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Nihilism, Depression, And Suicide


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#1 My Void

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 07:48 PM

Hello depression forums. This is my first topic here. I am a 15 year old male and I thought I'd share what depression is for me...

I was raised Christian by my family. My mom doesn't push it on me however. I left Christianity when I turned 14, realizing there is no evidence for god. This was all great for about a year. More and more I began to look at things differently. I would question why humanity has a will to live.. I would think about how none of our lives will matter in the totality of existence. I soon learned this view is called nihilism. That reality is worthless and has no objective meaning. In turn, this has slowly worsened into a depression. I look around now and see robotic people, sheep of society, living their lives without ever wondering why..or what different it will make. I try to find subjective reasons to live (namely: drugs). My will to live is breaking. Within the past few months these thoughts of depression and nihilism have turned to suicide..What is the point of living a normal life for another 60+ years knowing that it all means absolutely nothing in the long run? I would never be able to live a complete life knowing it has no purpose. Reality is a terrible misfortune, in my opinion. Why should consciousness be doomed to exist, and realize its own nonexistent value..I do not think I will commit suicide relatively soon. Perhaps in 8-9 years, in an attempt to enjoy myself and find subjective meaning along the way...But it is all futile, for in the end I will always be reminded of nihilism, my view. And one day it will finally hit me, and I will just put a gun to my head and exit reality. Will my suicide be reported similarly to other suicides? Will they know of my disease called nihilism, and its inability to have a cure? I think not..but at the end of the day, it matters not, because all existence is worthless.

Edited by My Void, 12 September 2010 - 07:50 PM.


#2 Rasselas

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 08:09 PM

Hello depression forums. This is my first topic here. I am a 15 year old male and I thought I'd share what depression is for me...

I was raised Christian by my family. My mom doesn't push it on me however. I left Christianity when I turned 14, realizing there is no evidence for god. This was all great for about a year. More and more I began to look at things differently. I would question why humanity has a will to live.. I would think about how none of our lives will matter in the totality of existence. I soon learned this view is called nihilism. That reality is worthless and has no objective meaning. In turn, this has slowly worsened into a depression. I look around now and see robotic people, sheep of society, living their lives without ever wondering why..or what different it will make. I try to find subjective reasons to live (namely: drugs). My will to live is breaking. Within the past few months these thoughts of depression and nihilism have turned to suicide..What is the point of living a normal life for another 60+ years knowing that it all means absolutely nothing in the long run? I would never be able to live a complete life knowing it has no purpose. Reality is a terrible misfortune, in my opinion. Why should consciousness be doomed to exist, and realize its own nonexistent value..I do not think I will commit suicide relatively soon. Perhaps in 8-9 years, in an attempt to enjoy myself and find subjective meaning along the way...But it is all futile, for in the end I will always be reminded of nihilism, my view. And one day it will finally hit me, and I will just put a gun to my head and exit reality. Will my suicide be reported similarly to other suicides? Will they know of my disease called nihilism, and its inability to have a cure? I think not..but at the end of the day, it matters not, because all existence is worthless.


Hello My Void and Welcome:

I like seeing young people on these forums, it makes me feel older, and wiser :happy: and I hope I can dispense at least a little bit of wisdom here, because I've struggled a great deal with that vast 'purposelessness'.

Im not going to say that you're wrong. Maybe you ARE right, maybe there is no meaning. But the reality is that matter has arranged itself into YOU, and thats very rare, and very special. Existence may be meaningless, but it certainly is not 'worthless'.

I think what you said about enjoying yourself and finding "subjective meaning" is important. If you can find happiness and enjoyment and "subjective meaning" for the next 8-9 years, can I perhaps suggest that you simply extend that beyond 8-9 years? Tell me what you think about that and maybe we can go from there?

-Rasselas

#3 Tim 52

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 08:17 PM

My Void:

You are thnking very deeply about existence. And I can tell that you have watched others closely, observed society and seen some of the false stuff that permeates just about everything.

Nihilism takes many forms, the philosophers don't all agree on where it leads in terms of subjective decisions about how to live life.

Anyway, I hope that you can find that the subjective meaning out there that is more powerful and redemptive than all the crap that is out that.

Keep the conversation going.....


