Homesickness is the distress caused by being away from home. Its cognitive hallmark is preoccupying thoughts of home and attachment objects. Sufferers typically report a combination of depressive and anxious symptoms, withdrawn behavior and difficulty focusing on topics unrelated to home.
In its mild form, homesickness prompts the development of coping skills and motivates healthy attachment behaviors, such as renewing contact with loved ones. Indeed, nearly all people miss something about home when they are away, making homesickness a nearly universal experience. However, intense homesickness can be painful and debilitating.
Homesickness is an ancient phenomenon, mentioned in both the Old Testament books of Exodus and Psalm 137:1 ("By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion") as well as Homer's Odyssey, whose opening scene features Athena arguing with Zeus to bring Odysseus home because he is homesick ("...longing for his wife and his homecoming..."). The Greek physician Hippocrates (ca. 460–377 BC) believed that homesickness—also called "heimveh" (old German word for "Heimweh") or a "nostalgic reaction"—was caused by a surfeit of black bile in the blood. In recent history homesickness is first mentioned specifically with Swiss people being abroad in Europe ("Heimweh") for a longer period of time in a document dating back to 1691. A normal phenomenon amongst the many common Swiss mercenaries serving in different countries and many rulers across Europe at that time. It was not uncommon for them staying many years away from home and, if lucky enough, return home if still alive. This phenomenon at that time was first only thought to affect Swiss people until this was revised, probably caused by big migration streams across Europe suggesting the same symptoms and thus homesickness found its way into general German medical literature in the 19th century. American contemporary histories, such as Susan J. Matt's Homesickness: An American History eloquently describe experiences of homesickness in colonists, immigrants, gold miners, soldiers, explorers and others spending time away from home. First understood as a brain lesion, homesickness is now known to be a form of normative psychopathology that reflects the strength of a person's attachment to home, native culture and loved ones, as well as their ability to regulate their emotions and adjust to novelty. Cross-cultural research, with populations as diverse as refugees and boarding school students, suggests considerable agreement on the definition of homesickness. Additional historical perspectives on homesickness and place attachment can be found in books by van Tilburg & Vingerhoets, Matt, and Williams.
Whereas separation anxiety disorder is characterized by "inappropriate and excessive fear or anxiety concerning separation from those to whom the individual is attached"  symptoms of homesickness are most prominent after a separation and include both depression and anxiety. In DSM terms, homesickness may be related to Separation Anxiety Disorder, but it is perhaps best categorized as either an Adjustment Disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood (309.28) or, for immigrants and foreign students as a V62.4, Acculturation Difficulty. As noted above, researchers use the following definition: "Homesickness is the distress or impairment caused by an actual or anticipated separation from home. Its cognitive hallmark is preoccupying thoughts of home and attachment objects." Recent pathogenic models support the possibility that homesickness reflects both insecure attachment and a variety of emotional and cognitive vulnerabilities, such as little previous experience away from home and negative attitudes about the novel environment.
The prevalence of homesickness varies greatly, depending on the population studied and the way homesickness is measured. One way to conceptualize homesickness prevalence is as a function of severity. Nearly all people miss something about home when they are away, so the absolute prevalence of homesickness is close to 100%, mostly in a mild form. Roughly 20% of university students and children at summer camp rate themselves at or above the midpoint on numerical rating scales of homesickness severity. And only 5–7% of students and campers report intense homesickness associated with severe symptoms of anxiety and depression. However, in adverse or painful environments, such as the hospital or the battlefield, intense homesickness is far more prevalent. In one study, 50% of children scored themselves at or above the midpoint on a numerical homesickness intensity scale (compared to 20% of children at summer camp). Soldiers report even more intense homesickness, sometimes to the point of suicidal misery. Naturally, aversive environmental elements, such as the trauma associated with war, exacerbate homesickness and other mental health problems.
In sum, homesickness is a normative pathology that can take on clinical relevance in its moderate and severe forms.
Risk factors (constructs which increase the likelihood or intensity of homesickness) and protective factors (constructs that decrease the likelihood or intensity of homesickness) vary by population. For example, a seafarers on board, the environmental stressors associated with a hospital, a military boot camp or a foreign country may exacerbate homesickness and complicate treatment. Generally speaking, however, risk and protective factors transcend age and environment.
The risk factors for homesickness fall into five categories: experience, personality, family, attitude and environment. More is known about some of these factors in adults—especially personality factors—because more homesickness research has been performed with older populations. However, a growing body of research is elucidating the etiology of homesickness in younger populations, including children at summer camp, hospitalized children and students.
