Pervasive refusal syndrome, which leaves suffers, mostly children, unable to drink, eat, talk and move.
Pervasive refusal syndrome, which leaves suffers, mostly children, unable to drink, eat, talk and move. Credit: Malin Hoelstad / SvD / TT

Increase in cases of rare psychotic disorder in children

Almost 60 children were treated for pervasive refusal syndrome last year, the condition which leaves sufferers in a catatonic-like state.

The National Board of Health and Welfare has for the first time produced documentary evidence of how many people have been treated for the condition, which leaves suffers, mostly children, unable to drink, eat, talk and move.

Figures for last year show 64 people were treated in total, of which 58 of them were under 18 years of age, reports news agency TT.

Establishing a cause of pervasive refusal syndrome can be difficult but medical research has found evidence that it is associated with periods of extreme stress. 

The "apathetic" children were the subject of controversy and debate several years ago. The condition effected mostly children whose families sought asylum. Some argued that the children were only pretending, while others maintained that the anxieties and depression of the family severely affected the children.

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