Tim

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#4 Babyblue_eyes

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 08:33 PM

Wow, first of all you sure have excellent grammar, spelling, and are very articulate for a 15 yr old!

The thing about life is, sometimes your beliefs change with time. At this time this is how you see the world. Perhaps in 1, 5, 10, 20 yrs you'd see it completely differently. You won't know if you don't stick around to find out. I was raised Christian, although the religion was shoved down my throat to the point where even at 5 yrs old I started trying to rebel against it. Seemed I had questions nobody wanted to answer; I remember being 6 and saying to my best friend (also raised similar) so what if there is no God? What if I don't want to be a Christian? She just looked at me as though I'd killed someone. I was 'bad'. I was taught that God was to be feared- for he'd surely punish me for my sins. I was told anyone who didn't accept his way would burn in hell for eternity- the only way to go to heaven would be to unquestioningly accept God into my heart and do as told. I am guilted still to this day, particularly by my father who feels that because I don't do things his way, it's the wrong way, and he shakes his head with sadness for he really doesnt want to see me go to hell but 'that's really whats going to happen';. I'm told all my problems in life, depression included, are because I refused to accept God and Christianity as the only way. I grew up like this- told all other religions were wrong and anyone not Christian was going to hell. Talk about a mind ****. Especially because when I looked around I saw the epitome of hipocrasy in it all. In the church members who judged others, in my father who claims to want to be like Jesus yet judges and condemns people who don't fit his mold.

I'm too smart to accept that. I knew it even at 5 yrs old. It's not a lack of faith per say, though of course that's one of the biggest questions people have - there not being 'evidence' of a God, we can't see Him etc. No, for me it was beyond that. It was- you know, if there is a God I believe he'd embody goodness- I don't believe he'd condemn a good person to hell just because they were a buddist and didn't go to church. I don't believe he'd strike his wrath upon those that 'sin' or make mistakes- if that were the case we'd ALL be going to hell for surely no single person is perfect. I don't believe He's a God of vengeance or wrath, I just do not. So although I felt as though I believed there indeed was something....out there...it wasn't what I was being spoon-fed to accept unquestioningly. For many years I hated the word 'God', simply because of all that he represented in the way He was taught to be growing up. How could He allow all this suffering and pain?? I think everyone questions these kinds of things- the meaning of life, is there a God or higher being and if so- who or what is He/She? Coming to a place where you have where you see everything is pointless and worthless and counts for nothing is understandable. Life is hard. One could argue there is no 'evidence' of any God or higher being or that anything happens after we die. And I think it's ok to feel this way, you obviously have reasons for it. My point is that sometimes things change even when you think they never will. I've gone through many changes in the way I see the world and in my beliefs, and I believe that will most likely change again in my lifetime. I'm not going to preach to you as to what it is I believe in now but I willl tell you that a book changed my entire view on all of that, when I was *certain* I never would. Ending your life will rob you of the chance to experience that one day you just may feel differently. Maybe not about god, but perhaps about the fact that you're worth something and it all does matter. Are you on medication and/or in counselling? Do you suffer from depression? Just curious since you are here on the DF forum. If so, treatment can help with the feelings that nothing matters and everything's worthless. I know when Im depressed those feelings in myself are magnified 100 fold and Im not able to clearly see anything beyond the negative, but it doesn't have to stay that way

Edited by Babyblue_eyes, 12 September 2010 - 08:40 PM.


#5 My Void

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 09:09 PM

Insightful replies everyone..

It was mentioned more than once that my views may change, and suicide would rob me of that chance. But I don't know if I would even want to change..If I were to commit suicide I would be in the mindset that it is what I wanted at the time, so after my consciousness fades I wouldn't be able to conceive of what life would have been like.

And no I'm not on any anti-depressants or counseling. From what I've gathered, it seems the majority of people are depressed for different reasons (I lost my job/my family died/nobody loves me), and somewhat similar things to those, but not as a worldview. So I figured anti-depressants wouldn't work. Plus, Ive tried Buspirone HCL and Xanax. I took enough to make me feeling good for a few hours, but again, the next day I'm reminded of nihilism. But about counseling - sometimes my mom finds me tripping alone in my room (completely unresponsive), and the next day she'll tell me she is going to set up counseling. I don't know if I would even bring up nihilism and suicide to a counselor though. I also wouldn't know how to explain to a counselor that based on my views, that drug-use is what encourages me to find subjective meaning. I have not heard of a substitute that can rip you from the seams of reality, alter your consciousness, take you to higher dimensions and converse with alien gods, than an intense psychedelic trip. I am sure the counselor/psychologist would call this the epitome of escapism, which it really is. But from no objective standard could they say my actions are 'wrong'.

