Fear of Returning Home

There are an abundance of made for television movies that show individuals returning to their roots – coming home if you will. The intent is to show that sometimes returning home can be the good thing to do. In some cases this might be an absolutely comfortable decision, but not for those who suffer from Nostophobia.

The phobia is essentially the fear of returning home. This fear can be based on numerous events that may or may not be directly linked to the home itself.

What Causes Nostophobia?

This particular fear can be linked to fearful memories of what may have taken place in the home. A movie called Sybil and starring Sally Fields demonstrated a case of Nostophobia as Fields’ character was forced to come to terms with the fears she experienced in the home.  Individuals who experience physical or emotional abuse may view a specific location as the source of their fear.

Another source of fear when considering a return to your family home may be perceived failure. Sometimes individuals who have served in the military and were severely injured in the service feel as if it might be better to never go home than to come home damaged. Individuals who leave home hoping for success may have trouble returning home if they do not find success. Shame can be a powerful tool that causes this fear in individuals.

But for military members who wish to return home to visit family and friends but low on cash, specialized loans are available exclusively to men and women of the armed forces in the form of a military loan.

There may be other causes, but these two provide the primary reasons many truly feel you can never really go home.

Symptoms of Nostophobia

This fear is marked by a feeling of impending doom or dread when considering returning to face family and friends under a cloud of perceived doom.

  • Air hunger
  • Elevated or irregular heartbeat
  • Panic attacks
  • Sweating
  • Fainting
  • In some traumatic cases the individual can revert to a fetal position when confronted with the object of their fear
  • Trembling
  • Crying

A homecoming may be an anticipated in the lives of most, but the nostophobe it can be impossible to feel confident or even comfortable returning home.

Overcoming the Fear of Returning Home

The treatment of this fear should not be minimized. Whether the issues are self-confidence and self-respect or traumatic experiences from your past it is vitally important to get the help you need to return home.

If you’re in the military you may need to speak with a counselor or chaplain to gain some perspective and support before retuning home. They will be able to help you understand that your feelings are normal. They will also be able to reemphasize the role your family may have in your physical recovery and that they are likely anxious for your return.

If you faced personal trauma in the home of your childhood facing it may feel like staring down a ghost from your past. Facing this fear with ample support can be the best way to move past the hurts of childhood into a new found freedom as an adult.

Finding supportive therapy can be a perfect way to face something that has loomed large in your fears for too long.

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