(CNN)While our abilities to go to work and participate in other activities outside the home are under restriction, initial discomfort may quickly result in "cabin fever." At least, that's something people say. But is cabin fever real? And if it is, can we lower it?
Do I have 'cabin fever?' What it is, how to 'cure' it
The origin of the term is a bit murky, but it probably dates back to the early 1900s in North America, when it may have referred to someone who was isolated in a remote area, or cabin, especially during the winter when it was necessary to stay indoors for days at a time. Another explanation traces further back to the early 1800s, when the phrase might have referred to being home bound with typhus fever.
"Cabin fever is not like a psychological disorder, so I wouldn't say there's any sort of official definition of it," said Vaile Wright, a psychologist and director of clinical research and quality at the American Psychological Association.
It may not be a real condition, but the feelings it's associated with are.
"It involves a range of negative emotions and distress related to restricted movement: irritability, boredom, some hopelessness and even, behaviorally, restlessness and difficulty concentrating. Those would be the constellation of symptoms one might expect if they were feeling that way."