Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-dfw9g Total loading time: 0.247 Render date: 2022-08-17T00:46:58.996Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Solastalgia: Living With the Environmental Damage Caused By Natural Disasters

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 January 2014

Sri Warsini*
Affiliation:
School of Nursing, Midwifery & Nutrition, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Jane Mills
Affiliation:
School of Nursing, Midwifery & Nutrition, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Kim Usher
Affiliation:
School of Nursing, Midwifery & Nutrition, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
*
Correspondence: Sri Warsini, M.Med School of Nursing, Midwifery & Nutrition James Cook University PO Box 6811 Cairns, 4870, Qld Australia E-mail sri.warsini@my.jcu.edu.au

Abstract

Forced separation from one's home may trigger emotional distress. People who remain in their homes may experience emotional distress due to living in a severely damaged environment. These people experience a type of ‘homesickness’ similar to nostalgia because the land around them no longer resembles the home they knew and loved. What they lack is solace or comfort from their home; they long for the home environment to be the way it was before. “Solastalgia” is a term created to describe feelings which arise in people when an environment changes so much that it negatively affects an individual's quality of life. Such changed environments may include drought-stricken areas and open-cut mines. The aim of this article is to describe how solastalgia, originally conceptualized as the result of man-made environmental change, can be similarly applied to the survivors of natural disasters. Using volcanic eruptions as a case example, the authors argue that people who experience a natural disaster are likely to suffer from solastalgia for a number of reasons, which may include the loss of housing, livestock and farmland, and the ongoing danger of living in a disaster-prone area. These losses and fears challenge people's established sense of place and identity and can lead to feelings of helplessness and depression.

WarsiniS, MillsJ, UsherK. Solastalgia: Living With the Environmental Damage Caused By Natural Disasters. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2014:29(1);1-4.

Type
Special Report
Copyright
Copyright © World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine 2014 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

