What Is Existential Depression?
Updated February 26, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Sonya Bruner
Everyone knows that depression is a very serious condition. It can harm your life if you have severe depression and you are not getting the proper treatment. Many different types of depression exist. The differences between types of depression can be very pronounced, and they all have their intricacies.
Depression is often something that is unique to the individual. Although people who are suffering from depression may have similarities, the problems that they have can be unique to their situation. Even two people who are suffering from similar types of depression may have different triggers and worries. The important thing to understand is that depression is a difficult problem to cope with and treatments need to be varied to be effective.
One type of depression that some people have issues with is known as existential depression. This type of depression is really tough because it is more philosophical. Sometimes people struggle with being depressed about the meaning of life and the concept of life in general. It isn't uncommon for people who are suffering from existential depression issues to feel a deep sense of hopelessness about every aspect of life.
This type of depression can be very dark because people are suffering from it sometimes feel that life has no meaning whatsoever. If life is meaningless, then it can become difficult to muster the necessary energy to keep on going. An existential crisis like this is severe enough that those suffering from it should seek immediate help. This is a very negative type of depression that can harm your life if you don't find ways to cope.
Understanding The Existential Depression
To truly understand existential depression, you have to try to relate to what people are thinking. An existential crisis can be about the meaning of life itself as mentioned above. It can also be about religion, personal relationships, and much more. The common thread between different types of existential depression problems is that they are problems with no clear answer.
For instance, someone may be depressed and wondering about whether their god truly cares about them. If a person is wondering whether they will ever know if their religion is correct, the depression they feel over these questions isn't going to be something with a concrete answer. It is a thing that they will have to overcome themselves to decide whether their faith has value. Big questions such as the meaning of life and why the universe is the way that it is aren't something that can be answered easily.
If you are feeling depression over some of the larger questions in life, then you have to try to ground yourself. Sometimes very smart individuals struggle with existential depression. They have trouble staying grounded in physical reality, and their thoughts wind up taking them to dark places. It is perfectly fine to ponder philosophical questions, but you can't let them harm you in such a profound way.
When you are prone to getting depressed over topics like this, it is best to try to avoid the thoughts entirely. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but staying busy is an excellent tool. If you have issues with existential depression, then occupying your mind with other things is one of the best ways to take care of it. You won't have time to worry about these problems and will generally feel better about life overall.
What Causes Existential Depression?
The cause of this type of depression is not something that can be pinned down. Sometimes it is brought about by life changes. Losing someone close to you may wind up causing you to think about death. Dealing with death and pondering the inevitability of it can lead to existential depression. Sometimes even working too much and seeing no real benefits can lead to this type of depression.
It isn't too uncommon for people who work a lot to start to wonder if their life has meaning. Constantly working every single day will still cause them to end up at the same point. It can be surmised that the cause of existential depression is either unhappiness with the state of the world or being unsettled about questions of why the world is the way that it is. Being caught up in this type of depression is counter-productive, and you want to be able to rid yourself of these feelings as soon as possible.
How Can Existential Depression Be Treated?
Treatments for this type of depression are pretty much the same as other types. Sometimes medications will be prescribed for people who are having severe depression problems. Other times, therapy sessions may be used as a way for people to feel more comfortable with their place in the world. A combination of different treatments can be effective at helping a person to take control of their life.
If you are having problems with existential depression, it can be very beneficial to talk to someone about it. Bottling up your concerns and feelings will often lead to the depression becoming deeper and more intense. This is going to be very detrimental to your life and can sometimes lead to people completely withdrawing themselves from the world. Getting into a deep state of depression over existential questions can be avoided if you seek the proper help.
Therapy is a good resource. Being able to talk about the problems that you are experiencing with someone who cares about your well-being is going to do wonders. There are many different types of therapy and being able to discuss your concerns will feel good overall. You won't feel like the burning questions that you have been stuck inside your head when you can share them with someone else.
Trying to stay busy with activities that bring you enjoyment can help quite a bit as well. If you are passionate about art, then spending some time drawing or painting is a great idea. If music is a good escape for you and helps you to feel happy, then you should listen to music more often. Doing things that bring you enjoyment helps you to see the value in the world that you have been pining for.
Being around the people that you love is helpful too. Spend more time with your significant other and try to enjoy the little things in life that make people smile. It can feel difficult at first when depression is troubling your mind. Making progress is going to be possible when you put forth an effort, and you have those who love you on your side.
Those who are religious and are experiencing these philosophical problems may wish to confide in their pastor, rabbi, or another type of religious official. They will certainly be willing to take the time to talk with you about your concerns. Sometimes a simple conversation can be enough to assuage some of your fears. If you feel safe when speaking to those in your religion, then it can be a good source of strength for you during your time of need.
Speak To A Professional That Cares
You can reach out to get professional help from the comfort of your own home. If you don't want to speak to a therapist in person, then you may be interested in receiving online counseling. Some dedicated online counselors can help you to cope with existential depression effectively. They have been properly trained to help people in your situation, and many of them fully understand exactly what you are going through.
Being able to speak with others who can relate with the sense of hopelessness that has been plaguing you will be good. They can help to show you that there is a way to move on with your life. Others have been able to find meaning after having these existential depression problems. Sometimes it has even led to people figuring out more about themselves and finding their true passions in life. If you would like to have similar success, then it may be helpful to try to talk about your experiences and concerns.
Signing up over at https://www.betterhelp.com/start/ will give you the chance to be matched with a skilled counselor. They will be able to take the time to speak with you about all of your concerns. Whether you are worried about the meaning of life or if you are concerned about the concept of death, these professionals will be very understanding. All of these fears and concerns that you have are natural, and you aren't alone in your thought process.
Once you take the time to talk with the counselors about your concerns you will feel better. You can speak about all of the things that you have been bottling up, and you might be able to come to some conclusions. This process can be difficult, but it is going to be much more manageable when you have the proper assistance. Signing up for the counseling is simple, and it is a resource that you should take advantage of if you feel it would help you out.
Counseling like this is completely optional, of course. If you don't want to seek out help in this fashion, then finding someone else to talk to can be very useful as well. Even if you are confiding in a trusted family member, it is good to be able to rely on others. Understanding that you aren't alone is an essential step in overcoming this type of depression.
Life does have meaning, and your life means so much to those who are closest to you. If existential depression has been bothering you for quite some time, then seeking help makes sense. You need to be able to move on to a brighter chapter of your life. People are willing to help you if you want to seek them out.
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