Immigrants Living in Extreme Situations: Immigrant Syndrome with Extreme Migratory Mourning- The Ulysses Syndrome
Today, the circumstances in which many immigrants arrive are characterised by their extreme conditions. For millions of individuals, emigration presents stress levels of such intensity that they exceed the human capacity of adaptation. These persons are, therefore, highly vulnerable to Immigrant Syndrome with Extreme Mourning, known as the Ulysses Syndrome (in reference to the Greek hero who suffered countless adversities and dangers in lands far from his loved ones).

The Ulysses Syndrome forms a gateway between mental health and mental disorder. This syndrome is a subject response when faced with a situation of inhuman stress of living permanently alone, with no way out, with fear etc. The Ulysses Syndrome is found in the area of preventative health care and the psychosocial sector more than in the area of the treatment.

Loneliness, fear, despair… the migrations of this new millennium remind us increasingly of Homers’ verses “… But the days found him sitting on the rocks or sands, torturing himself with tears, groans and heartache, and looking out with streaming eyes across the watery wilderness….” (Odyssey, Song V, 150,) and the part of the text in which Ulysses tells Polyphem: “You ask me my name. I shall tell you. My name is nobody and nobody is what everyone calls me” (Odyssey, Song IX, 360). It is clear that if a man has to become a nobody in order to survive, has to remain permanently invisible, he will have no identity, will never become socially integrated, and will not enjoy mental health.
Date: 30 May 2019, 17:00 (Thursday, 5th week, Trinity 2019)
Venue: 64 Banbury Road, 64 Banbury Road OX2 6PN
Venue Details: wheelchair accessible
Speaker: Dr Joseba Achotegui Loizate (University of Barcelona)
Organising department: Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS)
Organiser contact email address: communications@compas.ox.ac.uk
Topics: Psychiatry, Immigrants, Mental health
Booking required?: Not required
Audience: Public
Editors: Nathan Grassi, Alexis Still