Deprived of Love

On Thursday, 19 May, I wrote a post for The Conversation. It was about child health, orphanages, love and the lack of it. As of this morning more than a quarter of million people have read it. I am humbled. My colleague and friend Patrick Clarkin reposted it on his blog and added further notes on how love is a key ingredient for health. I am starting to answer some emails and comments arising from the article. I will blog more on this after having a more accurate idea of the nature of the comments. Thanks to everyone reading my post. Thanks Patrick for adding to it.

Patrick F. Clarkin, Ph.D.

Human biologist (and friend) Inês Varela-Silva  wrote the following essay: “Can a lack of love be deadly?”It’s currently the most-read post at “The Conversation.” As she wrote:

“Deprivation comes in many shapes and forms: lack of food, diseases, maltreatment, and child abuse are some of the harms that come to mind. However, I would argue that deprivation of love can be just as deadly.”

I think she’s right. We take it for granted that kids need nutrients and a life relatively free from infection. But perhaps we sometimes overlook the idea that psychosocial deprivation is also inherently stressful. Please read the rest of her essay, where she discusses some of the history behind this research, human resilience and the ability to overcome early deprivation, and the personal side of things with the adoption of her daughter. 

Related: 

The Power of Love

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