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Binser, Martin J.; Spörrle, Matthias; Wolf, Sebastian; Försterling, Friedrich (September 2004): Sadder but fitter. The evolutionary function of depressive symptoms following fetal loss. 44. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie, 26.-30.09.2004, Göttingen.


A literature review about an evolutionary model of fetal loss depression is presented. This model conceptualizes depression following miscarriage or stillbirth as an evolutionary protective mechanism to avoid further fetal loss. It postulates that depressive symptoms delay the next reproduction and save maternal resources. These symptoms along with hypochondric symptoms of depression which lead to a search for causes and reappraisal of environmental factors, are probably adaptations to causes of further fetal loss (e.g. epidemics, famines, infections, environmental toxins).