Effects and Causes of Homesickness
Name of Student
Name of University
10 June 2015
Home is a place where we are accustomed of being around. The environment, the acquaintances and the methodology of living get rooted into our blood as those things are being witnessed by us every day since we have gained conscious. The relationship between home and the being of a human is so intrinsic that it affects heavily when a gap is developed in between (Herbeck and Monroe, 1992). It is called homesickness. It has the potential to severely damage a person psychologically. Moreover, it dodges the adjustment mechanism of a person to live in another place away from home. The effects of homesickness are apparently emotional but it leaves impact on health as well. According to Thurber and Walton (2007), when a person either go through or anticipate a separation from home or objects of homely atmosphere such as parents or friends, this emotional instability causes functional impairment in the mind and distress. People having homesickness feel depression, nervousness and anxiety and most of the time remain preoccupied with the thoughts related to home.
This essay will account some important effects of homesickness and their causes. When at home, people sometimes deliberately look for a seasonal or environmental change but they cannot bear that change for a long time because of their calling of their roots. Students leave their home for studies, people often compelled to stay another place to earn their livelihood or many other likely situations give rise to homesickness. Basically, homesickness is a vacuum that is so sudden and abrupt which makes a person very much shaken and unsettled (Watt and Badger, 2009). They feel impossible to cope with the new environment and there is often seen an aversion towards the new place.
However, homesickness is not always about a familiar place, it may be about surrounding people, climate or working environment. Handling homesickness is very difficult for children. They have been mostly depended on their mothers for every daily activity and when they are sent to boarding schools or camps for a long time away from home they get simply afraid of the new place or environment. Usually, they seem to reserve themselves cry alone. However, adults can be a little bit more patient in regards to homesickness. The loneliness triggers a kind of dejection within them. The severity lies with adults as they primarily use to suppress the painful feeling and that may result in a completely different or more damaged way. This can be exemplified with the instance of William Morel from the novel Sons and Lovers (1913) by D. H. Lawrence. He was very much attached to his mother Gertrude and they two are separated by distance William had been afflicted with serious illness leading to his demise.
There is another facet of homesickness. It is not always missing the place where one is born or brought up; in fact, just an indigenous root or origin can also generate the feeling of homesickness. For instance, a generation living abroad since birth but their origin is rooted to another place or another country. In this case, those Diasporas may never be in their place of origin, but stories, incidents and elements of that place heard from their parents may inflict acute urge to get back to that place (Herbeck and Monroe, 1992). It is often seen in foreign lands; persons get delighted to see people from their homeland. It is not necessary they are acquainted with each other; just the sense of same origin develops an instant bondage.
The explicit symptoms of homesickness are nostalgia, grief, depression, withdrawal, indifference, claustrophobia, sadness, agoraphobia and most importantly adjustment disorders. These are very common symptoms of other psychological disorders as well. However, they lead to the effects such as social problems. Being a social animal, interacting and keeping relation with others is very significant to survive but with adjustment disorders people become eventually secluded from mass. Changes in behaviour can be noticed as well. An out and out extrovert person with homesickness can bind himself within the small shell of himself. The garrulous nature can be converted into indifference and quiet. This often causes certain aggressive stances to push away people. A study has shown that the homesickness is expressed by people often my missing homemade food (Watt and Badger, 2009). Not getting the same flavour and taste in the food makes people living away from home to skip meals or consuming unhealthy foods. In this way, a person even gets damaged physically by homesickness.
The implication of homesickness brings forth the importance of home and family in the life of human beings. The place of origin and its surroundings heavily contribute in the shaping of character of a person. This is why the world is full of diversified population. The positive aspect of homesickness is that the passion for one’s root and at the same time homesickness overshadows the potential of a person as it restricts people to experience the exposure throughout the world.
Herbeck, E. and Monroe, M. (1992). Heimweh (Homesickness). Grand Street, (41), 218.
Thurber, C. and Walton, E. (2007). Preventing and Treating Homesickness. Pediatrics, 119(1), 192-201.
Watt, S. and Badger, A. (2009). Effects of Social Belonging on Homesickness: An Application of the Belongingness Hypothesis. Personality And Social Psychology Bulletin, 35(4), 516-530.