What's Cabin Syndrome?

The term 'cabin syndrome' has gained popularity in recent months. It refers to the discomfort that some people experience when they have to leave their homes. Read along to find out more about it and how to overcome it.
What's Cabin Syndrome?

Last update: 13 November, 2020

Over the past few months, you’ve probably heard of the new emotional pathology which is caused by social isolation? People who experience cabin syndrome are afraid to leave their homes and prefer to remain confined inside even if there’s no real danger outdoors.

Although this syndrome can cause a lot of discomfort, the truth is that it’s not been recognized as a disease. In fact, cabin syndrome is more of a reaction to stress than a psychological pathology.

Even though it’s not a disease, you can take certain steps to eliminate it. Cabin syndrome can lead a person to abandon their social life, sports, and even work.

Abandoning sports can lead to even more negative consequences. In this case, the lack of exercise and routines can result in poor health.

Therefore, it’s important to know how to identify cabin syndrome symptoms in order to address them promptly.

What are the symptoms of cabin syndrome?

Cabin syndrome symptoms are similar to those that result from a stress disorder or phobia. Since each person experiences subjective symptoms the following is a general guide. The most common symptoms include:

  • Irritability and bad mood.
  • Feelings of sadness.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Negative thoughts when leaving home.
  • Irrational and excessive fear of leaving home.
  • Avoiding activities that were previously pleasurable.
  • Sensations of shortness of breath, tachycardia, and muscle tension.

How to overcome cabin syndrome

You can only relieve cabin syndrome symptoms after they’ve been identified. Therefore, it’s important to keep in mind that a professional should be in charge of supervising all interventions. Poorly managed stress can lead to anxiety issues.

woman cabin syndrome

Controlled outdoor exposure

The most effective way to overcome fears is to face them head-on. Expose yourself to the situation gradually. Avoiding exposure will only help to consolidate discomfort.

Make outdoor exposure progressively. Do it in a way that adapts to your level of discomfort. Start by going out on the balcony or patio before gradually continuing towards the street.

This technique of exposure is known as systematic desensitization and it’s often used to treat specific phobias.

Maintaining contact with the people around you

Having a support network is extremely important when it comes to overcoming discomfort. Friends and family can provide emotional support and material resources that can be beneficial for physical and mental health.

It’s normal for people suffering from cabin syndrome to neglect their relationships. However, it’s precisely in these difficult moments when it’s important to keep in contact with others.

You don’t have to organize a meeting, keeping in touch only takes a few minutes to text or call.

Cabin syndrome: avoid inactivity at home

The symptoms of anxiety usually occur indoors. Negative thoughts about leaving the house can be a huge source of discomfort.

An ideal way to avoid inactivity is to exercise at home. Physical activity helps to keep the mind occupied. It will also have a positive impact on your mood.

According to a study published in the journal of Clinical Medicine, regular exercise reduces anxiety and helps to improve sleep quality. Therefore, exercise is a great tool to deal with cabin syndrome.

Dance class

Cabin syndrome: express emotional distress

It’s not easy to express feelings and emotions sometimes. Keeping these feelings to yourself, however, will do nothing more than feed the discomfort and the cabin syndrome.

Emotional expression is liberating and therapeutic. After expressing emotions, there’s usually a feeling of a clear mind. In addition, expressing your feelings will also help you to connect with people who feel the same way.

You can unlearn fear

Phobias are learned anxious reactions to stimuli or situations. The key to that statement is that they are “learned”. Therefore, you can also unlearn fear.

In many cases professional support is necessary and there’s nothing wrong with that. Taking care of one’s mental health is extremely important for overall health. 

Finally, it’s important to consider that mental and physical health are closely related. Any effort made to take care of the body through physical exercise and a healthy diet will also reflex in a person’s state of mind.

It might interest you...
Overcome your Workout Fears with these 10 Tips
Fit PeopleRead it in Fit People
Overcome your Workout Fears with these 10 Tips

Exercise is an essential ingredient for a lifestyle that's healthy both mentally and physically. Overcoming your workout fears should be a daily go...



  • Bayego, E. S., Vila, G. S., y Martínez, I. S. (2012). Prescripción de ejercicio físico: indicaciones, posología y efectos adversos. Medicina clínica, 138(1), 18-24.
  • Monserrat, O. N. (2010). Desensibilización Sistemática y su aplicación para reducir la Ansiedad.