Beating the Homesick Blues
Homesickness is a normal part of growing up, but what exactly is homesickness? It's a feeling you get when you're away from home, separated from familiar objects and family members. If you have ever felt homesick, you're not alone. Homesickness is a natural part of development and is felt by nearly everyone at some point in their lives.
Homesickness may cause sadness, which can lead to distress, impairment,or anxiety. For some children, it may also be manifested in behavior. They may be withdrawn and have trouble enjoying activities they used to like. In rare situations, children may even exhibit physical symptoms like stomach aches or headaches.
Thoughts of home and attachment objects, like a pet, home cooking, even television, make it hard for children to enjoy themselves when they're away from home. There isn't a set formula. Different children miss different things and react in different ways.
Younger children run the highest risk of suffering from severe symptoms of homesickness simply because they haven't developed coping skills for being away from home. That doesn't mean, though, that teenagers or college students won't experience homesickness.
Contrary to popular belief, homesickness doesn't always disappear after the first few days of being away. There are times when children just don't adjust to being away from home. When this happens, you need to be ready.
Last reviewedNovember 2013by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.