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The Great Loneliness

I felt like I was all alone, that there was nothing and nobody around me. I was terrified, I started overeating, I thought I heard voices in every corner, and at one point I apparently bit the captain.
  The great loneliness is a affliction which affects many species and occurs in space, as a result of realising how small the person's planet is.

Causes

The Great Loneliness is caused by the person realising that they are far from their planet or moon of origin. Initial onset can be from any point after the person is far enough from their planet or moon that they are able to observe the whole of their planet. A common distance for initial onset is as soon as the world bbecomes small enough that it appears as a small dot.   Some cases of the Great Loneliness are also brought on whilst in intersteller space or on unpopulated worlds, however most cases are onset before then. A reported 3 cases of Great Loneliness occured whilst on other populated worlds.

Symptoms

Shock, hunger, hearing voices, anger, worsening mental conditions

Treatment

The best treatment is to spend time with the person, as this reminds them that they are not alone. You should also try not to antagonise the person.

Prognosis

The condition will likely pass in a few weeks.

Sequela

Other mental health conditions may be worsened by the Great Loneliness, and it is recommended that if you have a mental illness already you avoid space travel as much as possible until you have recovered at least partially.

Affected Groups

Anyone from any species affected by the Great Loneliness can be affected, however those with mental health problems are more at risk. Travelling in a smaller or unknown group can also affect the chances of developing the condition.

Prevention

The only known prevention is to prepare oneself mentally through excersises including observing the homeworld getting smaller through virtual reality. Crews onboard spaceships are also encouraged to meet each other beforehand. In most species adults must complete a series of preparation excersises, and some species will repeat these at regular intervals.

History

Different species have different dates of the first recorded case, however all species note that after the first journey to each new world the number of cases on the next journey decreased. Nowadays cases of the Great Loneliness are extremelly rare.

Cultural Reception

At first, many species panicked, some species even banned offworld travel due to the fear of crews possibly going insane. Nowadays most people treat those suffering from the Great Loneliness with compassion and respect, whilst trying to make them feel comforted.

Type
Mental
Origin
Natural
Cycle
Short-term
Rarity
Uncommon
Affected Species

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