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I suffer from existential depression/angst. Can anyone relate?

Swingdancer 4 May 17

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Yes absolutely! As a Christian we were taught this feeling was because we were not ‘home’ and we would always feel out of place ‘in the world’. That kept it at bay for some time but once you realize that is all bullshit then you have to come face to face with the meaninglessness of existence and realize your time is just one tiny blip in the whole timeline of humanity. Makes paying bills and brushing teeth seem like tedious ritual. All I can say is what has helped me and that has been to embrace it. I have been reading existential philosophers and somehow reading the same thoughts that others had all throughout history regardless of their circumstances or time period is comforting. That and I’ve allowed myself to get comfortable with death. Enjoy traditions like dia de Los muertos or beautiful artwork that is dark or melancholy or features the grim reaper or some other allusion to death. I guess seeing the beauty in both life and death and realizing how truly precious each breath and each day really is because we are the only one experiencing this moment we are experiencing has made it sweeter. Pinterest helps too. Having boards for art, sayings, philosophical memes, whatever. Just collecting and piecing thoughts together helps me. Feel free to message me and I can share my Pinterest boards with you if you’re interested. Here’s hoping you find meaning and rest in today.

This is the most poignant summation i have read here on the subject of existential angst/depression in terms of this being the healthiest process one has to go through in regards to 'going beyond ones religious upbringing' and finding meaning in the here and now, in traffic no less, with the laundry unfolded; on this pale blue dot which happens to be angled just so....with our galaxy positioned calmly away from blacks holes. Speaking of which, going to look for some multicolored push-pins in my kitchen drawer.


Know that one well. Had a bad dose of reality and have never really gotten over it.

Kimba Level 7 May 17, 2018

Of course. Just drink a beer and try to realize it all doesn’t really mean anything.


The only depression I have experienced in my life is the fact that never knew how to get a date. Never understood those games. Other than that, at my 54 with all the scars very well earned, I am a happy camper

You need to start by saying i am somebody

@Marine I appreciate your comment but that's not where the problem I am referring to really is. I am talking about real life where I am me and things never go my way. It's not exactly depression, I doubt this qualifies as a medical condition by any means. Is just a deep deep sadness, nothing else

@IamNobody You must change your attitude and start by saying and thinking today is going to be a good day. Use small things like I got my coffee the way I like it ,dinner was great and use these things to grow in a positive manner. It works I have been there twice.

@Marine okay duly noted


I'm a lot happier since I started ignoring politics.


Not any more life is pointless people are shitty and there's not a damn thing you can do to change it so why try. Life is an exercise in futility the search for meaning or purpose is in itself utterly pointless to quote the"good"book eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we may die


Yep. Reading “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl helped me

just ordered it; thank you


These days you'd have to be crazy to not be depressed.


Been there twice don't give up there are brighter days ahead. Address your problem and look to solve it or get an alternative. Go to a therapist


Yes, I can. I’m sorry that I can’t offer anything really constructive. We’re all so different, and have different ways of dealing with shit. I wouldn’t say I suffer, but I find it to ignore bad stuff. I vent it out with measured anger.


This sounds like dysthymia.

I can see where you would make that connection, but dysthymia is still organic, like major depression, and existential depression cannot be treated with antidepressants , and it doesn't make one suicidal necessarily.


There is a book by Terry Lynch called 'Depression Delusion' which attempts to debunk the narrative Big Pharma is pushing, that depression is mostly a chemical imbalance. He talks about life and reactivity. I would not say dysthymia is purely 'organic'.


Geeze... i had it bad. Wondering what other people thought. Being overly concerned about nothing. Feeling dull inside. Now that im retired i quit all the meds for depression. It was rough and i still wake up at night but i can sleep till i feel like it and go to bed when i want to. Any pressure i have is because i created it in my mind.

Wouldn't it be an amazing thing to be able to control or ignore those deamons that play ping pong with you the very moment you try to shut down and get some peaceful restful sleep.

@Hitchens. Oh yeah! It comes in waves. Some nights its 1 time i wake up and get up. Others its 2 and 3 times in one night. It sucks...

@Hitchens not to mention i have pains everywhere in my joints...

@BucketlistBob It almost never wakes me,..just won't allow me to create the right conditions for dropping off to sleep in the first place.

@BucketlistBob. My joints are ok but I have some ligament damage in my left shoulder which will require surgery eventually.

