Cabin fever

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For other uses, see Cabin fever (disambiguation).

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 the rain, snow, dark or hail. 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 Chaplin's 1920 film The Gold Rush, in the 1980 horror film The Shining, in The Simpsons episode "Mountain of Madness" and in the 2010 video game Alan Wake. 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.

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.