What is Existential Depression? And 5 Ways to Heal It

Meaning of Existentialism

Existentialism is questioning the meaning of life, healing from existentialism is often hard due to the lack of information out there. I used 5 effective methods to heal my existential pain. 

Existentialism, by itself, is not bad, it can range from simple questioning of food choices, to questioning the meaning of life and death. But when a person is unable to move past these questions, it can be a clue you are dealing with existential depression.

It’s different from the typical deep thinking that some people go through, it’s intense, with a note of suicidal ideation. This ideation causes severe pain, like a needle poking at your brain. The kind of pain is, at times, hard to explain to others. Medications are often not the first recommended form of treatment, leaving therapy as the only option for healing from existential depression.

Wondering if you are depressed or just sad? Take this quiz by psych central and find out.

Before Healing From Existential Depression find out if You are depressed. Picture of Male with A depressed look.

Want to find out if You are Depressed?

The First Time I Felt the Existential Pain

I went through Existential Depression after the birth of my second child (plus I also had the baby blues). I felt my life give out from under me. Life had no meaning. I questioned the most mundane to the most profound subject; from clothing to why do we exist? I talked to a therapist to try and heal from existential depression, it helped for a bit but it persisted.

Medication Seemed to Make it Worse

Because I was in such pain, I read and studied everything I could get my hands on to try to understand what was happening to me. I found at most, very little information out there. I tried a naturopath, but all she wanted me to do was go on some herbs and come back in a few weeks. The pain of this existentialism would have been somewhat bearable, except that when I went to see a professional, after visiting the naturopath, he put me on medication. However, this medication seemed to inflame my brain further, leaving me in a deep state of despair for two years.

 The cause of Existential Depression is not well understood. Professionals are not often aware of it, which may lead to misdiagnosis and the wrong treatment. Healing from existential depression proved to be a tough road.

A Side Effect Of Meditation

As I read and pieced things together,  I realized meditation caused my depression. In my belief, meditation, yoga, and any form of spiritual awareness, that creates an awakening of the self can send people into a questioning of this type. In many cultures, it’s widely known that people who are prone to psychic, or shamanism talents go into temporary bouts of madness often. Yoga retreats have been known to leave people in a more painful and disarray state then what they came in.

What can you do to heal Existential Depression?

It’s been five years and I still meditate but I realize that my brain needed to go through this awakening to heal. With mindfulness and self-awareness, you can get through this and even thrive! Follow my five steps and begin your healing now.

Here are Five Ways To Heal Existential Depression

Step One: Find Someone to Talk To

You can definitely follow recommendations from your doctor for Psychotherapy. It’s very helpful to have someone to talk to. Or you can talk to a good friend, but keep talking.

Step Two: Switch Your Thoughts

When you feel the existential pain occurring switch your brain to a more pleasant thought. One that always worked for me was thinking about the beach in detail, from the feeling of sand in my toes to the sound of waves. Bringing this awareness to the moment re-wires your brain.

Step Three: Don’t Stop Meditation/Yoga

If you believe meditation or yoga caused it, please don’t stop. Continue to practice but remember to do the above thought switching. And make sure it’s a reputable meditation/yoga teacher. Here is my favorite from Isha Foundations.

Meditation was not the culprit, but it was the thing that brought it to the forefront. My brain needed to heal and that was what meditation was doing.

Isha Foundation Guided Meditation

Step Four: Ask Your Doctor About Letting Go Off Medication

Get off those antidepressants; they will not help heal this kind of depression. Ask your healthcare provider first so he/she can check the progressive tapering off of medication. (It’s dangerous if you just go off them without monitoring).

Step Five: Be In The Moment

Time heals all, and in this case, you need patients with yourself. Practices being in the now by calming your brain from thinking only think when you need to and then quickly switch to quiet again. By far this technique of quieting the mind made the most positive effects, it calms anxiety and allows the brain to heal.

We are animals first and evolved beings second. Take your mind to simple thinking, use your reptilian brain to survive, only think of the now. This takes you mindfully guiding your thinking back to the moment. Ther is nothing but this moment and you need to be in it to heal.

Want to rewire your brain for calmness? Read how you can do that Here.

Finally,

Please be kind to yourself, be patient, and most of all, don’t lose hope. It took me six months to finally feel better. One year to not feel pain when thinking about the future, and two full years before I could say life felt better. Now I got my love for life back, and so can you. We are meant to be here; we are meant to enjoy every minute, keep fighting.

Hugs!

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A former nurse and life long self-help learner, I have a passion for teaching the fundamentals of life. I never stop learning, but most of all I never stop being okay with being taught. I am a mom, a wife, and an awakened soul. Welcome! You are never lost, you are just on a quest.

Lucia Stakkestad

A former nurse and life long self-help learner, I have a passion for teaching the fundamentals of life. I never stop learning, but most of all I never stop being okay with being taught. I am a mom, a wife, and an awakened soul. Welcome! You are never lost, you are just on a quest.

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