• The prospect of deconfinement next Wednesday is distressing for some people.

    The health crisis has indeed amplified their propensity to withdraw into themselves.

  • Those who experience this "cabin syndrome" feel that their home is a safe place that protects them from others.

  • The attitude of those around them will be decisive in helping them get out.

May 19 will not be a day of celebration for everyone. If most French people welcome the day of the reopening of cultural places and terraces as a relief and a sign of the resumption of their social life, for others, this date of gradual deconfinement arouses unease. They fear having to return to the office, to be invited to dinner, to be confronted with the world in public places and experience the so-called “cabin” syndrome.

This desire to stay snuggled up at home as in a nest, Marco feels: “Since confinement, I have put myself in a kind of bubble of comfort, with a wall that has become increasingly thicker every day.

And today, it is very hard for me to get out of it, ”he told

20 Minutes.

Just like Céline, who answered our call for witnesses: “I realize that I want to be more calm, to see fewer people.

Only my family and my relatives ”.

"The health crisis came to precipitate life changes that were latent"

Because with a curfew in place since October, teleworking almost generalized for months and successive confinements, their home has become a refuge, and they have gradually become accustomed to living in a very small committee. Their restricted universe seems reassuring to them and they have not suffered from confinement, quite the contrary. "They have even sometimes experienced this injunction to isolate themselves as a happiness, analyzes the psychoanalyst Sophie Braun *. They no longer felt assaulted by others, were calmed down and no longer felt the guilt of being self-sufficient. Because for once, they lived like the others. Without necessarily experiencing a feeling of loneliness, because when you watch series over and over, you have the impression of living by proxy ”.

This is the case of Hugo: "I absolutely did not suffer from confinement, I rather blossomed and I did things that I no longer had time to do". "Those who have experienced this situation of withdrawal generally had comfortable accommodation, allowing them to do fulfilling activities and to refocus on themselves", also observes the anthropologist at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) Fanny Parise * *.

Very often, the health crisis has only exacerbated an apprehension towards the outside world, explains Sophie Braun: “Before the Covid-19 crisis, there was already a tendency to withdraw into oneself from people with phobia. social or school, people who have suffered a burnout and no longer want to leave their homes, hypersensitive people who felt fragile in front of others ”.

An opinion shared by Fanny Parise: “The health crisis has precipitated life changes that were latent.

Some introverted people have been comforted in their choice of social withdrawal ”.

" It's a vicious circle "

A tendency to limit interactions which in some indicates a lack of confidence in a group: “Our society advocates models, subjects individuals to the tyranny of appearance, always places them in a situation of evaluation and competition. This social pressure weakens them. They feel perpetually judged and are afraid of being disappointing in the eyes of others, but also of being disappointed by others. Hence their tendency to isolate themselves so as not to be subjected to their gaze ”, analyzes Sophie Braun.

It remains to be seen how these people with “cabin” syndrome will actually react when all the places of sociability have reopened. “The less fragile will force themselves to leave. The others will use the uncertainty in the face of variants to stay at home, even if they are vaccinated, by taking advantage of the precautionary principle, ”explains Sophie Braun. “The less interactions we had, the more difficult it is to re-engage them. It is a vicious circle and it is complicated to remove the habits of life that we have put in place for a year. The deconfinement process will therefore be long. And even for those who are going to resume a social life, a year of routine will leave its mark. It is a safe bet that they will avoid the dinners they had previously suffered and adopt avoidance strategies, ”predicts Fanny Parise.

The importance of the entourage

This is what Sophie plans to do: “Since the first confinement, I have developed a social phobia.

My circle is reduced to my children, my husband and four or five neighbors.

I think it will take me several months and the resumption of all the associations that I frequent to really come out of my home.

On May 19, I'll just have lunch for two in my favorite restaurant, where I am like family.

I feel bad not to be able to take advantage of these reopenings but just to think about it, the anxiety attack is mounting ”.

Nicolas no longer really wants to reach out to others: “With the crisis, we have seen to what extent humans are selfish and egocentric.

I no longer want to be around these men and women who live only for them, to the detriment of social and environmental progress!


The attitude of those around them will be decisive: “We must seek out people who we feel have become allergic to social life. But do it gently, helping them regain confidence. We have to tell them that we miss them, go and see them face to face, especially not in a group. Then make an appointment with them outside when they have rediscovered the pleasure of meeting a little, ”recommends Sophie Braun. Not obvious, and some conflicts will be inevitable. This is the conviction of Hugo, who plans to decline a number of invitations and already fears the reactions "They will see my refusals as a lack of will to see them, while it is rather the anxiety exacerbated by the loneliness of these last months ".

This period could also signify an awareness: “Some people will perhaps feel that they have gone too far in the withdrawal and are going to start therapy.

It will take a long time to find the taste of others, ”insists Sophie Braun.


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* Sophie Braun published

La Tentation du foldi


early May

, published by Mauconduit.

** Fanny Parise is carrying out a study with 6,000 French and Swiss volunteers since the first confinement in France, in March 2020.

  • Covid 19

  • Coronavirus

  • Society

  • Deconfinement

  • Psychology