Empty nest syndrome: when loneliness invades the house

the Empty nest syndrome it is a disorder associated with the process of loss that parents experience when their children leave the family home.

Empty nest syndrome

Have you ever wondered how the moods? The answer to this question is complex, because it arises in the midst of a torrent of information from both inside and outside the person. We are not emotionally autonomous beings, with feelings that arise spontaneously within us and flow into our actions and the way we express affective states; anyway, notOUR FEELINGS ARE BORN IN CONTINUOUS FEEDBACK WITH WHAT HAPPENS AROUND US.

With this in mind, it is not uncommon to think that our emotional states are due, at least in part, to the type of relationship we have with others and the degree to which we have the opportunity to relate to certain people. people.

Definition: the loneliness of the silent house

the Empty nest syndrome is a clear example. This concept is used to refer to the feeling of loneliness and sadness experienced by parents and caregivers in general. when the young people they have cared for emancipate themselves and stop sharing their homes with them. It is common for empty nest syndrome to occur when children leave home to move to the town where their school is located, when they decide to go live on their own and take care of themselves, or when they decide to go and live on their own and take care of themselves. get married. In any case, something similar happens: something is changing in the daily life of caregivers, as some people cease to be as present as before.

This sense of loss should not be based solely on the lack of relationships with children, but can have a negative effect on self-image if it is valued highly by being responsible for caring for a child. other person. The search for meaning in what is being done can be disrupted if much of this existential effort has to do with educating and caring for others.

Differences between men and women

A simple variation like going from sharing a house with a child to stopping doing so can deeply disrupt the repertoire of emotional states of parents and guardians, because emotions are linked to objective changes that occur in the context.

However, at present, the context is determined, in part, by the gender assigned to each person. As for sexist prejudices, women have played a traditional role linked to parenthood and to the sphere of domestic matters as well. they are more likely to suffer from empty nest syndrome: An objectively embodied inequality (the distribution of household tasks) also implies variations in the perception of this objectivity (the departure of children from the home).

But in addition, it is possible that part of the reasons why women are more likely to feel this sense of loss is due to the fact that these episodes frequently coincide with menopause.

That’s not to say that males may not develop the typical symptoms of empty nest syndrome, but in statistical terms, it’s less common for this to happen.

What’s going on with empty nest syndrome today?

It is very possible that in recent years the effects of empty nest syndrome have been affected by lifestyle changes and the economic crisis. On the one hand, there is a growing number of young adults unable to emancipate themselves for lack of income. On the other hand, the fact that birth rates are falling in many countries may reflect the fact that there are more and more families with only one child, which could mean that their emancipation would mean a more abrupt change. .

In addition, the demands of a stricter labor market lead many young people to work far from their usual place of residence, which makes it difficult for families to reconcile and makes meetings with parents less frequent and more distant.

It is also not so common that a short time elapses between the emancipation of children and the time they have a child, so in some cases, people living with empty nest syndrome they don’t even have the chance to take care of their grandchildren (Which, on the other hand, if they existed, could be hundreds of kilometers away).

Partial loss of contact with a son or daughter may seem difficult to bear on its own, but how it is experienced largely depends on material conditions such as those provided by the labor market and on the economic situation of the child.

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