I've just realized too, based on the rate of progression of these suicidal fantasies/nihilistic thoughts, I highly doubt I would be alive in 8-9 years.

It was nice to read your replies.

#6 Torment

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 09:50 PM

Existence may be futile, and the world may be meaningless outside the meaning that we give it, but is death/ suicide really the end? If we assume both that the universe is infinite and that in any infinite structure all that can occur will occur time and time again, then we are all immortals, forever doomed to a never ending state of events where the molecules that create the fabric and pattern of our consciousness will recreate itself over and over (I know... not the most appealing of prospects for all the miserable folk out there).

And if such be the case, then committing the ultimate sin and taking the easy way out is to forever sentence one's self to a never escaping cycle of misery and torment. Which means the only way to overcome such a said fate, is to come to terms with who you are and make the best of the here and now; to find that sense of inner peace, to find that outside meaning in life, to do whatever it takes to find that which makes life worth living.

Of course, if I say much more than that I'd be a hypocrite as many times I wish I could live up to my own advice...

#7 Hircon

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Posted 12 September 2010 - 10:15 PM

Hi My Void, and welcome to DF Posted Image

To start with, I want to correct one thing you wrote. Depression can be triggered by environmental reasons as you suggested, however it can also be triggered chemically with no psychological root cause, and can also be caused by a myriad of physical issues (ie Thyroid, Cancer). Assuming that yours is caused by your world-view is potentially incorrect - it could have been a chemical shift in your brain, or a physical disease. Anti-depressants CAN help in all of these cases. I am not saying that anti-depressants are an answer in and of themselves, but making the assumption that they will not help is more likely than not incorrect.

Your writing indicates that you are thinking in absolute terms, ie;

But it is all futile, for in the end I will always be reminded of nihilism, my view.



Will they know of my disease called nihilism, and its inability to have a cure?



I think not..but at the end of the day, it matters not, because all existence is worthless.



The problem with all of these thoughts is that they are absolute - that is, they are written in the assumption that they are entirely correct, all-encompassing, and will never change. That is a very, very typical thought pattern for depression - an inability to see any course but the most negative and all-encompassing one.

Nihilism is a belief, or a philosophical position. Just as people believe in God, or Buddha, or Reincarnation... people believe in Nihilism. And just as with those beliefs, they can sometimes change over time. Thus you will not necessarily be always reminded of it, as your view may change. It is not a disease, so it does not have a cure.

I am not stating that the belief is wrong, rather that it is not necessarily an absolute truth.

Just something to consider.

All the best
Hircon
I know one truth.
There is always hope.

#8 Rasselas

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 05:03 PM

...I am not stating that the belief is wrong, rather that it is not necessarily an absolute truth...


And even if it WERE an absolute truth. It wouldn't mean that life is worthless, or that suicide is the only option.

#9 ny10036

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 07:09 PM

Void, I can relate to a lot of what you wrote here. I went from being a strict Christian (mostly of my own volition) when I was in middle school, to realizing a couple years later that religion was only a coping mechanism. So I've been in a similar existential state since then, and I've found a few things to keep me from feeling like my life is an utter waste, and pointless. Sometimes drugs and alcohol, sometimes not. They make me feel better for a bit, but I can't be drunk all the time. Well, I could, but that would just make things worse because I'd get fired from my jobs even quicker than I do now. Plus, my family history includes quite a few addictive personalities and I don't want to push my luck too much. The other things that make me feel better are less concrete.

I mean, people have been trying to figure out how to be happy without an "opiate" for a long time. They've been working within religion for even longer. It's hard for religious people to feel useful, how about when you don't have a bunch of things like prayer and bible studies to fill your brain with happy thoughts and excuses? I think we just need to keep thinking and trying to work together, in order to come up with solutions. I'm not telling you that you will change your mind about nihilism later on. I won't, but I'll figure out how to work within it. I write comic books. I do stupid things with friends. I drink and eat lots of nachos. I write on a depression forum. I also started seeing a therapist again.

