Depression Caused by Arrested Intellectual Development

  • Neville Symington


Some years ago a psychiatrist rang me and asked if I would see a girl who had been under his care in hospital for the previous six weeks. She had been admitted as an in-patient following a massive overdose. I arranged to see her and a few days later a very sullen girl clumped into my consulting room. She came from the north of England and was working in a residential home for children in care as a sort of social work assistant. She spoke in a toneless voice, was dressed smartly but in a rather old fashioned manner. I had the impression of someone who had been dressed up by mother to visit an elderly relative. She might have had with her a box of chocolates to give or a bunch of flowers. She would speak politely to the relative for a dull half hour and then depart. She was a solid girl, walked heavily and when she sat down she looked like an overgrown schoolgirl. She did not have the appearance of somebody who had had sexual relations. She was aged about twenty-five and I would have guessed that she probably left school at sixteen. My immediate impression was that she was rather dim and poorly educated.


Residential Home Intelligence Level Maternal Warmth Internal Object Consult Room 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Hesse, H., 1965. “Steppenwolf”. Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  2. Winnicott, D.W., 1958. “Collected Papers: Through Paediatrics to Psychoanalysis”. Tavistock, LondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neville Symington
    • 1
  1. 1.The Adult DepartmentThe Tavistock ClinicLondonUK

Personalised recommendations