Cabin fever

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Interior of Fure's Cabin in Alaska, U.S.

Cabin fever is an idiomatic term for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group ends up in an isolated or solitary location, or stuck indoors in confined quarters for an extended period. Cabin fever describes the extreme irritability and restlessness a person may feel in these situations.[1] Cabin fever is also associated with boredom.

A person may experience cabin fever in a situation such as being in a simple country vacation cottage. When experiencing cabin fever, a person may tend to sleep, to have a distrust of anyone they are with or to have an urge to go outside even in bad weather. The phrase is also used humorously to indicate simple boredom from being home alone.[2]


One therapy for cabin fever may be as simple as getting out and interacting with nature. Research has demonstrated that even brief interactions with nature can promote improved cognitive functioning and overall well-being.[3]

In popular culture[edit]

The concept of Cabin fever was used as a theme in Charlie Chaplin's 1925 film The Gold Rush, the 1980 horror film The Shining, The Simpsons episode "Mountain of Madness", and the 2010 video game Alan Wake. A song called "Cabin Fever" features in the 1996 musical comedy Muppet Treasure Island, afflicting sailors on a ship trapped in the doldrums. Cabin Fever was the name of Wiz Khalifa's 2011 mixtape which was released February 17th. There is a quest in the popular MMORPG RuneScape of the same name.

Cabin fever is one of the possible afflictions the player character can suffer from in the video game set in the post-apocalyptic Canadian wasteland, The Long Dark; the condition prevents one from sleeping indoors, thus forcing them to brave the elements in order to rest.

In Blade Runner 2049, fictional female character Joi, who is a virtual girlfriend of main character K, at the beginning of the movie is stating that she is suffering from "cabin fever".

Cabin Fever is a 2002 American horror film directed by Eli Roth and starring Rider Strong, Jordan Ladd, James DeBello, and Giuseppe Andrews. The story follows a group of college graduates who rent a cabin in the woods and begin to fall victim to a flesh-eating virus. The inspiration for the film's story came from a real life experience during a trip to Iceland when Roth developed a skin infection. The film spawned a sequel Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever (2009), a prequel Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (2014), and a 2016 remake of the original, also called Cabin Fever.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Cabin fever". Merriam Webster. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
  2. ^ Ron Alexander (2004-02-03). "Reports From the Bunkers, by Some Survivors; Homebound and Happy". New York Times.
  3. ^ Berman, Marc G.; John Jonides; Stephen Kaplan (2008-02-18). "The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting With Nature" (PDF). Psychological Science. 19 (12): 1207–1212. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02225.x.