Unfortunately, refugee children who come from countries in conflict experience terrible situations of such magnitude that the stress and anguish of the experience can leave a very negative psychological mark. Among these consequences, there is an unusual disorder whose symptoms can become so severe that they put their lives at risk. It is a problem whose causes are not clear but about which more and more research is being carried out: Resignation Syndrome.
- 1 What is Resignation syndrome?
- 2 Causes of resignation syndrome
- 3 Treatment of resignation syndrome
What is Resignation syndrome?
The Resignation Syndrome It is a rare disorder that has occurred in Sweden in recent decades and affects children who have suffered severe trauma, especially refugee children. In children there is a serious level of isolation, which is apathetic until they reach even the immobility and unconsciousness.
Children who have this syndrome, begin to stop talking, eating and drinking to be totally isolated from the rest of the world lying in a bed, in a catatonic state. In more serious stages, patients can live in a state of deep unconsciousness or coma, showing a total indifference to pain, without presenting normal reflexes, being their ability to feed completely null, so they are usually operated through routes , to avoid malnutrition. Despite these symptoms, bodily functions are completely normal and there is no biological reason that explains why children reach this state.
Causes of resignation syndrome
Very little is known about the causes of this very serious condition, beyond that it affects children who have experienced acute stress and have symptoms of depression and isolation.
It is known that these cases occur only in Sweden, when since the 1990s hundreds of children from immigrant families from the former USSR, who were to be deported with their families, began to present these symptoms. It was then that they began to name it locally as "resignation syndrome." There are some indications of similar cases many years ago, during Nazi Germany. According to the National Health Board of Sweden, there have been 169 cases between 2015 and 2016, being the most vulnerable population, the one that comes from the former USSR, in addition to Balkans, Roma and Yazidis.
This problem has been accompanied by controversies in which some voices questioned the existence of this syndrome, stating that it was a manipulative act by parents who feared losing their residence permit. However, this statement has never been proven and no basis has been found in this regard.
According to Dr. Karl Sallin, a pediatrician at the University of Stockholm: "The most plausible explanation is that there are some sociocultural factors that are necessary for this condition to develop. A certain way of reacting or responding to traumatic events seems to be legitimized in certain contexts" It seems that this disorder may be one of the dissociative nominees, in which people disconnect from reality as a way to protect themselves after experiencing episodes of severe stress or trauma such as wars or nearby deaths.
Resignation syndrome treatment
Treatment of this syndrome is usually urgent, in hospital contexts where nutritional support can be provided and the child is kept hydrated, among other things. The patients they usually remain in a comatose state for weeks and are gradually emerging. Health professionals often create an environment of support and protection so that the child can reopen to the world and leave this state of apathy. Families or caregivers of the child are also usually treated so that they can overcome their own psychological problems as well as deal with stress. Although the recovery rate varies among patients, some children have needed support for 12 months. That is why mental health professionals request support for these children and their families whose psychological, political and social conditions are devastating even while living in an advanced society that should not allow these cases to continue happening.
Links of interest
Dissociative disorders, disconnection of thought. // blog / dissociative-disorders-disconnection-thinking /
Explainer: what is resignation syndrome and why is it affecting refugee children? //theconversation.com/explainer-what-is-resignation-syndrome-and-why-is-it-affecting-refugee-children-101670
Resignation syndrome: Sweden's mystery illness //www.bbc.com/news/magazine-41748485