Extreme Nostalgia Syndrome (A Comprehensive Guide)

Extreme Nostalgia Syndrome (A Comprehensive Guide)

In this post, we discuss the concept of Extreme Nostalgia Syndrome, the cause, and coping strategies.

What is Extreme Nostalgia Syndrome?

Extreme Nostalgia syndrome was a debilitating medical condition that caused the loss of appetite, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

People left home to become employees, and they were overwhelmed by homesickness. They were found dead three weeks later.

In the 1800s, when it was considered morally wrong to throw deranged people into prisons, asylums for the psychotic emerged. And there was Nostalgia, one of the most serious afflictions in these wards.

Medical scholars tried in good spirit to work out exactly what Nostalgia was in 19th-century France. About 80 medical dissertations were held on the topic. It was, after hysteria, the second most studied mental illness. It was taken quite sincerely by military physicians, particularly in secluded military personnel who had traveled to foreign, hostile territories. In the military, they felt very isolated.

Military personnel grew so depressed and complacent that they quit consuming and started showing signs of clinical depression, and they acquired infections that attacked them because of the lack of sanitation and medication. More often, Nostalgia is a predisposing cause of their death, but the doctors certainly thought of it as a life-threatening disease.”

The indications of the condition shown by the veterans ranged from moderate to more intense: suicidal ideation, heart failure, and brain swelling, depression, lack of appetite, fever.

The concept of Nostalgia as a troublesome illness linked to military personnel and homesickness eventually fell out of use and became more associated with the nostalgic emotion we know today. But it was not until the present century that scientists continue to better understand and prove the accurate psychological benefits of Nostalgia.

What is Nostalgia?

We also think of terms like sorrow, misery, or somber when we read or hear the term nostalgia. This word, we connect with a deprivation that brings us extreme distress. Nostalgia is a feeling which, when we think of the memories, infiltrates us. In fact, “nostos,” which means comeback, and “algos,” which means suffering, comes from Greek. His derivation could not be more precise. We always overlook, however, that Nostalgia has an upside.

In unpredictable times or when the transition occurs in our lives, Nostalgia appears to be common. Change is needed for our self-improvement, but one factor to remember is that Nostalgia comes with it. It can often become disappointing and take on a sense of past exaggeration or idealization. Humans, ignoring the negative, the dull, and the needless attributes, prefer to recall only the past’s best parts.

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Nostalgia Styles

There are two styles, according to Boym: restorative and reflective.

  • Restorative refers to the manner via which you attempt to recreate or revisit the past manner of life.
  • Reflective, while acknowledging that the past is the past, refers to Nostalgia and pining emotions.

These two kinds of Nostalgia are inherently different approaches to the past. This distinction significantly influences whether our recollections of those pleasant bygone days will provoke feelings of happiness or sorrow. Restorative Nostalgia, which involves an eagerness to “restore the lost home,” looks at the past with a perspective to replicate it, a natural urge to reenact those precious times.

On the other side, reflective Nostalgia acknowledges that, in reality, the past is past. Instead of trying to replicate a spectacular past, it savors the emotions elicited by its remembrance. This recognition of our autobiographical past’s irretrievability offers an aesthetic distance that enables us to appreciate old memories in the same way that we appreciate a movie or a great novel.

Restorative Nostalgia is actually more of homesickness, a homesickness for the old days, more identical to Nostalgia’s previous pathological description than to our present view of the phrase, as Boym defines it.

The variation between “good” Nostalgia and “bad” Nostalgia, then, has much less to do with our autobiographical past’s real content than with our requirements of what those recollections can do for us. It is not the past itself that makes a difference, but instead our perception of the past.

The euphoric and idealistic layer of polish that covers the memories is mixed into what renders Nostalgia so complicated. This makes it very difficult to let go of desire and pain. And, if you can’t get the time back, well, the feeling is that at least you have the remembrance and the feeling to stay linked to your life’s memorable events.

  • Some people are more susceptible than others to Nostalgia.

It seems we are the ones who want to think about the future, or perhaps we are the ones that keep the toys of our early life and what things must continue to stay the same. In certain areas, people think differently, and Nostalgia will rely solely on our character and our way of seeing life.

  • We glorify the subject of our Nostalgia.

Our propensity to remain only with the great moments of circumstances and encounters has to do with the phrase “any time gone by was better.” Memory safeguards us by retaining happy memories and erasing those that are negative. Although this memory bias is extremely adaptable, it sometimes makes people forget about blunders that we should not make again and gives us chances most of the time to be truly happy.

It is a feeling embodied in various artistic representations: for many individuals, Nostalgia is immensely motivating. It is a feeling that is capable of encouraging us to develop. 

Nostalgia is also used for marketing, by the way. It makes us want to invest additional money to fondly reminisce. The promotion of Nostalgia to communicate with us on an emotional level is exploited by professionals in sales, advertising, or product development.

