Duane Elmer gives the following helpful list as symptoms of culture shock in his book, Cross Cultural Connections. If you are going through culture shock this list may not lessen the pain you are feeling right now, but it can help you identify what is really going on. Symptoms of Culture Shock:
- Wanting to withdraw from the local people.
- Excessive sleeping
- Hanging out with only your friends
- Obsessing over missing favorite foods
- Craving for news from home
- Doubts about being in the new culture
- Wishing you were somewhere else
- Feeling physically ill (from emotional stress)
- Blaming others for your negative feelings
- Reluctance to leave the house to socialize
- Excessive daydreaming about home
- Criticizing local people and their culture
- General sense of anxiety and discomfort
- Sense of dread, fear, paranoia
- Lethargy, depression, lack of vitality or energy
- Spending enormous time on the phone or internet with friends back home.
Pray for your missionaries as you send them cross-culturally. They will need it!