What Is Nostalgia Good For? Quite a Bit, Research Shows

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Not long after moving to the University of Southampton, Constantine Sedikides had lunch with a colleague in the psychology department and described some unusual symptoms he’d been feeling. A few times a week, he was suddenly hit with nostalgia for his previous home at the University of North Carolina: memories of old friends, Tar Heel basketball games, fried okra, the sweet smells of autumn in Chapel Hill.

His colleague, a clinical psychologist, made an immediate diagnosis. He must be depressed. Why else live in the past? Nostalgia had been considered a disorder ever since the term was coined by a 17th-century Swiss physician who attributed soldiers’ mental and physical maladies to their longing to return home — nostos in Greek, and the accompanying pain, algos.

But Dr. Sedikides didn’t want to return to any home — not to Chapel Hill, not to his native Greece — and he insisted to his lunch companion that he wasn’t in pain.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicinePsychologyScience & Technology

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Posted July 11, 2013 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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