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Is cabin fever a real illness? This is something that people want to know. Basically, cabin fever is not considered a disease even though it has the word 'fever' in its name. It is considered to be state of depression, irritability and restlessness that a person experiences when living in a remote and isolated place, or when living in a confined cramped space. It occurs due to not having enough environmental stimulation and this can have an adverse effect on the person.
Unfortunately, not too research is available on cabin fever, and experts feel that those with mental issues or problems are the ones to be more affected by cabin fever.
Historians think that the term was initially used when the early settlers came to America had to experience the long harsh winters in log cabins without much to do. The first recorded evidence of the term was in 1918 when it was described that having cabin fever was quite identical to going stir crazy. Stir was a slang for prison; and stir crazy basically meant that the person showed the same behavior as prisoners who were locked for long periods of time.
The effects of cabin fever have been highlighted in books as well as movies. One of the best examples of cabin fever is through the novel penned down by Stephen King, The Shining. The book shows how the protagonist gradually turns mad after living in an isolated resort as a caretaker during the long cold winter. Basically, when a person is isolated and has not form of entertainment and also experiences something supernatural, it can lead to madness, or cabin fever. This is what The Shining shows.
Unfortunately, in reality cabin fever is a problem in places where there is a long harsh winter with snow piling up and making it impossible for people to get out of their homes and interact with others. When these people are confined to their homes, they end up having seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, which can further aggravate cabin fever. However, reading books, playing board or card games, spending some time outside or doing some physical activities can help with the cabin fever syndrome. Even talking to friends or relatives over the phone can help a person who is living in complete isolation.
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