5 signs of 'give-up-itis'

Bizarrely in the final stages, people can appear to make a miraculous recovery

During World War II, when a cargo ship was torpedoed and sank in the North Sea, some of the crew managed to escape the sinking vessel. One survivor reported a curious incident that happened on their life raft:

There were seven of us on the raft, but the third officer died about two hours before we were picked up. He was very despondent, and toward the end he lost heart and gave up and died.

In another case of so-called give-up-itis, an American prisoner of war held in Vietnam and described by his colleagues as a strong and sure “marine’s marine” began to shuffle around the camp, becoming increasingly disconnected from the world around him before finally lying down, curling up and dying. His last words were: “Wake me when it’s over.”

The term give-up-itis was coined by medical officers during the Korean War (1950-1953).

They described it as a condition where a person

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