@Hitchens its my right shoulder... it keeps up at night...ouch.


No angst here.


The only way I know how to avoid deepening depression is to maintain my political action to defeat violent seek justice for raped children by jailing 2 living popes. repudiate Mohammed for raping his 9 year old bride on her wedding night. condemn and boycott Israeli war criminals like Starbucks for murdering Palestinians. never give up hope the people will triumph over polluters oil war crime profiteering banksters by replacing them all with green jobs. swim bicycle and make love relieving my pain and memorizing movies and symphonic music overcoming TBI jet engine blast TINNITUS and quiet my mind away from angst to cosmic joy and fragrant meadows


I've been depressed my entire life. I say that with no angst involved. It's simply a fact. Sometimes I love my depression in an odd way bc I'm a creative person and the more depressed I am the more passionate my art is. I always look back at historical figures that clearly had depression and wonder would they have made the same impact on this world if they had been on antidepressents. On the other hand I can't go through a day without wondering about death. The only thing truly stopping me is my lack of religion. This is my one and only life.

Thank you for affirming how Atheists don't destroy life for an alleged afterlife


Yes, but I don't think mine is too severe. I'm not even sure I get depressed with it actually. I think I balance it with practical everyday life and distractions. I guess it's more prevalent if you have no way of occupying your mind.


I suffer from depression. It is biological and it took me years to get under control and accept. It can be quite crippling out of control. I keep out of stressful circumstances if I can help it. I seldom have what I call a break through.


Eating wheat does that to me. After a few days of indulgence, i am in chronic fatigue, major unhappy, mode.


I can certainly relate... I had struggles in the area couple years ago. It wasn't seriously bad or anything, but it was there.

I climbed out of it with the help of some thought experiments about not having expectations of how I should feel. I kind of declared how I currently felt as a baseline and not a bad place. Then never worried about the "gap" to normal if it was the new normal. After a while, it just diminished and disappeared. Because not taking temperature of my feelings is also not being done, I have no idea if I am happier these days or just not sad anymore.


I'm curious. What is it you worry about?

I don't worry at all; I just grieve for the meaningless of existence and the sadness of the whole world.


I do not suffer from it however have had my severe bouts of depression, The point I wish to make is most of those who suffer this existential depression are indeed brilliant people. It is the fact that you feel with intense belief the reality you are willing to admit to yourself. Most people cover up true feelings with good ole human rational.
This gift of yours is to go deep inside and find that incredible ability you have , that ability to recognize real truth without seeking the run away door, LIke a savant who goes more deep inside than you do and finds that gift, That incredible gift , so rare, that it is not even spoken of.

EMC2 Level 8 May 17, 2018

Sorry, I don’t understand. Can you explain in layman’s terms?

Thank you, that's a wonderful response.


@KenG You have a gift that must be recognized by yourself. What society calls abnormal is not particularly what you need to believe.

@EMC2 Sorry, still don’t get it.


I’m an no professional counselor—I can only say what worked for me. I read “Help Yourself to Happiness” by Dr. Maxie Maultsby, and practiced the recommended exercise. It was like flipping a switch, with anger, sadness and loneliness flying away, and joy overtaking me. Emotions follow thoughts.

Not talking about personal depression per se. It's much larger and doesn't have a 'cure' or remedy; it's just the curse of having a philosophical mind

@Swingdancer I think I understand. It’s both a curse and a blessing and you don’t want to be “cured”.

You are living on the edge and it feels precarious as well as exhilarating. Do I have it right?


After a couple of decades of living with increasing depression, I think I finally have the right cocktail of meds. Used to be somewhat suicidal and frequently wishing I was dead. I don't have those thoughts very often anymore. I'm generally in a good mood if not actually happy.
That said, I'm still kind of a nihilist.


Greetings: I can relate, but (sadly) I cannot help. There is no cure, no pills, no medicine for this illness (Kierkegaard called it "the sickness unto death" ). The only things that has helped me to some extent is reading some of the existentialist philosophers and writers, specially Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus; The Plague; The Rebel) and Saramago (But he was not, in a strict sense, an existentialist, and I don't know if his superb Novels were translated into English.). Also, watch The Big Bang Theory. (Seriously.) It is the equivalent of Prozac for angst!


I certainly spent my fair share of time there.

skado Level 9 May 17, 2018
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