To migrate is always traumatic and thus any individual may suffer a higher level of vulnerability: i.e. losing symbolic, cultural and social references, enduring the blocking of identity construction processes, and experiencing the paralysis of temporalization and historicization. Such vulnerable states are set off by the migratory experience and by the post migratory host environment (socio-economic, cultural and relational factors). These vulnerable states may have psychopathological polymorphic sequelae, mainly expressed through the body (prime mode of beingin-the-world). Nowadays, scientific research on mental disorders, in migratory and trans-cultural contexts, identifies the key pre-, intra- and post-migratory risk factors, mainly examining the last post-migratory phase found to be more strongly associated with the onset and structuring of psychological distress among migrants. On the other hand, within this context of migration, personal resilience (arising from the individual’s resources) and effective therapeutic responses (deriving from symbolic and social networks that succeed in creating meaningful experiences) are also noted. The authors hence underline the need for further research on the relationship between migratory experiences and psychopathology, in order to have a better understanding of migrants’ psychological vulnerabilities and improve the mental health policies (prevention and promotion) for migrant populations.
Keywords: Psychopathology, migration, identity, culture.