Existential Depression

I thought I'd start a group for all those who suffer from existential depression to find some comfort in knowing that you are not alone.  For those wondering what it is: http://psychcentral.com/lib/2008/what-is-existential-depression/

I think my existential depression first appeared in my last year of university. I realized that what I had been studying was really of no interest to me. And that I had been living a life that I really didn't want. I dreaded a meaningless 9 to 5 job. I dreaded a life that valued only wealth and status. So I started to ask myself what I really wanted out of life, following the wisdom of Sartre, and came up with a few answers (this process took like 2 years). I guess you could say at this point my existential depression went away, but the garden variety depression was always there, because what I wanted, seemed so difficult to obtain (I also had a bad breakup at the end of university that has left me scarred).

And then emotional trauma, the loss of a loved one. Life is cruel. I've taken it badly. I fall into a deep depression. I quit my job. I go back to school and hide from everyone and everything. 2 years go by. I guess enough time has passed now that once again I feel like I should do something with my life, but my experiences have changed who I am. Now even more things seem meaningless to me. I feel like Camus' Meursault, but I don't want to feel like him. I guess there are still things that have meaning for me (very few), but they seem ever more difficult to obtain give my mental state. I just have so much difficulty doing the 99.9% of the things that have no meaning in order to achieve the 0.1% that do have meaning. That's where I am now, trying to grind through the meaninglessness to obtain meaning.

Anyways I hope that sharing my story will inspire others to so as well, and maybe this group can be a place where we can help each other through the meaningless aspects of life. Thanks.

dan888 dan888
26-30, M
6 Responses Jun 14, 2009

I experienced the same depression while in my third year of college. I basically had a breakdown. I force myself to do something I didn't want and it backfired. I was failing horribly. The thing was, I still didn't know what I wanted to. The depression set in like a thick fog. Every thought I had put me deeper in misery. I dug a pit for myself believing every decision I had made and will make will further drive me down into a meaningless pit of a nonexistent life. I can't say that the thick haze has lifted for me, but my life is still a misty, smoky woods. But as a 25 year old graduate who has shrugged of all the expectations I a glittery, well adjusted life, a life I'm beginning to think I was never meant to have, I feel like I can start anew. And that is freeing. I'm still not certain about my life, but at least I'm not further digging a pit for myself. My depression hit me hard again this year, but now at least I know how to deal with and I'm coming out of it quicker than the last time - a matter of weeks instead of months... I've let go of what I thought I was supposed to be and I am accepting a life I have the opportunity to make the way I want provided I examine first what it is I really need. I know I'm late to this posting, but I hope but helps....

The thick haze has lifted I meant. I should point that out... :)

I am having a lot of trouble just now but thought I would say so true to: "I just have so much difficulty doing the 99.9% of the things that have no meaning in order to achieve the 0.1% that do have meaning. That's where I am now, trying to grind through the meaninglessness to obtain meaning." <br />
Thanks for writing stuff. I hope to be back.

My therapist suggested today that I might have existential depression. That led me to your experience Dan. Thank you for sharing - that must have taken guts.

i am about to start college, and i can't help thinking that i have two options: a 6 figure salary, life-long perpetual malcontent, or get a degree in something i love (film/philosophy) but end up as a burger king manager. i could specify even further, but i think you know what i mean.

I dont know what to say, glad to u see u guys here, or bad to see u guys here. Anyway I hope we can help each other out

<br />
I know...it's hard. still battling mine, still don't know what I'm doing in Law school, I hate it, I don't know what I want to do with myself. Feel like I'm losing time and not living my life.<br />
:(<br />
Well, just wanted to say that I'm here for you and to thank you for sharing your story!!!<br />
hugs,<br />