About 10-30% of children have functional somatic symptoms (FSS). These are physical complaints, such as headaches, pain, fatigue, and dizziness, that cannot be explained medically. A new study suggests that when a child is exposed to depression or anxiety in the mother during the first year of life, he or she is more likely to report these somatic symptoms later on.
The authors speculate that infants have a harder time learning to self-regulate when a parent has depression or anxiety. Early intervention may help to prevent problems later on: “Parents of infants with regulatory problems could be taught to help their infants regulate their behavioral and physiological state, which potentially could reduce the risk of later development of impairing FSS.”
Read More: Possible Link Between Infants’ Regulatory Behaviors and Maternal Mental Health (Science Daily)