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:

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

Your Response


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."

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

I'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.


Well, just wanted to say that I'm here for you and to thank you for sharing your story!!!