Difference Between Melancholy and Nostalgia

Main Difference

The main difference between melancholy and nostalgia is that melancholy usually refers to ta a gloomy state of mind, whereas nostalgia generally refers to remembering and longing for the past.

Melancholy vs. Nostalgia

Melancholy is the state of deep sadness, while nostalgia is the state of sentimental longing for something in the past, typically a place or a person. Melancholy is normally associated with gloominess or sadness, whereas a person having nostalgia can be either happy or sad thinking about something from the past. Melancholy makes a person be in a continuous state of sadness or gloominess no matter what the reason is; Furthermore, the feelings associated with nostalgia often inspire a person to revert in time and re-live a happy specific moment, which can either give rise to extreme sadness or happiness. The symptom of depression can be melancholy; conversely, nostalgia has no such links. A person may be melancholic without nostalgic because melancholy can be caused by many things or have various reasons, and a person may be nostalgic without being in a melancholy state.

Comparison Chart

MelancholyNostalgia
Melancholy is a feeling of sadness normally with no general cause.Nostalgia is the sentimental lodging or regretful affection for a time or a place in the past.
Refers To
The state of deep sadnessThe state of sentimental longing for something in the past typically a place or a person
Emotions
normally associated with gloominess or sadnessCan be either happy or sad thinking about something from the past
Feelings
Make a person be in a continuous state of sadness or gloominess no matter what the reason isOften inspire a person to revert in time and re-live a happy specific moment, which can either give rise to extreme sadness or happiness.
Symptoms of Depression
The symptom of depression can be melancholyHas no such symptoms of depression
Without Melancholy/Nostalgia
A person may be melancholic without nostalgic because melancholy can be caused by many things or have various reasonsA person may be nostalgic without being in a melancholy state

What is Melancholy?

Melancholy is generally defined as a sense of cavernous sadness or gloomy condition of mind which could be usual or extended having one or many characteristics of the sober thoughtfulness, pensiveness, and depression. An old and outmoded pharmaceutical association present a theory about major four parts of the body on which the entire human body is made upon and some diseases are the consequence of deficient and excess levels of melancholy. Melancholy was triggered by a surplus of black bile in the stomach which acknowledged a set of feelings and various emotions involving gloomy or depressing nature which is mostly associated with unkind-humor. Afterward, melancholy was recognized as a subterranean amount of gloominess or sadness that could ascend because of several numbers of undefinable or unclear events or even without any particular cause. The melancholy is known as a general symptom of depression because when a person is going through periods melancholy for a long time, then the person likely to have depression. A person may be melancholic devoid of being a nostalgic because melancholy can be caused by many reasons or have various things from which he/she get affected.

Example

A girl is thinking about the past in which an event occurred of loss of her loved one due to cancer, and there she is experiencing and go through some deep sadness which is referred as melancholy. Normally, she has no clue about being so sad, may be it is because she lost her loved one in the past and now missing all the times or moments which she spent with that person which is thought to be screened by the loss.

What is Nostalgia?

Nostalgia is generally defined as a feeling or emotion which could arise because of remembering and lodging of the past. Furthermore, according to an ancient literature that explained nostalgia as “contemplative wish to go back in assumed or actually in a circumstance to a previous time in one’s home, homeland, one’s life, to one’s family or friends, generally a emotional desire for the happiness from the former time or place.” Most people often think about the past in a promising manner and may want to return in time and re-experience those beautiful and good moments because a person may be nostalgic without being in a melancholy state.

Example

A boy who is now living in hostel and become nostalgic thinking about all the good memories of his home, his loving mother and father, food made from the hands of his mother, his own room, and with his old friends playing and swimming in the swimming pool, and the boy now eagerly wanted to go back home.

Key Differences

  1. Melancholy refers to the state of deep sadness, while nostalgia refers to the state of sentimental longing for something in the earlier life, typically a place or a person having personal feelings with him/her.
  2. Melancholy is normally related to gloominess or sadness, whereas a person having nostalgia can be either happy or sad thinking about something from the past.
  3. Melancholy makes a person be in a continuous state of sadness or gloominess no matter what the reason is; Furthermore, the feelings associated with nostalgia often inspire a person to revert in time and re-live a happy specific moment or become sadder, which can either give rise to extreme sadness or happiness.
  4. The symptom of depression can be melancholy; conversely, nostalgia has no such links.
  5. A person may be melancholic without nostalgic because melancholy can be caused by many things or have various reasons, and a person may be nostalgic without being in a melancholy state.

Conclusion

Above discussion concludes that the melancholy usually refers to ta a gloomy state of mind and makes a person to be in a continuous state of sadness or gloominess no matter what the reason is, whereas nostalgia generally refers to remembering and longing for the past and thinking about it either makes the person extreme happy or sad.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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