What Do You Call Someone Who Is Obsessed With the Past?

Memories are the mirror with which we view the past. And letting go of this mirror is quite a hard task because it could be the only way you bask in the good old times.

The thing is, you can get entrapped in the past so much that it becomes an obsession. It becomes everything you do because you now see the present life from the lenses of your past.

You’re probably scouting for the best terms for someone who is hooked on the past, to the extent it has graduated into an obsession.

Well, there’s no picture-perfect term or phrase out there for this type of person, but there are closely related words or phrases that can capture their mental state.

In this post, I’ll be sharing with you a couple of good terms that answer your question about what you can call someone obsessed with the past.

15 Things to Call Someone Who Is Obsessed With The Past

It is quite hard to relieve yourself from the past, especially if it holds a crucial part of your life. However, the following are a couple of things that you can call someone obsessed with the past.

  1. Nostalgic
  2. Anaclitically depressed
  3. Regretter
  4. Estranged
  5. Bathetic
  6. Retro
  7. Evocative
  8. Elegiac
  9. Over-sentimental
  10. Wistful
  11. Old school
  12. Classic
  13. Homesick
  14. Dreamy
  15. Sappy


What Do You Call Someone Who Is Obsessed With the Past

This is a state of feeling of nostalgia. This state of mind was once regarded as a psychological illness but now resides as a case for medical analysis and research.

Being nostalgic means having an affinity with the past. It also denotes a mental attachment to memories, preferably good ones.

However, you can use this term to refer to anyone obsessed with the past. Since nostalgia connotes dwelling briefly on the past, it could graduate into an obsession if care is not taken.

Anaclitically Depressed

This is a medical term that describes a state of interpersonal dependence in humans.

Research shows that the condition is mostly diagnosed in infants but it does elude the possibility that it can also occur in grown-ups.

It is mostly characterized by a reflection of what appears to be a previous event or occurrence. You can use this term to address anyone obsessed with the past.


A regretter is someone who is steadily drooling over his past. But this time, the past is one of the bad or unpleasant memories.

Regrets are like the sour wine in the vine of memories. It is somewhat of a good feeling because it helps model our next life actions.

However, regrets have a bad effect on you if you stay quite long on them. It has a way of pulling you back into whatever shell you were once into.

The feeling of regret is even hurtful on its own because it evolves into bearing a self-unforgiving life.

You can as well use this term for someone obsessed with the past.


You can also call someone obsessed with the past an estranged person. This person is overly withdrawn from the people or things around him.

Someone can become an estranged person by dwelling in the past.

It is a mental state which is fostered by feelings of regret and unfulfillment, sprouting from the past. Being estranged appears to be the manifestation of an obsession with the past, chiefly bad memories.


Bathetic is another term that best describes the condition of being obsessed with the past. Most cases of obsession in this respect are sad memories, probably traumatic experiences.

Being bathetic in this context refers to the gradual shift from the present state of mind into that of the past.

When someone drools excessively over the past, it becomes an obsession. If you come across such a person, you can call the person bathetic.


What Do You Call Someone Who Is Obsessed With the Past

The word retro is a derivative term retrospective. While the latter refers to bearing or portraying a view laced with the ancient way of life; the former is the term used to refer to someone who shares in this mentality.

Firstly, someone who dwells in the past is a retro. It only gets worse if it gets to a point of obsession which is severe.

However, to lessen the weight of depression and over-dependence on the past you can simply call someone obsessed with the past retro.


Being evocative refers to bringing back strong feelings, mental pictures, and events to the mind.

You can do this as a healthy way of remembering something of importance. However, it can also be used to describe the condition of being obsessed with the past.

This is because being obsessed is a state of mind and is engineered by forcing certain events, feelings, or pictures into our mind’s eye.

Someone obsessed with the past becomes evocative because he or she repeats this process many times.

The obsession can make it difficult for the person to go a day without getting depressed with memories of the past, which they evoked in their mind.


You can also call someone obsessed with the past elegiac. This term is relative to the literary term Elegy, as it describes the state of mind of someone who is poetically expressing sorrow.

The term elegy has to do with a melancholic reflection of life or experiences.

Oftentimes, those who dwell in the past to the point of obsession, do this because of a sad experience.

When you encounter such a person, there’s a chance he or she will try to tell you stories of how good or bad the past was.

Since the obsession is mainly traumatic, you can say the person is elegiac because he or she will give sad accounts of their past.


The state of being excessively nostalgic about something is a fair description of being over-sentimental.

It is also a good way you can refer to someone obsessed with the past because such a person is often filled with a surge of excess feeling each time he or she indulges in reviewing scenes from their past.

Most people like being sentimental because it helps them keep track of their past and also enjoy the benefit of basking in fond memories.

But when this act is done multiple times, or when the person is not carefully detached, it can lead to obsession.

This end product is then the focus subject of this post. So, you can use over-sentimental when you’re looking for terms to use on someone obsessed with the past.


The feeling of being vague and regretful is what captures the term wistful. It is the longing for regret, possibly from a sad experience.

Someone who s obsessed with the past could be wistful if he or she is drawn to regret more than joy whenever they playback their memories of the past.

It is good wistful as one of the best terms to regard someone obsessed with the past. This is because it captures the person’s frequency as they bask in their past…they long for it.

What Do You Call Someone Who Is Obsessed With the Past

Old School

Call it old-fashioned or retrospective, someone who is obsessed with the past shows a strong affinity with the past. It reflects in so many things they do.

It could affect the person’s choice of dress, feeding habits, and even accent or speaking abilities.

When this happens you can call such a person old school, because their obsession with the past is starting to play out in their life.

They’re now expressing whatever it is that goes on in their mind whenever they drool over their past.


Just like the previous term, you can call anyone obsessed with the past classic. It sounds too rosy, right?

Well, some of those who are obsessed with their past look at how beautiful it was back then compared to now.

For instance, a middle-aged man in the early 2000s can bask in the thought of how it was back when jazz and blues were at their peak.

This obsession with what now is a past glory of both genres of music shapes the man into being a classic person.


When someone is homesick, the person is overly withdrawn from the present life and acts secluded from reality.

This state is often caused by dwelling in the past, possibly drooling over a lovely past relationship compared to your current sorry state of being single.


What Do You Call Someone Who Is Obsessed With the Past

It’s no denying that someone obsessed with the past acts dreamy and unreal. He or she gets so drawn to the past, to the extent the present world doesn’t matter again.

When you’re around this kind of person, you’ll easily notice a secluded attitude from them.

They act jittery and absentminded most of the time and that’s because the obsession has probably messed with their head. Because of this, you can call someone obsessed with the past dreamy.


The term sappy shares a close meaning with the word dreamy. But in this case, the person’s reaction is characterized by an unwillingness to do anything like work.

Being obsessed can drive you into doing extreme things like overthinking the past and so on.

All of this mental stress weakens the body, making the person sappy.


Basking in the relief thought of the past has a way of adding spices of life into us. We swim in oceans of gratefulness and fulfillment.

However, it also brings back traumatic experiences at the same time. Being obsessed due to this can have a negative bearing on a person at some point.

You’re probably wondering the best terms to call someone obsessed with the past and this post did justice to that. Kindly hit the share icon before you leave.

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