Resignation syndrome: deep numbness

Resignation syndrome: deep numbness.


It has many terms to be defined, but one of them is ” resignation syndrome”. Whoever is hit falls into a real catatonic state, a deep torpor in which one no longer responds to external stimuli. You even need a feeding tubeotherwise, you risk dying. The syndrome particularly affects children and teenagers, this occurs as a result of serious trauma suffered. 


There is currently no specific treatment to cure it. You have to figure out if it’s post-traumatic stress disorder or a form of catatonia. At the basis of the onset of the syndrome, however, there are also predisposed personalities, previous childhood psychiatric disorders, those of the parents and traumatic events. The syndrome manifests itself through three phases: denial isolation and regression .

Initial symptoms may be refusal to eat, weight loss, mutism, social isolation, immobility, resistance to external stimuli. There is no specific cure, but there can be a fairly long process of improvement (months or years). The improvement process is based on the hope for a better future , which seems to affect the healing of children and young people. The important thing is to stay close to the subjects suffering from the syndrome, maintaining and stimulating human contact. 

The term resignation syndrome refers to a syndrome that mostly affects children and adolescents between the ages of 8 and 15 who, at a sudden moment in their lives, following a trauma, fall into a state of torpor that leads to not waking up, not responding to external stimuli and feeding through a tube. Reported symptoms may include lethargy, malnutrition, social and emotional withdrawal, and poor responsiveness to external stimuli. Treatment of resignation syndrome in the acute phase is based on keeping the subject alive in a state of torpor; for example, nutritional support is ensured by means of a nasogastric tube, intravenous rehydration and control of bodily functions. However from the outset thecure is also psychological. These children and their families should be offered the possibility, through individual psychotherapy and interventions with the parents (parent training), to re-elaborate the negative emotions associated with the traumatic experience and to integrate permanently within the new environment being able to have adequate cultural and socio-economic opportunities. The social support to be provided not only to the subject affected by the syndrome of resignation, but also to his family is also very important.


Samanta Travini, psychologist


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