Honestly, I just think humans are poorly designed. We break down easily and are physically fragile, plus we get the "gift" of complex consciousness. Well, great. It's a task to figure out how to deal with your own consciousness, and the best thing I've done is toss myself into projects I care about, like comics. I'd recommend a counselor, because when I've been in the past, it was very helpful. She was able to point out some of the stupid things I was doing and make recommendations. She was the one who told me to transfer colleges. Best thing I ever did.

Hope you keep working on this. Maybe go to college. Major in Philosophy.
"There is no prize out there. The only prize is here...and what you feel, and what you want to accomplish. As you start out, what could be lean, what could be fat years...to want, and to be ambitious, and to want to be successful, is not enough. That's just desire. To know what you want, to understand why you're doing it, to dedicate every breath in your body to achieve...if you feel you have something to give, if you feel that your particular talent is worth developing, is worth caring for, then there's nothing you can't achieve." - Kevin Spacey

#10 JustJoe

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 03:39 PM

My Void, I think there is much of which we could speak, from LSD to firearms to robot sheep, but for the love of knowledge I'll keep it brief.

You say, "none of our lives will matter in the totality of existence." My response is, "how do you know? Can you be certain of that?" Just because one doesn't believe they can be certain that there is worth in the long run, it does not follow then, that they can be certain that there is not. There is no shame in ignorance, and there is no shame in meeting each day of a long life with the absence of philosophical certainty.

I'd also like to give you a warning. At around your age, I too suspected I would commit suicide sometime in the future. I'm sitting now, in my thirties, and am seeing just how much damage that belief has done to my life. The belief that death is imminent is a powerful excuse to avoid doing what one knows they should, and instead slip away into a quiet comfort zone.

#11 guest123

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 08:54 PM

Hello depression forums. This is my first topic here. I am a 15 year old male and I thought I'd share what depression is for me...

I was raised Christian by my family. My mom doesn't push it on me however. I left Christianity when I turned 14, realizing there is no evidence for god. This was all great for about a year. More and more I began to look at things differently. I would question why humanity has a will to live.. I would think about how none of our lives will matter in the totality of existence. I soon learned this view is called nihilism. That reality is worthless and has no objective meaning. In turn, this has slowly worsened into a depression. I look around now and see robotic people, sheep of society, living their lives without ever wondering why..or what different it will make. I try to find subjective reasons to live (namely: drugs). My will to live is breaking. Within the past few months these thoughts of depression and nihilism have turned to suicide..What is the point of living a normal life for another 60+ years knowing that it all means absolutely nothing in the long run? I would never be able to live a complete life knowing it has no purpose. Reality is a terrible misfortune, in my opinion. Why should consciousness be doomed to exist, and realize its own nonexistent value..I do not think I will commit suicide relatively soon. Perhaps in 8-9 years, in an attempt to enjoy myself and find subjective meaning along the way...But it is all futile, for in the end I will always be reminded of nihilism, my view. And one day it will finally hit me, and I will just put a gun to my head and exit reality. Will my suicide be reported similarly to other suicides? Will they know of my disease called nihilism, and its inability to have a cure? I think not..but at the end of the day, it matters not, because all existence is worthless.


Wow, it seems we have much in common. I'm 17, and have been experiencing this for quiet some time now.
I'm a nihilist and 90% of my thinking is exerted towards better understanding the meaning of life, or trying to decide whether or not life is worth living. No joke. Just today in class I wrote a two page explanation of the meaning of life, (or the lack thereof) during lecture.

I always ask myself, why not just die? Why not **** myself today, right now? And it always comes to this: Not existing is worse than anything else. (Or at least in theory). If you were to **** yourself, you would cease to exist. No heaven no hell, nothing. Doesn't sound very dramatic does it? You don't get to watch all the people show up at your funeral. So therefor, any standard of living is better than not living, even if you feel its all pointless.
This is my position on the matter as of now, not saying it can't change in time.

*Also*, I totally get the part about drugs. Drugs have been my only outlet for a while, and nothing else is really fun. And even the drugs are becoming less effective at filling that gaping hole.

