Empty Nest Syndrome: when loneliness takes over the home
The Empty Nest Syndrome It is a disorder associated with the process of loss suffered by parents when children leave the family home.
Empty Nest Syndrome
Have you ever wondered how the moods ? The answer to this question is complex, since they are born in the middle of a torrent of information that comes from both the inside and the outside of the person. We are not emotionally autonomous beings, with feelings that arise spontaneously in us and turn outward in our acts and our way of expressing affective states; in any case, n Our feelings are born in the continuous feedback with what happens around us .
Bearing this in mind, it is not strange 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.
Definition: the solitude of the silent home
The Empty Nest Syndrome It is a clear example of this. This concept is used to refer to the feeling of loneliness and sadness experienced by parents, mothers and caregivers in general when the young people they once occupied become emancipated and stop sharing a house with them . It is common for the Empty Nest Syndrome to occur when the children leave home to move to the city where their faculty is located, when they decide to live alone and take care of themselves or when they get married. In all cases something similar happens: something changes in the day-to-day of the caregivers, because certain people stop being as present as before.
This sense of loss does not have to be based only on the absence of treatment with the children, but it can have a negative effect on the self-image if great value was given to the fact of being responsible for caring for another person. The search for a meaning to what is done can be disrupted if much of that existential effort has to do with the upbringing and care of others.
Differences between men and women
A simple variation like going from sharing a house with a child to stopping doing so can profoundly disrupt the repertoire of emotional states of parents and guardians, because the emotions are related to the 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 the gender bias women have had a traditional role linked to parenting and the domestic sphere, also are the most likely to experience the Empty Nest Syndrome : an inequality embodied objectively (the distribution of domestic tasks) also involves variations in the perception of this objectivity (the departure of the children from the home).
But, in addition, it is possible that part of the reasons why women tend to experience more this feeling of loss is in the fact that these episodes frequently coincide with menopause.
That does not mean that men can not develop the typical symptoms of the Empty Nest Syndrome, but in statistical terms it is less common to occur.
What is happening with the Empty Nest Syndrome in our day?
It is very possible that in recent years the effects of the Empty Nest Syndrome are being affected by the changes in life habits and the economic crisis . On the one hand, there is a growing number of young adults unable to emancipate themselves due to lack of income. On the other hand, the fact that birth rates are falling in many countries may reflect 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 family conciliation difficult and makes meetings with parents less frequent and more spaced over time.
Nor is it so frequent that there is little time between the children emancipating and the time when they have a child, so in some cases people who live with the Empty Nest Syndrome they do not even have the opportunity to take care of their grandchildren (which, on the other hand, if they exist, could be hundreds of kilometers away).
The partial loss of contact with a son or daughter may seem difficult to cope with, but the way in which this is experienced depends in large part on material conditions such as those provided by the labor market and the economic situation of the child. the families.