Maternal deprivation can turn into autism!

Expressing that attachment is a basic neuropsychological need, Psychiatrist Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said, “The need for attachment is biological and attachment behavior is cultural. It happens with learning.” said. Noting that the family is very important in attachment, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said that attachment problems are most common in broken families. Highlighting the importance of the mother's trust in her child in attachment, Tarhan warned that if the maternal deprivation syndrome lasts for a long time, it turns into autism. Underlining that the age of 2-3 is very important in the mother-child relationship, Tarhan said, “A permanent, consistent and continuous relationship is required between the mother or the person who replaces the mother and the child.”.

President of Üsküdar University, Psychiatrist Prof. Nevzat Tarhan evaluated the effect and importance of attachment in the development of the baby and in the later years of life.

Attachment is a basic need

Emphasizing that the attachment phenomenon must be addressed in the development of the child, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said, “Attachment has a neuropsychological dimension. The attachment hormone was detected in the hormones. The hormone oxytocin, this hormone is most secreted in nursing mothers. An experiment is being conducted on monkeys about the hormone oxytocin. Male monkeys given the hormone oxytocin are more interested in all kinds of things, they are more interested in their offspring, they are more interested in their mates. Regarding attachment, we have an innate genetic code in the brain. Attachment is a basic need like food, drink, and shelter.”.

The first step to secure attachment is the mother's embrace

Expressing that attachment is seen as a psychological need, but also a neuropsychological need, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said, “A human is born with the need to connect. When the baby is first born, what is the first thing the baby encounters? Their lungs suddenly take on cold air and they feel a sense of fear. They immediately seek a shelter for their sense of fear, that is, this shelter becomes their mother's embrace. It is the first step to secure attachment. They take refuge in the mother, smell the mother's scent, the mother breastfeeds, and thus the baby relaxes.”.

Emphasizing that the attachment relationship with the mother has a very important place in the formation of the basic trust relationship, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said, “There is a tendency to expect intimacy in human genetic codes and to feel safe when a person is with them. All people have this. When this is not met, one of its most basic needs is not being met.”.

The need for attachment is proven by Harlow's experiment

Noting that the need for attachment has also been revealed through scientific studies, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan pointed out the experiment carried out by the American psychologist Harry Harlow and said, “Harlow showed how strong the effects of love, and especially the absence of love, are with the series of experiments he conducted in the 1960s. In his best-known experiment, Harlow gave young rhesus monkeys two separate false mothers. One is wrapped in a soft cloth and does not deliver any food, while the other is made of wire but carries a feeding bottle. Harlow separates the baby monkeys from their real mothers a few hours after they are born and gives them to these surrogate mothers to raise them. The experiment revealed that even though the baby monkeys was not fed, they spent more time with the soft cloth mother than with the wire mother. The result is something like this: Baby monkeys can attach to a monkey whose food secretion is passive. It demonstrates the offspring needs for a safe space.".

It is very important for the mother to reassure the child

Noting that offspring look for a safe place in times of fear, they see a teddy bear as a shelter even though it is not real, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan stated that the situation that emerged in this experiment gave similar results in studies with humans. Drawing attention to the attachment experiments with children, Tarhan said, “The mother, child and a stranger participate. The mother goes to the child, meets the child's needs and leaves. There is a stranger next to the child. While the mother is with her, the stranger comes and takes care of the child. Sometimes only that stranger comes, they take care of the child. At the end of the experiment, the child's reactions are checked. If the mother leaves by telling the child that she will come again, the child accepts it even if the child is sad. However, if the mother disappears quietly, that is, leaves without saying goodbye, the child becomes more anxious. When the mother comes, the child hits the mother and cries. If the child also has an avoidant attachment, when the mother comes, she reacts to the mother and remains distant and cold. The mother's attitude influences the child's reaction.".

Attachment problem is the main reason why babies cry

Stating that only crying baby outpatient clinics are held in some countries of the world, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said, “This hospital is just for crying babies to come. The main reason for 70-80% of babies crying is entirely due to the attachment problem related to the mother. We always think that they commonly cry because of gas or because they are sick. Actually, the problem is their need for their mother.

The mother cannot be a mother that relaxes the child with her warmness. Mothers also approach the child with fear because they will make mistakes, or they have a very sticky relationship with the child. In such cases, the basic needs should be met and the baby should start exploring. The baby needs to be interested in new toys. The child does not do it and they live in fear.”

In anxious attachment, the child is dependent on the mother

Noting that the child does not want to leave their mother's side in anxious attachment, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said, “If there is an anxious attachment between the mother and the child, the child goes to school, but their mind is at home, with the mother. It is like school is an alien planet. School phobia occurs. This means that the mother has made the child overprotective, overly dependent on herself. The child always seeks approval from the mother, in such cases self-confidence is not developed. Relief has developed by always taking shelter in the mother, whereas the child begins to individualize with the beginning of walking. The mother needs to support the individualization of the child. When the child has a problem, they immediately go to the mother, the child is so relieved. As they grow up, they have to learn to relieve their own distress, to calm themselves down. This must be taught to the child. Some mothers just cannot teach it. Then there is no secure attachment, there is anxious attachment. Also, it is called ambivalent attachment.”.

 Child neglected in avoidant attachment

Noting that another attachment is avoidant attachment, Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said, “Here, there is both love and hatred towards the mother in the child. The child loves their mother when they are away, and treats her badly when she is near them. There is both love and anger, this avoidant attachment. In such cases, mother and child wars happen a lot. Often there are things that the mother does with good intentions at a young age. In other words, the child has basic needs, although these are met, their emotional needs are not met, there is emotional neglect. The child grew up alone, the child thinks that no one loves them. This continues in later years.”.

Maternal deprivation can turn into autism

Prof. Nevzat Tarhan noted that in the maternal deprivation syndrome that occurs in some children, the child cries constantly, when someone approaches the child, the child thinks it is their mother and becomes quiet. If the person is not their mother, they continue to cry. Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said, “Their mother accepts this. If this continues for a long time, maternal deprivation turns into autism in the child. For this reason, the ages of 2-3 are very important in the mother-child relationship. A permanent, consistent and continuous relationship is required between the mother, or the person who replaces the mother, and the child. Some mothers who cause avoidant attachment by behaving inconsistently. In the morning they kiss the child smack. In the afternoon they scold by telling why I gave birth to you. When the child is like this, they cannot understand whether they are loved or not, and personalities with mood disorders develop. It is a learned behavior.”.

Attachment problems are most common in broken families

Prof. Nevzat Tarhan said that "The need for attachment is biological, attachment behavior is cultural, it happens with learning,” and added, “Family is very important for this reason. Attachment problems are most common in broken families.

Mother and father come together for the sake of the child. When the child sees this, their fear of attachment goes away. The child's ability to laugh and relax indicates that this need for attachment is met. For example, when the mother goes to work in the morning, she will pat the child's head in the morning and say, "I am going to work, but I will come in the evening" and will keep her promise. If she leaves the child to the caregiver without saying anything and goes quietly, this situation turns into an anxious attachment in the child and the trust in the mother weakens. For the child, a stable, consistent and continuous relationship is the basis of attachment, that is, a magical concept in deed.”.

Üsküdar News Agency (ÜNA)