Factors which mitigate the prevalence or intensity of homesickness are essentially the inverse of the risk factors cited above. Effective coping (reviewed in the following section) also diminishes the intensity of homesickness over time. Prior to a separation, however, key protective factors can be identified. Positive adjustment to separation from home is generally associated with the following factors:
How people—especially young people—cope with homesickness deserves careful study for at least three reasons. First, homesickness is experienced by millions of people who spend time away from home (see McCann, 1941, for an early review) including children at boarding schools, residential summer camps and hospitals.
Second, severe homesickness is associated with significant distress and impairment. There is evidence that homesick persons are present with non-traumatic physical ailments significantly more than their non-homesick peers. Homesick boys and girls complain about somatic problems and exhibit more internalizing and externalizing behaviors problems than their nonhomesick peers. First-year college students are three times more likely to drop out of school than their nonhomesick peers. Other data have pointed to concentration and academic problems in homesick students. And maladjustment to separation from home has been documented in hospitalized young people and is generally associated with slower recovery. See Thurber & Walton (2012) for a review.
Third, learning more about how people cope with homesickness is a helpful guide to designing treatment programs. By complementing existing theories of depression, anxiety and attachment, a better theoretical understanding of homesickness can shape applied interventions. Among the most relevant theories that could shape interventions are those concerned with Learned Helplessness and Control Beliefs.
Learned helplessness predicts that persons who develop a belief that they cannot influence or adjust to their circumstance of separation from home will become depressed and make fewer attempts to change that circumstance. Control beliefs theory predicts that negative affect is most likely in persons who perceive personal incompetence in the separation environment (e.g., poor social skills at a summer camp or university) and who perceive contingency uncertainty (e.g., uncertainty about whether friendly behavior will garner friends). Although these are not the only broad etiologic theories that inform homesickness, note that both theories hinge on control, the perception of which "reflects the fundamental human need for competence" (Skinner, 1995, p. 8). This is particularly relevant to coping, because people's choice of how to respond to a stressor hinges partly on their perception of a stressor's controllability.
An equally important coping factor is social connection, which for many people is the antidote to homesickness. As the results of several studies have suggested, social connection is a powerful mediator of homesickness intensity.
The most effective way of coping with homesickness is mixed and layered. Mixed coping is that which involves both primary goals (changing circumstances) and secondary goals (adjusting to circumstances). Layered coping is that which involves more than one method. This kind of sophisticated coping is learned through experience, such as brief periods away from home without parents. As an example of mixed and layered coping, one study revealed the following method-goal combinations to be the most frequent and effective ways for boys and girls:
Sometimes, people will engage in wishful thinking, attempt to arrange a shorter stay or (rarely) break rules or act violently in order to be sent home. These ways of coping are rarely effective and can produce unintended negative side effects.
Homesickness is a major theme of the film Brooklyn (2015). One critic said that the protagonist's depiction of homesickness "as a physical, implacable reality is acute, and it's backed up by what we see around her."
Balseros (Spanish: Rafters) is a 2002 Catalan documentary co-directed by Carles Bosch and Josep Maria Domènech about Cubans leaving during the Período Especial.
As a consequence of the widespread poverty that came with the end of economic support from the former USSR, 37,191 Cubans left Cuba in 1994, unimpeded by the Cuban government, using anything they could find or build to get to Florida in the United States. Most left with improvised rafts, which were often not seaworthy, and some even hijacked a ferry.
The documentary consists largely of interviews with the rafters ("Balseros"), over the course of seven years the lives of seven of those refugees, from the building of their rafts to their attempts at building new lives in the United States, giving insight into daily life in Cuba and the US in those days.
The documentary is 2 hours long. The first half is filmed in Cuba, with in the end some scenes of the rafters' months long detention in Guantanamo Bay, where lotteries were used to decide who would be allowed to go to the US. All the while, their families didn't know their whereabouts. The last hour is about the lives of those who got to the USA. These people were filmed again five years later, showing their difficulties adapting to a new type of society and the resulting homesickness, a "human adventure of people who are shipwrecked between two worlds".Caetano Veloso (1971 album)
Caetano Veloso is the third self-titled album by Caetano Veloso. It was recorded in England, when the artist was in an exile imposed by the Brazilian government of the time for being subversive. It is mostly sung in English and portrays a sad tone throughout, reflecting his feelings about homesickness and the absence of his family and friends. It was released first in Europe, and then in Brazil, in 1971.Culture shock
Culture shock is an experience a person may have when one moves to a cultural environment which is different from one's own; it is also the personal disorientation a person may feel when experiencing an unfamiliar way of life due to immigration or a visit to a new country, a move between social environments, or simply transition to another type of life. One of the most common causes of culture shock involves individuals in a foreign environment. Culture shock can be described as consisting of at least one of four distinct phases: honeymoon, negotiation, adjustment, and adaptation.
