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Elizabeth Scott, M.S.

Revertigo: Do You Suffer From It?

By April 22, 2008

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I recently watched a hilarious episode of my 'guilty pleasure' show, How I Met Your Mother, in which they describe a phenomenon called 'revertigo'. Revertigo is when you get together with people from your past and start acting like the person you were when you knew them. For example, you may act like a goofy teen when you see your high school buds, or worry about your appearance if you know you're going to run into an old flame.

While revertigo can sometimes be a fun distraction, it can be stressful, too. For example, many people go through revertigal transformation when they visit their families for the holidays, and end up playing a sort of role in response to other family members. This can feel stifling, and can be annoying for spouses who may not be used to the reverted version of the people they love.

Does this happen to you? If so, you may want to see this article on tips for handling family revertigo, and visit the forum (or add to the comments) to share your experience. (And before you give me too hard of a time for watching silly sitcoms, see these articles on the importance of laughter and having fun.)

April 28, 2008 at 12:00 pm
(1) Nethinim says:

Reverting to being “Mom’s little boy” on those infrequent visits is one thing. It pleased her, how could I do other wise.
However, to cower and flinch at Dad’s mere presence was very wrong. So firmly had he instilled immediate obedience and fear in me, it remained untill his die’ing day.
Visits home, my wife and child with me, after having gone to war, getting a University Degree, beginning my own career, were stressful. He had for so many years struck me. Suddenly, with out warning or provocation, I would find myself waking up on the floor.
Every visit home was the same. Dutiful son, standing just out of striking range, trying to act normal, yet flinching at his every move.
In every day life, in my own home, in my own state, I have never feared anyone. Immediatly upon entering his home, I became a cowering little boy again.

April 10, 2014 at 6:30 pm
(2) mileau says:

Nethnim I have the same problem with my father. Even though I am now a grown man and physically more powerful, I still experience fear in the presence of my father due to the beatings he gave me when I was a child.

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