From the 17th to the 19th century, nostalgia was considered a disease. It was not something you’d want to be diagnosed with because the treatments were pretty insane. These days, nostalgia is something to be treasured and of course, we love all things nostalgia here at DYR. It is crazy to think this wasn’t always the case!
In 1688, Swiss physician Johannes Hofer created the term nostalgia to describe someone who was going crazy for a specific object or place from their past. Some doctors even believed that nostalgia was from a “pathological bone” which they attempted to search for in patients.
Nostalgia was once considered a disease
There was a range of causes and symptoms, some including melancholy, loss of appetite, and even fever. Some doctors believed those suffering from nostalgia saw ghosts or heard voices. Some doctors believed that people should be treated by “inciting pain and terror.” Yikes.
In 1733 in Russia, soldiers were told that if they have the “nostalgia virus” they would be buried alive. Some actually were. When the “nostalgia virus” came to the United States, they tried to treat people by shaming them. Other “cures” included leeches and purging the stomach.
Luckily the view of nostalgia changed drastically over the years. Now researchers and doctors know that nostalgia can be good for you and incite feelings of happiness. That is if you stick to happy memories.