Common problems include: information overload, language barrier, generation gap, technology gap, skill interdependence, formulation dependency, homesickness (cultural), boredom (job dependency), response ability (cultural skill set). There is no true way to entirely prevent culture shock, as individuals in any society are personally affected by cultural contrasts differently.Darragh Joyce
Darragh Joyce (born 23 April 1997) is a professional Australian rules footballer playing for St Kilda in the Australian Football League (AFL). He made his debut in round 15 of the 2018 season against Melbourne at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.Joyce is originally from Ireland and played hurling for his county Kilkenny and also for club Rower-Inistioge. He tested at the 2015 AFL Draft Combine, but did not sign with a club because of concerns about homesickness. Joyce trialled with St Kilda in June 2016, and joined as a Category B International Rookie before the 2017 season. He played for St Kilda's Victorian Football League affiliate Sandringham, but struggled for form and was dropped to the reserves. Coach Lindsay Gilbee commented that "[Joyce] came back a much better player".Joyce is the brother of former Kilkenny hurler Kieran Joyce and the cousin of former Essendon footballer Kevin Walsh.Good old days
Good old days is a cliché in popular culture. It is used to reference a time considered by the speaker to be better than the current era. It is a form of nostalgia which can reflect homesickness or yearning for long-gone moments.In 1726, John Henley used this phrase in his book The Primitive Liturgy "to all honest Admirers of the good old Days of their best and wisest Fore-fathers, this first Part of the Primitive Liturgy Is most humbly dedicated".In 1727, Daniel Defoe wrote in The Complete English Tradesman "In the good old days of Trade, which our Fore-fathers plodded on in." In this part of his book, Defoe talks about how in 'the good old days' tradesman had were better off then in Defoe's time.HMS Donovan (album)
HMS Donovan is the ninth studio album, and tenth album overall, from British singer-songwriter Donovan. It marks the second album of Donovan's children's music, after the For Little Ones portion of A Gift from a Flower to a Garden. HMS Donovan is the second double album of Donovan's career, and was released in the UK only, in July 1971 (Dawn Records DNLD 4001 (stereo)).Hiraeth
Hiraeth (pronounced [hiraɪ̯θ]) is a Welsh concept of longing for home, which can be loosely translated as 'nostalgia', or, more commonly, 'homesickness'.
Many Welsh people claim 'hiraeth' is a word which cannot be translated, meaning more than solely "missing something" or "missing home." To some, it implies the meaning of missing a time, an era, or a person. It is associated with the bittersweet memory of missing something or someone, while being grateful of that/ their existence. Similarly, the Cornish equivalent is ‘hireth’; Welsh and Cornish share common linguistic roots.
Hiraeth bears considerable similarities with the Portuguese concept of saudade (a key theme in Fado music), Galician morriña, Romanian dor, Gaelic cianalas, Russian toska (тоска), German Sehnsucht and Ethiopian tizita (ትዝታ).Homesick
Homesick may refer to:
Homesickness, longing to return homeHow Are Things in Glocca Morra?
"How Are Things in Glocca Morra?" is a popular song about a fictional village in Ireland, with themes of nostalgia and homesickness. It was introduced by Ella Logan in the original Broadway production of Finian's Rainbow.Letter from Home (Copland)
Letter from Home is a 1944 orchestral composition by Aaron Copland.The piece was commissioned as a patriotic work by Paul Whiteman for his Radio Hall of Fame Orchestra, and suggests the emotions of a soldier reading a letter from home. The music has been described as Copland's "most sentimental" and reflects his own homesickness in Mexico.It is scored for flute, oboe, four saxophones, French horn, three trumpets, three trombones, tuba, guitar, piano, harp, percussion, and strings. The 1964 orchestral version is scored for two flutes, two oboes (oboe II is optional), two clarinets, optional bass clarinet, two bassoons (bassoon II is optional), two horns, two trumpets, two trombones, timpani, percussion (bells, suspended cymbal, triangle, bass drum), optional harp, optional piano, and strings.List of Kid Nation participants
Kid Nation is a CBS reality show which revolved around a society essentially run by kids. The cast included 40 children aged from 8 to 15 years old, and from a variety of backgrounds.Murray Bail
Murray Bail (born 22 September 1941) is an Australian writer of novels, short stories and non-fiction. In 1980 he shared the Age Book of the Year award for his novel Homesickness.
