Depression From Nostalgia?

Postby Old_World_Blues » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:39 am

I wasn't sure where I should post this, but please, bear with me. About a year and a half, maybe two years ago I moved out of my home in a lovely little town called Satellite Beach. I consider the nearly 5 years I spent there to be the happiest times in all of my life. I made some of the greatest friends I ever could have asked for there, and I created some of the most memorable moments in my life there.

I've always been a bit sad about leaving that place, I feel as if it's where I developed the most, and became the person I am today, but whenever I think about it now, I'm reminded of all the fantastic times I had there, but I'm usually left feeling extremely melancholy afterwards, thinking about all of the places I'll never get to see again, all of the time I'll never get back, and all the people I'll never see again. Just recently today, I went on Google Street view, and virtually visited the place I still consider my home, and It seemed to more or less... Break something inside of me. Seeing these places virtually, the Publix where I used to shop, this restaurant down A1A where I used to work, all of these memories came flooding back to me, and I couldn't help but cry a little bit, and ever since then I've been unable to shake this feeling of warmth, and happiness combined with something akin to overhanging sadness, and dread, and I don't know what to do. I don't know why I get these depressing episodes any time I think about that place, and many times friends and family around me have told me that I need to stop thinking about the past, that I need to learn to live in the present, but I've just been unable to.

I couldn't find any official medical conditions pertaining to, or describing anything like what I've been experiencing, the best I could find was a reference to a speech from the end of something called "Old World Blues" and the ending of said speech seemed to describe my condition rather adequately, the excerpt that I'm referring to goes as follows:

"There is an expression in the wasteland, 'Old World Blues' It refers to those so obsessed with the past they can't see the present, let alone the future for what it is. They stare into the what-was, eyes like pilot lights, guttering and spent as the realities of their world continue on around them."

If you have any idea about what I'm experiencing is called, or how to treat it, I welcome any and all help.
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#1

Postby quietvoice » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:21 pm

Old_World_Blues wrote:If you have any idea about what I'm experiencing is called, or how to treat it, I welcome any and all help.

Grief. You lost something that was dear to you.
For my simple answer, you can Internet search "how to handle grief."
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#2

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:07 pm

Old_World_Blues wrote:...many times friends and family around me have told me that I need to stop thinking about the past, that I need to learn to live in the present, but I've just been unable to.


And you think your friends and family don't know what they are talking about?

I couldn't find any official medical conditions pertaining to, or describing anything like what I've been experiencing...


So you want to be diagnosed with a medical condition. Why? What a horrible idea.

Your friends/family have already provided the answer, but that has not satisfied you. Therefore, to be satisfied with your being "unable" to live in the present, you are seeking to be diagnosed with a condition, a mental disorder in need of treatment.

how to treat it, I welcome any and all help.


The treatment has already been offered up multiple times, but maybe you don't know how. You are unable to live in the present. Fair enough. Your friends/family may presume you know how to live in the present.

How does a person go about living in the present? Well, our minds cannot be in two places at once. Physically we are always in the present, but mentally we have options. If you actively construct situations that require you engage in the present and the future, you will be unable to continue wallowing over the past.

If you had an active life, one in which you woke up at 5am and had to engage in life, had to engage in your day, had to focus on what was directly in front of you all day until you once again fell asleep, exhausted after a full day of living at 10 or 11 pm, then your mind would not be wallowing in the past, because it would be unable. Your mind would be so engaged with today, you would simply not have the time.

The question, why do you not have such a day? Why are you not establishing new goals, new friendships, new activities which engage your mind?

IMO, seeking to label your thoughts as a disorder is the exact wrong path to take.
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#3

Postby forestcritter » Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:28 pm

Of all the strange feelings which we purport as uniquely human sensations, having to be felt to be understood, things like deja vu and schadenfreude, nostalgia is a deep one, and how it affects you can say a lot about your current emotional needs.

A normal way to feel about nostalgia is something akin to bittersweet memory, but more emphasis on the sweet than the bitter. Like the comfortable way you would feel when you watch an old movie from the 80's (or Stranger Things). But if the feelings of nostalgia you are having are causing you to feel an intense longing for a time that has gone by, to the point where it is causing you depression or stress, there is a good chance that you are not so much longing for that bygone time to recur, but that you are depressed and you simply want to be as happy as you were then (or to be as happy as you thought you were then).

To feel as though the time where you have developed the most, or had the most rich times in your life is behind you, is not a good way to feel. I don't know how old you are but even if you are 80, 90, or 100, you should never feel that way about life if you have any say in it.

For me the times when nostalgia was most hurtful to me were when I was not doing what I needed to do in my current life to make myself happy. Perhaps it was because there was a relationship I was in that knew I shouldn't be in, or I wasn't treating myself correctly, or I was depressed and too fearful to live the life I wanted to live. Whether or not the life you lived in that other time was indeed as great as you remember it is not the point. The point is you are imagining a life which is better than yours right now, and that in turn is likely giving you feelings of emptiness and a lack of feeling fulfilled and alive in the life you are currently living.

My suggestion is first to regain your hope for the future. Take whatever idyllic thoughts you have about the past and the place that you believe was so special, and know beyond all doubt that you will still live years yet to come which are as full and magical as those in Satellite Beach. In case you didn't know, you can start feeling that way right now. All you have to do is understand what it is that you want out of life, do all that you can to change your life to become what it is you want, with as little fear as you possibly can. But most importantly forgive yourself for any failures you have in trying to make those changes, and love yourself and your life right now, as is, as you work toward your goals.
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