a longing to return home
The characteristic of being homesick; a strong, sad feeling of missing one's home (and often left-behind loved ones, such as family and friends) when physically away.
Homesickness is the distress or impairment caused by an actual or anticipated separation from the specific home environment or attachment objects. The term is in origin a loan translation of nostalgia, a learned term coined in Baroque period medicine. The Oxford English Dictionary describes homesickness as a feeling one has when missing home. Feelings of longing are often accompanied by anxiety and depression. These symptoms may range from mild to severe. Homesickness frequently occurs when one travels and may be exacerbated by unfamiliar environments or foreign cultural contexts. Homesickness is especially common in youth. Young people may experience a sense of dread, helplessness, or separation anxiety on their first day of school, summer camp, or on a protracted summer vacation away from the family. Many first-year students at boarding schools or universities also experience homesickness. Some new members on military basic training and members on missions or deployments might also experience it.
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 Sufferers typically report a combination of depressive and anxious symptoms, withdrawn behavior and difficulty focusing on topics unrelated to home. Experienced by children and adults, the affected person may be taking a short trip to a nearby place, such as summer camp, or they may be taking a long trip or have moved to a different country.In its mild form, homesickness prompts the development of coping skills and motivates healthy attachment behaviors, such as renewing contact with loved ones. 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.
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