Relocation Stress Syndrome – Not only for the Elderly
“I love my new house. I love my new house.” is what I would repeat to myself before getting out of bed each morning after our cross country move. Boxes unpacked. Check. House decorated and kids settled into their new schools. Check. Check. Everything was on plan and on schedule but I was not feeling my normally outgoing, positive self. At the time, I didn’t realize there is a term called Relocation Stress Syndrome, (RSS) that is used for the elderly that transition into new living situations. They often feel displaced, disoriented or even depressed. Yes. Yes. And yes. Had I been more aware of the potential emotional issues associated with a move, (even though it was a positive one for a new job) I would have been able to identify and address some of this with my family.
Things associated with RSS that may also go along with your relocation:
- Relocation makes financial issues more acute.
- Support systems are important for all members in the family involved in the relocation. It’s important to maintain open and honest communication with each other. Relocation can lead to feelings of powerlessness.
- Many who relocate become passive or withdrawn.
- Past losses or become more acute.
- The relocated person can feel that all experiences are unpredictable.
- The greatest incidences of RSS occur just before and during a three-month period following relocation.
I eventually loved my new house and new city but wished I knew more about the emotional realities that can tag along with a move. From this experience, we inform you of these possibilities on the front end and planning phase of your move and prepare you for all aspects of your relocation.