A need to go back to the past

  1. Is it normal to miss my secondary school years even though it ended so long ago? I constantly have thoughts about the past and wanting to stay there forever. I feel like I should have move on already and appreciate the present but I can’t.

  2. (being sad for no reason): is it normal to cry for no reason?

  3. (Overindulging in nostalgia) I am really bad at adapting to new situations. I always think that the past is better than the present. Whenever I reflect the past, I become upset and hopeless about the present and future. I never got to appreciate what is happening now because I am too focused on the past. Is this normal?

  4. (When to seek professional help): How do I know when I should seek professional help like a psychologist or psychiatrist? I always have a hard time figuring out whether my problems are serious enough to seek additional help.

Hi Blue, thank you for all your questions! I have consolidated your questions to be answered (I hope you don’t mind!).

I hear that this issue has been affecting you and may have also affected your motivation toward achieving your goals in life.

Though what you are experiencing is normal, we could also take steps to address ruminations that are holding us back from experiencing the joy and fulfillment in the present. A habit of rumination can affect our ability to think clearly and regulate our emotions. It may also make us feel isolated and alone, and we may even push others away.

Here are some simple ways we can do break free from rumination:

  1. Engage in simple activities i.e., follow an origami tutorial on YouTube, do a word finder puzzle. You can learn more here (1).
  2. Practice Self-Compassion Talks (2).
  3. Be intention to connect with others

There is no issue too big or too small. If you feel that there is an issue you would like to share, I would encourage you to take the first step to make an appointment with your school therapist.

You may approach any mental health trained GPs or any nearby Youth Community Outreach Team (eg. Fei Yue Community Services, Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH), Limitless, Shine Children and Youth Services etc). I do hope this will give you a quick initial idea on what to do next. Take care!

  1. 10 Simple Ways to Break Free of Rumination | Psychology Today Singapore
  2. Be Kinder to Yourself