1. Albrecht, G. “Solastalgia”: a new concept in health and identity. Philosophy Activism Nature. 2005;3:41-55.Google Scholar
2. Albrecht, G, Sartore, GM, Connor, L, et al. Solastalgia: the distress caused by environmental change. Australas Psychiatry. 2007;15(Suppl):S95-S98.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
3. Ehrenreich, JH. Coping with Disasters: a Guidebook to Psychosocial Intervention. Revised ed. Old Westbury, NY: Centre for Psychology and Society, State University of New York; 2001.Google Scholar
4. Oppenheimer, C. Climatic, environmental and human consequences of the largest known historic eruption: Tambora volcano (Indonesia) 1815. Prog Phys Geog. 2003;27(2):230-259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
5. Baxter, PJ. Volcanoes and human health. Encyclopedia of Environmental Health. 2011:672-680.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
6. Kelman, I, Mather, TA. Living with volcanoes: the sustainable livelihoods approach for volcano-related opportunities. J Volcanol Geoth Res. 2008;172:189-198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
7. Feldman, JN, Tilling, RI. Volcanic eruptions, hazards, and mitigations. Auerbach PS, ed. Wilderness Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia: Mosby Elsevier; 2011.Google Scholar
8. Charnley, S. Environmentally-displaced peoples and the cascade effect: lessons from Tanzania. Hum Ecol. 1997;25(4):593-618.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
9. Grishin, SY. Environmental impact of the powerful eruption of Sarychev Peak volcano (Kuril Islands, 2009) according to satellite imagery. Izv Atmos Ocean Phy+. 2011;47(9):1028-1031.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
10. de Klerk, P, Janke, W, Kühn, P, Theuerkauf, M. Environmental impact of the Laacher See eruption at a large distance from the volcano: integrated palaeoecological studies from Vorpommern (NE Germany). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 2008;270(1):196-214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
11. Krishnamoorthy, K, Jambulingam, P, Natarajan, R, Shriram, A, Das, PK, Sehgal, S. Altered environment and risk of malaria outbreak in South Andaman, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, India affected by tsunami disaster. Malaria J. 2005;4:32.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
12. Plumlee, GS, Meeker, GP, Lovelace, JK, et al. USGS environmental characterization of flood sediments left in the New Orleans area after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, 2005—Progress Report. Virginia; 2006. http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2006/1023/pdf/OFR-2006-1023.pdf. Accessed February 6, 2013.Google Scholar
13. Albrecht, G. Chronic Environmental Change and Mental Health: Emerging “Psychoterratic” Syndromes. In: Climate Change and Human Well-Being: Global Challenges and Opportunities. Weissbecker I, ed. New York: Springer SBM; 2011.Google Scholar
14. Connor, L, Albrecht, G, Higginbotham, N, Freeman, S, Smith, W. Environmental change and human health in upper hunter communities of New South Wales, Australia. EcoHealth. 2004;1(Suppl 2):47-58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
15. Casey, E. Getting Back Into Place: Toward a Renewed Understanding of the Place-World. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press; 1993.Google Scholar
16. Lowenthal, D. The Past is a Foreign Country. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1985.Google Scholar
17. Sartore, GM, Kelly, B, Stain, H, Albrecht, G, Higginbotham, N. Control, uncertainty, and expectations for the future: a qualitative study of the impact of drought on a rural Australian community. Rural Remote Heatlh. 2008;8(950):1-14.Google Scholar
18. Higginbotham, N, Connor, L, Albrecht, G, Freeman, S, Agho, K. Validation of an environmental distress scale. EcoHealth. 2007;3:245-254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
19. Witham, CS. Volcanic disasters and incidents: a new database. J Volcanol Geoth Res. 2005;148:191-233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
20. Sagala, SAH. System Analysis of Social Resilience Against Volcanic Risks: Case Studies of Mt Merapi, Indonesian and Mt. Sakurajima Japan. Kyoto: Kyoto University; 2009.Google Scholar
21. Simkin, T, Siebert, L, Blong, R. Volcano fatalities--lessons from the historical record. Science. 2001;291(5502):255.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
22. Cronin, S, Neall, V, Lecointre, J, Hedley, M, Loganathan, P. Environmental hazards of fluoride in volcanic ash: a case study from Ruapehu volcano, New Zealand. J Volcanol Geoth Res. 2003;121(3):271-291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
23. BéruBé, K, Jones, T, Housley, D, Richards, R. The respiratory toxicity of airborne volcanic ash from the Soufriere Hills volcano, Montserrat. Mineral Mag. 2004;68(1):47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
24. Ohta, Y, Araki, K, Kawasaki, N, Nakane, Y, Honda, S, Mine, M. Psychological distress among evacuees of a volcanic eruption in Japan: a follow-up study. Psychiat Clin Neuros. 2003;57:105-111.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
25. Goto, T, Wilson, JP, Kahana, B, Slane, S. The Miyake Island volcano disaster in Japan: loss, uncertainty, and relocation as predictors of PTSD and depression. J Appl Soc Psychol. 2006;36(8):2001-2026.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
26. Kokai, M, Fujii, S, Shinfuku, N, Edwards, G. Natural disaster and mental health in Asia. Psychiat and Clin Neuros. 2004;58(2):110-116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
27. Carballo, M, Heal, B, Hernandez, M. Psychosocial aspects of the Tsunami. J R Soc Med. 2005;98(9):396-399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
28. Udomratn, P. Perspectives from South Asian Forum on Mental Health & Psychiatry Chapters. Paper presented at 2nd International Cultural Psychiatry Conference; Sydney, Australia 2005 November 25-27.Google Scholar
29. Chen, CH, Tan, HKL, Liao, LR, et al. Long-term psychological outcome of 1999 Taiwan earthquake survivors: a survey of a high-risk sample with property damage. Compr Psychiatry. 2007;48(3):269-275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
30. Kun, P, Chen, X, Han, S, et al. Prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder in Sichuan Province, China after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Public Healthl. 2009;123(11):703-707.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
31. Kun, P, Wang, Z, Chen, X, et al. Public health status and influence factors after 2008 Wenchuan earthquake among survivors in Sichuan province, China: cross-sectional trial. Public Health. 2010;124(10):573-580.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
32. Billig, M. Is my home my castle? Place attachment, risk perception, and religious faith. Environ Behav. 2006;38:248-265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
25
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Solastalgia: Living With the Environmental Damage Caused By Natural Disasters
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Solastalgia: Living With the Environmental Damage Caused By Natural Disasters
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Solastalgia: Living With the Environmental Damage Caused By Natural Disasters
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *