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Nostophobia

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Returning Home

Nostophobia (also known as ecophobia) is an abnormal fear or dislike of returning home. It is considered the opposite state of nostalgia. This fear may not always be caused by the home itself, and shame is the main culprit. Returning home can be perceived as a failure or inability to succeed away from home and can be one of the fear triggers. This fear is commonly experienced by people who served in the military, and were injured. Another fear trigger is family violence.

Symptoms of nostophobia include difficulty of breathing, increased heart rate, panic attacks, sweating, loss of consciousness, tremors and crying.

To overcome the fear, sufferers should let other people know, whether the issue is about self-confidence and self-respect or traumatic experiences from the past. Clients such as military personnel should see a chaplain or counselor, to gain some support about going home. This will also help re-orient the client about family roles to be re-established upon returning home, after a long time of being away. If faced with childhood trauma, enough support should be provided for the client to move on from the experiences of childhood going to adulthood. Finding support groups is the best way.

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