Try to find pleasure in anything. Thats all you can do.

Edited by guest123, 27 September 2010 - 08:57 PM.


#12 Frosty939

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 12:15 AM

i share a lot of of the same thoughts, but be careful with the drugs. i do them btw, this isn't a 'dont do drugs' post. and frankly they are the only reason i haven't killed my self yet.

but a serious heads up. if you're trying recreational drugs already, you will almost certainly stop getting whatever semblance of peace you get, eventually. and will try something new.

when trying anything new look into CORRECT dosages. no joke. even if you think you know the right amount. you will also most likely go to a shrink and get anti depressants. when you start taking any drugs you MUST look up cross reactions. some will Seriously **** you up

i have some horror stories about incorrect dosages and cross reactions

you seem smart enough to know all of this already, but figured i might as well say it. and maybe save you from some misery

Edited by Frosty939, 29 September 2010 - 12:15 AM.


#13 CaseyL

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 08:28 PM

This is a very late post as i just stumbled across this site, but this thread inspired me to create an account. I feel almost the exact same way as the OP except that I don't drink/use drugs. I was raised in a catholic house with both parents loosely enforcing it. I attended church when i was naive, but never paid attention, i couldn't it was far too boring and repetitive. I never really accepted god to be real, although I said I did to not rock the boat. All in all religion and god to me is a complete waste of time as they are but tales similar to how Greek mythology was accepted as true at one point. What you said about looking around and seeing society as sheep, I do the same, I observe and analyze everyone and group people; I have come to the conclusion that the majority of the population (including my family) are just blissfully ignorant beings. The person i sit next to in math is brilliant and we talk about philosophy and such, despite him being a Christian. He classified me as a Nihilist and I hadn't known what the word meant so i researched it and it basically describes me. I feel nothing matters AT ALL. the word "matter", it means to contain a purpose, a goal. The best humanist goal i can consider is to advance, and to survive as a species. We are a very advanced species with language and the power to reason, however we are advanced in terms of our planet; Earth. In the grand scheme of things, we are next to nothing. I think the reason this causes depression is because everyone around us (the blissfully ignorant beings) strive for meaning and significance. It is overwhelming and annoying at times to know that I am far different from everyone I've ever met including my family. I begin to wonder if I'm insane as it is VERY difficult to convince myself that I am "understanding or aware" of reality and that all those "ignorant" people are actually ignorant.

I've started to notice I have a fear. My fear is simple, being wrong. This explains why I'm a skeptic and even a nihilist. Everything is absent until proven present.(innocent until proven guilty, false until proven true.) I don't talk much if i'm not 100% certain, unless i'm pretending to be stupid so i can stay in a conversation with my family :/ Since I have come to the conclusion that everything in the world is in fact pointless and meaningless, I am constantly rejecting my temporary happiness and asking "why?" I always ask "why?", every time I have an idea or if i'm doing something. For instance, If i were to donate to the hungry children in Africa, I would ask "why am i doing this?" Answer: To help those in need. - why? - Answer because it allows them to survive. - why does this matter? - ---- stuck. chances are, starving African children won't do anything with their lives important anyway, they will eat, reproduce and need more hand outs to survive. I am rambling and have So many thoughts in my head, i couldn't possibly organize them and put them here.

I'm 16 years old and I too have contemplated suicide, but it's just an idea at the moment, i am currently weighing the pros and cons. I'm sick of spending every moment alone thinking about depressing thoughts and rejecting everything. I'm in the AP/Honors classes but I am beginning to question why even do this. I guess that if I try hard now then maybe I can be an astronomer or a cosmologist, something that deals with the bigger picture of our universe. I have nobody to relate to and things get tough. I fake my way in school and fit in, it's so easy, Wear plain clothes, I don't try to be funny unless I'm 99.9% sure it will bring a laugh, be near the normal people, etc. I guess this is a technique to avoid prejudice, as I have explained how i feel to some people before after they thought nothing weird of me and talked to me - it feels nice getting feedback.

I do nothing on the weekends but homework and I never hang out with anyone outside of school. I almost don't want to though, seeing as most people at my school do drugs and drink or play sports. All of those seem pointless to me. I'm getting confused as i'm jumping from place to place, there's too many thoughts in my head.
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