May 15, 2009