After spending prolonged periods confined to their homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, not everyone is experiencing the anticipated joy and enthusiasm at the prospect of returning to a semblance of normality.
In fact, for many individuals, leaving home and resuming previous activities feels burdensome and challenging. It creates a sense of unease, leading them to decline invitations even to the simplest and least demanding events, only to regret their decision later.
This fear of leaving home is commonly called “cabin fever” or “prisoner’s syndrome.”
Understanding Cabin fever
The condition manifests as the fear of leaving home, where we sought shelter during the confusing and tumultuous months of the health emergency.
This psychological distress is characterized by:
– Tendency toward irritability
Although the causes vary and depend on each person’s individual circumstances, common emotions make it challenging to step outside the house willingly:
– Fear of falling ill
– Fear of infecting loved ones
– Dread of the outside world
– Belief that their former world may no longer be the same.”
Those most affected by this condition are often individuals who are already vulnerable, such as those with pre-existing phobias, other psychiatric disorders, anxiety, hypochondria, or those who struggle to adapt to change.
Impact on Individuals
Moreover, cabin fever can affect even those who have not previously experienced psychological disorders. Economic, professional, emotional, and personal anxieties from the pandemic have deeply troubled such individuals.
Cabin fever is not a transient condition to be ignored but a genuine issue that can worsen and become chronic. Adopting strategies under a specialist’s guidance is crucial to regain a sense of normalcy in the new post-pandemic reality. Gradually returning to normal activities instead of diving headlong into potentially anxiety-inducing situations can be a helpful approach. Additionally, reducing excessive exposure to information is important as it can heighten anxiety.
The support and expertise of a specialist provide the safest and most effective means to navigate this challenging period. They can help individuals manage the fear, anxiety, and worries that hinder a gradual return to everyday life while always respecting the necessary measures for controlling the spread of the virus.