January 6, 1975

"Oblomov Syndrome"? ("Oblomov Sign"?)

Author Affiliations

Gdynia-Redlowe, Poland

JAMA. 1975;231(1):26. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03240130020016

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To the Editor.—  I was particularly interested in the statement of N. S. Kline, MD, that refusal to get out of bed may be one of symptoms of depression (227:1158, 1974).Taking into consideration the existing tendency to seek literary archetypes for various clinical syndromes, eg, Pickwickian syndrome, Munchausen syndrome, Ondine syndrome, Musset syndrome, I would like to note that the refusal to get out of bed also has a representative in belles lettres. It's Ilya Ilych Oblomov, leading character of Oblomov, a novel written in 1859 by the Russian classic author, Ivan Gentcharov (1812-1891). Through 131 pages (one third of the book!), Oblomov, a 32-year-old nobleman, refuses to get out of bed. Throughout many hours he tries to overcome his passivity but without result. This part of the book is deeply disturbing. After many sad events, over a couple of years, Oblomov dies of cerebral hemorrhage.Taking all this