Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Solastalgia: Living With the Environmental Damage Caused By Natural Disasters

  • Sri Warsini (a1), Jane Mills (a1) and Kim Usher (a1)
Abstract
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.

Copyright
Corresponding author
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
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

2. G Albrecht , GM Sartore , L Connor , et al. Solastalgia: the distress caused by environmental change. Australas Psychiatry. 2007;15(Suppl):S95-S98.

4. C Oppenheimer . Climatic, environmental and human consequences of the largest known historic eruption: Tambora volcano (Indonesia) 1815. Prog Phys Geog. 2003;27(2):230-259.

5. PJ Baxter . Volcanoes and human health. Encyclopedia of Environmental Health. 2011:672-680.

6. I Kelman , TA Mather . Living with volcanoes: the sustainable livelihoods approach for volcano-related opportunities. J Volcanol Geoth Res. 2008;172:189-198.

8. S Charnley . Environmentally-displaced peoples and the cascade effect: lessons from Tanzania. Hum Ecol. 1997;25(4):593-618.

9. SY Grishin . 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.

10. P de Klerk , W Janke , P Kühn , M Theuerkauf . 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.

11. K Krishnamoorthy , P Jambulingam , R Natarajan , A Shriram , PK Das , S Sehgal . Altered environment and risk of malaria outbreak in South Andaman, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, India affected by tsunami disaster. Malaria J. 2005;4:32.

13. G Albrecht . 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.

14. L Connor , G Albrecht , N Higginbotham , S Freeman , W Smith . Environmental change and human health in upper hunter communities of New South Wales, Australia. EcoHealth. 2004;1(Suppl 2):47-58.

18. N Higginbotham , L Connor , G Albrecht , S Freeman , K Agho . Validation of an environmental distress scale. EcoHealth. 2007;3:245-254.

19. CS Witham . Volcanic disasters and incidents: a new database. J Volcanol Geoth Res. 2005;148:191-233.

21. T Simkin , L Siebert , R Blong . Volcano fatalities--lessons from the historical record. Science. 2001;291(5502):255.

22. S Cronin , V Neall , J Lecointre , M Hedley , P Loganathan . Environmental hazards of fluoride in volcanic ash: a case study from Ruapehu volcano, New Zealand. J Volcanol Geoth Res. 2003;121(3):271-291.

23. K BéruBé , T Jones , D Housley , R Richards . The respiratory toxicity of airborne volcanic ash from the Soufriere Hills volcano, Montserrat. Mineral Mag. 2004;68(1):47.

24. Y Ohta , K Araki , N Kawasaki , Y Nakane , S Honda , M Mine . Psychological distress among evacuees of a volcanic eruption in Japan: a follow-up study. Psychiat Clin Neuros. 2003;57:105-111.

25. T Goto , JP Wilson , B Kahana , S Slane . 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.

26. M Kokai , S Fujii , N Shinfuku , G Edwards . Natural disaster and mental health in Asia. Psychiat and Clin Neuros. 2004;58(2):110-116.

27. M Carballo , B Heal , M Hernandez . Psychosocial aspects of the Tsunami. J R Soc Med. 2005;98(9):396-399.

29. CH Chen , HKL Tan , LR Liao , 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.

30. P Kun , X Chen , S Han , et al. Prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder in Sichuan Province, China after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Public Healthl. 2009;123(11):703-707.

31. P Kun , Z Wang , X Chen , 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.

32. M Billig . Is my home my castle? Place attachment, risk perception, and religious faith. Environ Behav. 2006;38:248-265.

S Warsini , J Mills , K Usher . Solastalgia: living with the environmental damage caused by natural disasters. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2014:29(1);1-4

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Prehospital and Disaster Medicine
  • ISSN: 1049-023X
  • EISSN: 1945-1938
  • URL: /core/journals/prehospital-and-disaster-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 7
Total number of PDF views: 50 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 318 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 25th March 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.