Medical Definition of Resignation syndrome

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Resignation syndrome: a psychological disorder that affects children and teens who have experienced emotional trauma during a lengthy and difficult migration process. The symptoms begin with depression and gradually progress into a state of stupor, in which tube feeding is necessary and the affected individual appears unconscious, not responding even to painful stimuli. The condition has been described as similar to catatonia, which can have multiple causes. Over the past decade, several hundred cases of this condition have been reported in Sweden. The cause of the condition and the reason for the geographic clustering are unknown. In those affected, gradual return to normal function has occurred after periods of months to years.

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Reviewed on 8/7/2018

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REFERENCE: Sallin, K, et al. Resignation Syndrome: Catatonia? Culture-Bound? Front. Behav. Neurosci. 29 January 2016
<https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnbeh.2016.00007/full>

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