Many know homesickness from their own experience. Especially children are often affected when traveling for the first time or staying in unfamiliar surroundings. How devastating can the consequences of homesickness be and why is it called "Swiss disease"?
Why do we feel homesick?
The home is the place where you can find security and security. You live in orderly structures and enjoy the habit. Leaving this place, it can happen that one gets the feeling of losing order and security. Since the need for security is one of the basic needs, this loss is perceived as particularly threatening and painful.
Symptoms of homesickness
Homesickness can lead in stark individual cases to a strong disruption of the body and the soul. Frequently sufferers suffer from loss of appetite and drive weakness. It can lead to a complete depletion of the body, which in turn can cause sequelae such as hallucinations, fever or frequent vomiting. Furthermore, a mental illness can occur.
All alternatives that are not available to us at the same time seem much more attractive to us. Depending on the situation and personality of the person concerned, homesickness can actually lead to death due to the considerable physiological consequences. However, this rarely happens because homesickness can be cured by returning home.
Homesickness - "Swiss disease"
At the end of the 16th century, numerous medical treatises were written on the strange suffering of Swiss soldiers stationed outside the country. It was observed that the soldiers were increasingly moody and the number of deserters increased. Even then, it was suspected that the altered air was essentially responsible for the physical illnesses. The Swiss physician Johannes Hofer published in 1688 his dissertation "Homesickness as illness". He saw the disease as a psycho-physiological consequence of a change of environment.
He also blames the change in the air for the disease. Therefore, homesickness is still today called "Swiss disease", although the air change today can no longer be seen as a cause. Whether homesickness is a disease is still controversial today. Many physicians see homesickness more than a condition.