Eureka, my condition has been diagnosed! Consumer psychologists call it hyperopia, which is the medical term for farsightedness.
The condition is the result of people looking too far ahead. In Oversaving, A Burden for Our Times, John Tierney explains, people are "so obsessed with preparing for the future that they can't enjoy the present, and they end up looking back sadly on all their lost opportunities for fun."
As for me, If I do have "saver's remorse", then why am I not remorseful? My wife and children have not altered their spending habits one bit. However, I currently won't spend a dime on anything but gas for my car and I have no regrets. I do not feel it would be responsible of me to buy any unnecessary (fun) items at this time, especially when my in-box at home is filled with: the car note, gas/electric bill, credit card bill, insurance statement, phone bill and they are all screaming out, "pay me first".
But, missing out on life's pleasures is a big concern. That's why I took my children to Blue Mountain in Pennsylvania recently for a fantastic day of skiing that was pure fun. And there are tons of low cost activities that families who enjoy the simple pleasures of life can partake in, like when the Township tennis courts open for the season. A recession can't mean a cessation of fun for families. It means you need work on lining up some good-quality low-cost enjoyable activities.
Bottom line: I believe there has to be a national confidence shift before we hyperopiacs will be ready to seek treatment for our condition.