Sweden’s Child Migrant Mystery
Why do asylum-seeking children in Sweden withdraw from the world, and how can they recover?
For nearly two decades, Swedish health professionals have been treating asylum-seeking children who fall into a deeply listless state. They withdraw from the world, refuse to speak, walk and eat - most end up being tube-fed. They are known as “the apathetic children” in Sweden. More recently this illness has been termed Resignation Syndrome. Experts agree it is children who have experienced deep trauma who are vulnerable. Doctors link the condition to an uncertain migration status. But why, asks Linda Pressly, does it only seem to happen to children in Sweden, and how can they recover?
(Photo: This seven-year old girl has been withdrawn and unresponsive for 6 months. She is fed via a plastic tube through her nose)