A new study has found a link between early childhood stress and the development of depression later in life. Researchers from Duke University and the University of Texas Health Center discovered that children who experience a great deal of stress have a reduction in their ability to process and experience positive emotions. As such, as these children age into adulthood they do not have the ability to experience pleasure or enthusiasm about anything, which is one of the major symptoms of clinical depression. The most common cause of early childhood stress found in the study was parental neglect.
It’s undeniable that balancing family and career can be very difficult, however as this study indicates it’s hugely important that children feel connected to their parents in their early years. One way to ensure that your bonds with your children remain strong is to engage in various cognition building activities such as reading or creating art together. Another scientifically backed method of deepening the bond between parent and child is massage. The simple act of rubbing a child’s back and shoulders can have the dual effects of relieving stress for both participants and releasing certain chemicals in the brain that will create positive contact associations for both parent and child. That small gesture can have a significant impact on a child’s emotional development.
Read the full article here: Early life stress and adolescent depression cause impaired development of reward circuits