This addresses the emergence of modern releases of old classics or the return of items from previous generations. Nostalgia is a very strong tool for stimulating the purchase of products, in moderation and gambling on elements that have become ineffable.

Why do we have Nostalgia?

Nostalgia is a popular solution to change. Scenarios such as the death of a mate, an emotional rupture, or changing cities are altering our lifestyle and pushing us to adjust to new conditions. In reality, there’s no need for the adjustments to be recently; just recalling is enough.

Extreme Nostalgia Syndrome (A Comprehensive Guide)

How to overcome Extreme Nostalgia?

  • Be practical

Between past and present phases, we all draw parallels. Take the time to readjust to life’s new stages. Even if it is hard to adapt to the new life, a change of accommodation or group of mates can be helpful.

  • Discover your emotions

From time to time, self-evaluation directs us to alter things that don’t fit our lives and search for substitutes. To truly comprehend ourselves, intrapersonal intelligence allows us to delve into our cognitive abilities.

  • Interact with proactive individuals

Nostalgia may be caused by denial, loneliness, and lack of contact. We will help cope with it by learning about why we experience Nostalgia. The secret to resolving our distress might be to keep in contact with friends and family. 

It’s necessary to discuss our emotions irrespective of whether we live overseas or how many changes happen all at once. As long as it does not transform into a chain of negative thoughts or emotions, sharing your concerns is positive. Improve your skills in interaction so that you can feel better speaking about your feelings.

  • Don’t dwell on what causes pain.

There are many ways in which previous experiences are recreated that keep us from going forward—stashing old stuff from a previous relationship, for instance. This isn’t wrong. If we are further away, factors such as a picture of our relatives will give us hope. But if anyone after separation becomes obsessed with any of these possessions, their healing would be challenging.

It can cause immense pain and Nostalgia while recalling these moments, so it is better to leave them alone for a while. However, the most crucial part is that we continue to practice our self-control.

  • Know that the circumstance can be modified.

The demise of a person near to him is a devastating tragedy without a solution. This doesn’t mean that suffering is what we can fall into. Naturally, the moments we shared are recalled with comfort and affection. It is healthy mourning and not forgetting our loved ones. We may continue talking about the dead and holding their belongings, but that may be detrimental.

If the circumstance that brings us Nostalgia is something that we can undo, such as the absence of a community of jobs or friends, we can attempt to change it first. Limitless strategies for problem-solving are available. Growing our tolerance is never too late. It’s a case of discipline and of time.

  • Challenge to yourself

Nostalgia is not supposed to compel us to lie in bed. Nothing can remove the power to establish new targets that enable us to enhance self-confidence and self-efficiency. The achievement of our goals would boost our understanding of the situation.

  • Maintaining good habits

This advice is valid in any case. First comes our emotional and physical wellbeing. Caring for ourselves would help us to feel better by making a more optimistic evaluation of our lives. Acts such as eating a healthy diet, improving our cognitive functions, sleeping, taking good care of self-esteem, and exercising would allow us to have energy and resources to conquer challenges.

  • Find Free Time here.

Everyone has their Nostalgia here; there are no concrete options for the nostalgic. Some people hide and cry, while others need to speak to each other every time they have trouble seeing each other. The main thing is that we all devote some spare time to what we want to get away from our issues and feel better.

It seems simple, but dwelling on the thoughts of frustration or sorrow makes us forget about the benefits of getting a break and refreshing the mind.

  • Don’t try to resist Nostalgia altogether.

We must acknowledge our feelings. To cover that we experience, Nostalgia is going to make us feel sad. We can avoid Nostalgia at an unnecessary point, but we should not dismiss it.

  • Look for help if you can’t resist the Nostalgia.

Whenever this emotion creates distress, we feel frustrated, and it impacts our daily lives, we should contemplate looking for help. Mental health workers are willing to take care of you in situations of excessive Nostalgia.

Conclusion

In this article, we explored the meaning of Extreme Nostalgia Syndrome, the cause, and coping strategies.

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FAQ: Extreme Nostalgic Syndrome

What triggers Nostalgia?

Nostalgia is often caused by sensory input, but it can be activated by interaction and self-directed memory recall. Often nostalgic stimuli are unforeseen occurrences, and they’re often searched for as a way of getting warmth and good feelings.

What is Nostalgia a symptom of?

Another subtle depressive symptom is Nostalgia. Many people with depression may probably wish for good old times as a coping strategy. Reminiscent of fun times in the past can make somebody with depression feel good momentarily.

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Nithila is a psychologist with a Bachelors in Psychology and a Diploma in Forensic Sciences. She has worked with children who are Intellectually disabled and with developmental disabilities. She has an interest in Forensic Psychology, especially Criminal Profiling. She loves to research new topics and expand her knowledge. She has a keen interest to write. She loves to read and sketch.