"the homesickness you feel when you're still at home"
Cultures all over the world have concepts in their languages that relate psychological states to states of the environment. The Hopi have used the word koyaanisqatsi to describe conditions where life is disintegrating and out of balance. The Portugese use the word saudade to describe a feeling one has for a loved one who is absent or has disappeared. The North Baffin Inuit of the Arctic have applied the word, uggianaqtuq, ((pronounced OOG-gi-a-nak-took) is) to the climate and weather. The word means to behave unexpectedly or in an unfamiliar way and has connotations of a “friend acting strangely” or in an unpredictable way. The weather has become uggianaqtug for them.
Worldwide, under the relentless impact of development and climate change, humans are experiencing epidemics of physical and mental disease that have connections to the environment, yet we have very few concepts in English that address environmentally induced distress and illness. I propose two new categories; psychoterratic and somaterratic illness that make the connection between the state of the earth (terra) and mental and physical health. In addition, I suggest that one very old concept, nostalgia, needs to be re-examined as a legitimate psychoterratic disease to be seen along side solastalgia, an important new concept in our understanding of environmentally induced health and illness. What with relentless development pressure and climate chaos (global warming + climate change = climate chaos), both somaterratic and psychoterratic illnesses are likely to increase dramatically.