Resignation as the word implies is somewhat similar to the state of being resigned to one’s fate, which is often encountered in normal individuals.
Resignation Syndrome appears to be a state of ‘abject surrender’ in response to an intolerable degree of stress and mental trauma.
This condition, if untreated, may be life-threatening owing to severe exhaustion, malnutrition, and dehydration.
There are several factors that can lead to psychological trauma among child asylum seekers, refugees, and detainees.
Such kids are exposed to a high level of stress and may go on to develop features of apprehension, depression, and confusional states.
Currently in Nauru, and earlier in Europe and Australia, many kids had to stay back for more than five years, without any certainty of finding a place of safe relocation or family reunion.
In my personal clinical experience patients who are confined to, say a psychiatric facility or a rehabilitation center for a long period of time, exhibit signs and symptoms similar to Resignation Syndrome. That’s the reason, why as a matter of routine practice, I do not keep a patient under confined hospitalization for more than 2 – 3 months at a stretch, and even if I do in certain cases, I allow the patient to go on parole for a few days every week and spend time outside the hospital setting, in the company of his or her parents. And it works dramatically.
We must understand and accept the fact that any person, more so, in the case of kids, if they are confined in a place of restricted movement amidst uncertainty as to when he or she will be released or find a suitable place for a normal life, is certain to slide into a state of mental derangement.
Children and individuals with Resignation Syndrome should get adequate supportive treatment, along with counseling, apart from expediting the process of resettlement as quickly as possible.