Back in the country, Brazilians suffer ‘syndrome return’

Back in the country, Brazilians suffer ‘syndrome return’

The crisis of the developed countries is leading many Brazilians to make the bags back home. According to the Foreign Ministry, 20% of those who lived in the U.S. and a quarter of those living in Japan have returned since the beginning of the recession in 2008.

“It was a shock to go back inside,” says salon manager 
Nostalgia and disappointment with the country’s return lead to depression

The 2011 report on the expatriate population comes out later this month, and the rate of return should be even greater. There are so many people buying a return ticket and so difficult to reintegrate into the labor market that the Brazilian Foreign Ministry released the “Guide to Return to Brazil,” distributed at embassies.

The way back can cause depression. It is the “syndrome of return,” a term coined by neuropsychiatrist Decius Nakagawa to designate certain “spiritual jet lag” that afflicts former immigrants.

Killed in 2011, Nakagawa studying the frustration of Brazilians who returned to the country after a stint working in Japanese factories.

“The adaptation takes place in a different country for six months, now upgrading to the country of origin takes two years,” says psychologist Kyoko Nakagawa, widow of psychiatrist and coordinator of the project Kaeru, reintegration of children who return from Japan

If out of the country if the immigrant care about the culture shock, the return is the illusion that just getting off the plane to feel at home.

“Return is a new immigration,” says psychotherapist Sylvia Dantas, project coordinator of Intercultural Orientation Unifesp. “The feeling is that we lose the tram, we are missing out on what we know like the back of his hand.”

When he returned the second exchange in Canada, the marketing manager Rafael Marques, 33, discovered he had fallen uncle: “All my friends were married, with other priorities. Took me months to locate me.” The result: depressed. Recovered, he now works with exchanges.

To alleviate the problem, the marketing analyst Pinassi Natasha, 34, took refuge in friends made during his experience of a year in Australia: “Soon in Brazil realized that I should have made my life in Australia.’ve Not seen grace in people and the places he frequented before. conversed only with Brazilians who met abroad. “

The family helped somewhat: “I could not tell what I felt. Blamed me for I be suffering while my parents were happy with my back,” says Natasha, who took antidepressants to try to get out of this state.

The syndrome is not unique to Brazil. “In my research with immigrants, I noticed a general feeling that the country is no longer the same in return,” says Caroline Freitas, professor of anthropology at Santa Marcelina College. “A Portuguese told me not wanna get to know that Portugal was no longer there.”


Who suffers from back syndrome is often considered snobbish. Relatives and friends have little patience with those around complaining: “The return has a meaning for those who stayed. Along with nostalgia, there is an unconscious feeling of abandonment, resentment and envy him who ventured” said Dantas.

To Nakagawa, friends often simplify the process of reintegration: “There is pressure for the person ‘have fun.’ In the best of intentions, friends do not respect the time traveler.”

If the family does not help, the ideal is to find a psychologist with intercultural training. In São Paulo, the core of intercultural Unifesp gives free advice.

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