Leisure Sickness - Getting Sick Just Before Vacations

By Reshma Dewda on Aug 27, 2016
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Life is full of unfortunate ironies. And one of those ironies is called Leisure Sickness. It might sound like a bogus syndrome to many but for those who have experienced it, this really can be a bummer. And what’s more, there’s research to prove it true as well!

Dr Vingerhots decided to stop silently suffering this sickness and find out whether there were others like him who were going through the same thing. He researched over 1100 men and 750 women from Holland in the age bracket of 16 to 87, and found that approximately 3% of the population might suffer from this illness.

Image Source: Juan Pablo Colasso/ flickr.com  

Have you found yourself falling sick repeatedly before your vacations? Have you contracted flu like symptoms or repeated headaches just a few days before you are to leave for your much awaited holiday? Guess what? You, just like Dr Vingerhots, could be suffering from leisure sickness.

It basically means that subconsciously you are coming in the way of your own enjoyment. If you’re too engrossed in work and are an overly ambitious person who feels a great sense of responsibility towards your job (yes, there are some people like that!), chances are that you could suffer from this illness.
This leisure sickness is triggered by a sort of a withdrawal syndrome that acts up if you are too caught up in your work. Symptoms include headache, nausea, cold, cough and other flu like symptoms just before you are set to leave for your vacation.  

Image Source: Brandon Atkinson/ flickr.com  

There are many possible explanations to this illness. One says that when individuals are under acute stress, their bodies have a higher ability to fight illness, whereas when they are on vacation, they are relaxed and let their guards down, getting more susceptible to infections. Another explanation is that subconsciously sometimes we postpone illness to a more ‘convenient’ time that does not interfere with work.

Think this illness is weird? Then you need to read about these other weird illnesses that also actually exist and it doesn't always have to be related to travel:

1. Foreign Accent Syndrome

Believe it or not, some people involuntarily change their accent while speaking. Connected to brain injury, migraines or head traumas, this syndrome can make you talk in a different accent even if you have previously not visited the place. So the next time you find someone talking in a weird accent, it would not be too wrong to ask them if they’d been hit on their head!

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2. Fregoli Syndrome  

Image Source: Fabio Hofnik/ flickr.com  

This syndrome makes you believe that different people you meet are in fact a single person in disguise. The person suffering this illness is under the delusion that he is being tested by the person in disguise. The syndrome also makes the patient misidentify events and objects.

3. Paradise Syndrome

Paradise syndrome is something that makes successful people dissatisfied with what they have achieved. It is a mental condition in which a very a wealthy and successful person who has achieved everything he had dreamed of, is still not happy with his life.

4. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

If you have unexplained, prolonged fatigue that is coming in the way of you doing your daily activities, you could be suffering from this syndrome. It is not yet clear what the cause of this syndrome is, but even rest and therapy seem to be unfruitful in correcting it.

5. Alice in Wonderland Syndrome 

Image Source:cea+/flickr.com  

This condition is associated with distorted perception of size and proportion. Often experienced by children but also noticed in some adults, this illness makes you feel that objects or body parts are much bigger or smaller in size than they really are. It has been connected to brain tumors, migraines and use of psychoactive drugs.

In so many ways, our body and mind send us signals to slow down and take a break. Modern living is pushing us to over achieve and over stress ourselves. But the truth is like W.H Davies puts it, ‘What is life if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare’. Take time to pause and smell the roses you planted!

Also read:

Tips To Overcome Depression

Hacks to Avoid Food Poisoning While Traveling

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