- Depressive devitalisation and pervasive refusal syndrome: new child idioms of distress?
- Book title
- Roads and boundaries: travels in search of (re)connection
- Pages (from-to)
- Diemen: AMB
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This chapter focuses on the recent emergence of a new psychiatric syndrome among asylum seeking children in Europe, particularly Sweden, called Depressive Devitalisation. It describes the professional quest for understanding the causal and therapeutic pathways of what impresses as an
epidemic, and how this search is shaped by the comparison with an earlier identified rare constellation of symptoms among non-migrant British children, Pervasive Refusal Syndrome (PRS). The paper critically discusses how the professional objective of including the syndrome in the classification system distracts from what is at stake for these children. In the last section ‘idiom of distress’ is used as a heuristic tool to explore how the syndrome speaks to us about the social suffering of these children and their families.
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