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Homesickness

homesick-childHomesickness is a strong longing for home or a person associated with home, such as a parent or sibling.

What is Homesickness?

Homesickness can feel similar to grief, and a person experiencing homesickness is grieving the temporary—or sometimes permanent—loss of the comforts of home. Many people experience mild homesickness when they move, and this low-level homesickness might include brief pangs of longing for home and periodic feelings of nostalgia. However, homesickness can also be an overwhelming emotion that interferes with adjustment and normal functioning. People experiencing this kind of homesickness may be anxious, depressed, cry frequently, or have difficulty keeping track of daily routines.

What Causes Homesickness?

A sudden change in environment can cause homesickness in a wide variety of people. Because children’s identities and sense of security are intimately tied to family and home, however, they are especially prone to homesickness. A child might become homesick while away at camp or when spending the night at a friend’s house.

College students often experience homesickness when they go away to school, particularly if school is far from home or the culture on campus is dramatically different from family culture.

What Causes Homesickness?

The primary cause of homesickness is a sudden transition or separation from home, but some people are more prone to homesickness than others. Children with a history of anxiety and shy children may be especially prone to homesickness. College students who have never been away from home or who have trouble making friends are also more likely to develop homesickness.

Homesickness is not a mental illness, and does not require treatment. However, therapy can help people adjust to new environments. In some cases, homesickness may lead to or exacerbate certain mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.

Reference:

  1. Thurber, C. A., & Walton, E. A. (2007). Preventing and Treating Homesickness. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 16(4), 843-858. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2007.05.003

Last Updated: 08-7-2015

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  • April c.

    January 1st, 2019 at 7:52 PM

    Can homesickness cause medical problems in adults like yearly illness on the date of moving.

  • AC

    February 28th, 2019 at 5:03 AM

    i am struggling homesick and about to go to camp ,i have an fear in world camp and I just cru and cry,I wanted to ask for help but since it happened so many times, my parents will scold me and I end up crying all night and depression comes. that made give up on camps 3 times straight,but last time I went to Germany ,I croed but I made it even with a flight delay,2 weeks until it,idk what to do and I wanna jump of a cliff real bad!I wanna get through hoeisck!Help!

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    February 28th, 2019 at 7:46 AM

    Dear AC,

    If you would like to consult with a mental health professional, you can start finding therapists in your area by selecting your country on our search page at https://www.goodtherapy.org/international-search.html

    Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. You may click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. If you need help finding a therapist, you are welcome to call us. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time, and our phone number is 888-563-2112.

    Kind regards,
    The GoodTherapy Team

  • Richie a.

    May 3rd, 2019 at 3:46 PM

    Like me I can’t go in sleep every night 6 days ago what can we do free

  • Alice

    June 29th, 2019 at 1:45 PM

    I suffer from homesickness. I call what I have now pre homesickness But I don’t know what from. Either moving or vacation.

  • Davis

    August 23rd, 2019 at 5:48 PM

    I just moved to college and I just feel like I’m living someone else’s life and I feel sick and can’t eat very much

  • Jakuii

    February 18th, 2021 at 12:32 AM

    I also suffer from homesickness because I get attached to places very fast like for an example if I stay with you for even two days and I go back home I will miss you causing me to cry. I’m actually also in the hostel and every time my parent drop me off, later that night I will cry and be super sad. And the time I’m alone I also become super homesick. Is this normal?

  • val

    June 21st, 2022 at 10:34 PM

    hii, i guess uk why im here. yes im struggling with being homesick its just i went away from my family for 3 days and stayed with my grandmother for 3 days sleep on her leg and hugged her tightly when i slept she help me pack my stuff and even blowed dry me hair for me. I really appreciate her company as i feel she is the only one who appreciate me for me unlike my dad who ignores me if i have done something wrong or don’t meet his expectation . I really want to see my grandmother but i fear the time wont come soon and ill neve r have the chance to go back to the place i really feel like i belong. i cant help but cry everyday even when i go to sleep. I hope my grandmother is well and she knows that i miss her. I try not to show my feelings to my dad as im worried that he might prevent me from going back to my home town i hope i really stop missing my home town, I try to go to the park and watch my fav yt videos but its not helping im scared my dad might find out

  • Manisha

    July 11th, 2022 at 3:25 PM

    My son studying abroad far from me.He went 6 months ago during these 6 months 3 to 4 times he told that he doesn’t understand anything..he can t figure out with his feelings.. I don’t know what to do though he got B grade in his exams.
    But sometimes he suddenly feels not to do anything. Not doing any of his hobby.
    Being a parent I don’t how do I help him

  • Val

    July 14th, 2022 at 9:49 AM

    Hiii,manisha. I want you to let ur son know that hai feelings are definitely valid and you should try to isit him as much as u can but not too many times and try to bring something that reminds him of home with him and remember that he should stay in contact with his family. You should give him all the time he needs to adjust and be there for him when he needs it. Try not to pressure him and give him losts of care but he would definitely need his own me time once in a while .

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