What is solastalgia?

Do you really know?

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What is solastalgia?

Do you really know?

What is solastalgia?

Solastalgia is the distress we feel when our local environment is transformed, mainly due to climate change. These transformations can have an effect on people’s mental health. So are we all doomed to suffer from solastalgia as the earth’s temperature rises?

Climate change is so omnipresent in our daily lives, that it can create a certain anxiety. For some people, this gets so intense that they become depressed, like Greta Thunberg after watching a documentary on polar bears. All over the world, climate-related anxiety is increasing.

There are several terms to describe this. We talk about eco-anxiety with regards to the feeling we have that everything makes us think about climate change problems. And eco-paralysis when we feel helpless to do anything to prevent environmental issues. 

Meanwhile, the term solastalgia is a portmanteau of the words “solace” and “nostalgia”. It was created in 2003 by philosopher Glenn Albrecht, while he was working at the University of Newcastle in Australia. Albrecht himself describes solastalgia as “a type of homesickness or melancholia that you feel when you’re at home and your home environment is changing around you in ways that you feel are profoundly negative.

Unlike eco-anxiety or eco-paralysis, which are more general and look to the future, solastalgia is about the here and now. It is linked to the hardship of losing one’s environment or habitat. The most obvious victims are those whose landscape has been hit by some kind of natural disaster. One example would be refugees returning to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. 

A report from the American psychology Association found that up to 40% of natural disaster victims suffer PTSD, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. Of course, solastalgia doesn’t affect everybody equally. Wealthier individuals and families are more easily able to relocate or rebuild their homes, compared to poorer households.

Other examples include Canadian Inuit communities coping with rising temperatures and Ghanaian subsistence farmers having to deal with changes in rainfall patterns.

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What is solastalgia?

Solastalgia is the distress we feel when our local environment is transformed, mainly due to climate change. These transformations can have an effect on people’s mental health. So are we all doomed to suffer from solastalgia as the earth’s temperature rises?

Climate change is so omnipresent in our daily lives, that it can create a certain anxiety. For some people, this gets so intense that they become depressed, like Greta Thunberg after watching a documentary on polar bears. All over the world, climate-related anxiety is increasing.

There are several terms to describe this. We talk about eco-anxiety with regards to the feeling we have that everything makes us think about climate change problems. And eco-paralysis when we feel helpless to do anything to prevent environmental issues. 

Meanwhile, the term solastalgia is a portmanteau of the words “solace” and “nostalgia”. It was created in 2003 by philosopher Glenn Albrecht, while he was working at the University of Newcastle in Australia. Albrecht himself describes solastalgia as “a type of homesickness or melancholia that you feel when you’re at home and your home environment is changing around you in ways that you feel are profoundly negative.

Unlike eco-anxiety or eco-paralysis, which are more general and look to the future, solastalgia is about the here and now. It is linked to the hardship of losing one’s environment or habitat. The most obvious victims are those whose landscape has been hit by some kind of natural disaster. One example would be refugees returning to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. 

A report from the American psychology Association found that up to 40% of natural disaster victims suffer PTSD, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. Of course, solastalgia doesn’t affect everybody equally. Wealthier individuals and families are more easily able to relocate or rebuild their homes, compared to poorer households.

Other examples include Canadian Inuit communities coping with rising temperatures and Ghanaian subsistence farmers having to deal with changes in rainfall patterns.

For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
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