He was born in Adelaide, South Australia. He has lived most of his life in Australia except for sojourns in India (1968–70) and England and Europe (1970–74). He currently lives in Sydney.
He was trustee of the National Gallery of Australia from 1976 to 1981 and wrote a book on Australian artist Ian Fairweather.
A portrait of Bail by the artist Fred Williams is hung in the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra. The portrait was done while both Williams and Bail were Council members of the National Gallery of Australia.Nostalgia
Nostalgia is a sentimentality for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. The word nostalgia is learned formation of a Greek compound, consisting of νόστος (nóstos), meaning "homecoming", a Homeric word, and ἄλγος (álgos), meaning "pain" or "ache", and was coined by a 17th-century medical student to describe the anxieties displayed by Swiss mercenaries fighting away from home. Described as a medical condition—a form of melancholy—in the Early Modern period, it became an important trope in Romanticism.Nostalgia is associated with a yearning for the past, its personalities, and events, especially the "good old days" or a "warm childhood".The scientific literature on nostalgia usually refers to nostalgia regarding the personal life and has mainly studied the effects of nostalgia induced during the studies. Smell and touch are strong evokers of nostalgia due to the processing of these stimuli first passing through the amygdala, the emotional seat of the brain. These recollections of one's past are usually important events, people one cares about, and places where one has spent time. Music and weather can also be strong triggers of nostalgia. Nostalgic preferences, the belief that the past was better than the present, have been linked to biases in memory.Ranz des Vaches
A Ranz des Vaches or Kuhreihen is a simple melody traditionally played on the horn by the Swiss Alpine herdsmen as they drove their cattle to or from the pasture. The Kuhreihen was linked to the Swiss nostalgia and Homesickness (also known as mal du Suisse "Swiss illness" or Schweizerheimweh "Swiss homesickness").Salma Ya Salama
Salma Yā Salāma (in Arabic سالمة يا سلامة) is an Egyptian popular song composed by musician Sayed Darwish for the 1919 play "Qulu lu". The lyrics are by Egyptian poet Badi' Khairi. The song speaks about nostalgia for the homeland, homesickness, how they are satisfied with life, whether they are poor or rich, and how brilliant they are in war and peace.Siboney (song)
"Siboney" (Canto Siboney) is a 1929 Cuban song by Ernesto Lecuona. The music is in cut time, originally written in C major. The lyrics were reportedly written by Lecuona while away from Cuba and is about the homesickness he is experiencing (Siboney is also a town in Cuba, and can also refer to Cuba in general).Siboney became a hit in 1931 when performed by Alfredo Brito and His Siboney Orchestra. Other artists followed suit, including Caterina Valente, Olga Guillot, Xiomara Alfaro, Dizzy Gillespie, René Touzet (1954), Nana Mouskouri and Percy Faith. It was recorded by Connie Francis in 1960, and later included in the film 2046.
English lyrics were written by Dolly Morse, but they bear no resemblance to the original Spanish. The English version of the song was recorded by Bing Crosby on February 11, 1945 with Xavier Cugat conducting the Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra. Later in the same decade (1949) it was recorded for Muzak by Alfredo Antonini and his orchestra in collaboration with Victoria Cordova and John Serry Sr..The People of Hemsö
The People of Hemsö (Swedish: Hemsöborna) is an 1887 novel by August Strindberg about the life of people of the island Hemsö in the Stockholm archipelago. Hemsö is a fictional island, but it is based on Kymmendö where Strindberg had spent time in his youth. Strindberg wrote the book to combat his homesickness while living abroad in Germany and France.
In 1955 a movie based on the novel was shown; it marked the first film appearance of the actress Daliah Lavi.
In 1966 a TV series based on the novel was produced.Walerjan Wrobel's Homesickness
Walerjan Wrobel's Homesickness (German: Das Heimweh des Walerjan Wróbel) is a 1991 German drama film directed by Rolf Schübel. It was entered into the 17th Moscow International Film Festival where it won a Special Mention.