Let Your Intuition And Values Guide You
What is the point of life? is a question that comes from a mind that feels lost.
It is a search for guidance. It is the desire to feel confident in what you are doing.
You feel you need to know your purpose in life so that it can inform your decision-making process.
But there is another source of guidance available to you if you are prepared to listen to it.
Your intuition is pretty good at choosing the path that feels right. It does this based on your intrinsic values.
In other words, by listening to your gut, you can act in a manner that most closely befits your internal moral compass.
Your intuition doesnt know what the purpose of life is, but it doesnt care. It just knows what feels good and right in any given circumstance.
If you allow it to, it will show you the right path for you at that moment.
Intuition is a very personal thing. What feels right for you might not feel right for someone else.
And this is more evidence to suggest that life does not have a single purpose or point to it.
Invest In Healthy Lifestyle Changes
If possible, building a business or work environment that allows flexibility and downtime can help you incorporate self care into your life, Hutton says. If restructuring your life that way is not possible, making other changes usually is.
Work on things you have control over, like balancing your life in relation to work, engaging in exercise, eating better, like alcohol, , or other drugs to self-medicate, reaching out to those you are close to and increasing your communication, and engaging in more pleasurable activities, Gelbart says.
Making those changes is not easy, especially for someone with depression, Claude says, but its important.
If good eating habits, regular exercise, and sufficient and quality sleep arent currently part of your lifestyle, youll need to dig deep to find the motivation and energy to incorporate these elements into your recovery approach and make lifestyle changes, Claude says.
Take Your Diagnosis Seriously Dont Blow It Off Or Downplay It
One of the biggest regrets had after her diagnosis was pushing it aside as insignificant because of other things she had going on in her life, including the death of a family member and a diagnosis with another illness. I wish I had taken it more seriously, she says.
Independent journalist Greg Harman of San Antonio, Texas, still struggles to make his mental health a priority.
Until all my symptoms sort of collided into one giant mess, forcing me to take my recovery and wellness as the life-or-death matter that it is, I really just drifted with the diagnosis, says Harman, author of . I was only able to push my depression to the front of my to-do list when it came close to killing me. It shouldnt take that much for anyone.
Not neglecting your condition also means complying with treatment recommendations, says Moe Gelbart, PhD, a psychologist at the Torrance Memorial Medical Center in Torrance, California. Its quite common for patients to resist taking medication, Dr. Gelbart says. This could be due to side effects, like weight gain and decrease of sexual libido, or just to a sense that if they take medication, they’re admitting something is wrong with them.
Depression Is A Real Illness
You are not weak or crazy. Depression is a real illness that researchers believe is caused mainly by imbalances in certain chemicals within your brain called neurotransmitters. Some experts are even starting to frame depression as a systemic disease.
The following neurotransmitters play an important role in regulating your mood as well as being involved in many other functions throughout your body:
- : Helps regulate emotion, memory, thinking, motivation, and reward
- Norepinephrine: What makes your heart rate and blood pressure sore during a “fight or flight” response or stressful time
- : The “feel-good” chemical that helps regulate your mood and plays a role in your overall sense of well-being
Researchers are continuing to learn more about what causes these imbalances as well as other neurotransmitters like , GABA, and glutamate, which may also play a role in depression.
Nail Down A Diagnosis
There can be cases where depressive symptoms occur with another diagnosis, such as PTSD. Once you meet with a mental health professional, they can help you confirm if you have a depression diagnosis and what type, more than one diagnosis, or if its something else entirely.
But having a clear diagnosis allows you and your health care provider to tailor treatment to the condition. Youll also be more likely to see an improvement in your individual symptoms.
What Does It Feel Like To Lack Purpose
If you are experiencing a lack of purpose in your life, you may feel constantly bored, dissatisfied or empty, like life has no meaning. You may feel unfulfilled in your relationships with others, disaffected at home and at work, and find yourself anxiously ruminating on what the point of life is.
You may feel hopeless, desperate or simply numb, and unable to find enjoyment in the things that used to bring you pleasure. Feeling a lack of purpose can also contribute to depression and anxiety, especially when you feel unable to see a way out of your empty feelings.
Experiencing a lack purpose in life can also isolate you from your friends and loved ones, leaving you feeling lonely and cut off, and unable to participate in social activities.
Moody Like A Broken Mood Ring
Feeling all the feels too much at once? That could be your depression at work. These rapid shift in mood changes could mean one minute youre enraged and the next minute, youre in tears.
You might shift from having underlying negative thought patterns about yourself, your situation, or others to bursts of hope that fade fast.
Tacklingit: It might be time to slow down and practice mindfulness to give your brain a break from ping-ponging from one emotion to another. Take the time to feel all the feels, even if it means taking the day off from everyone.
Create Your Own Meaning
Your actions and choices shape how your life plays out. Of course, you cant control everything that happens, but you can make changes large or small that help you live more purposefully.
- If you fear losing loved ones, make sure they know just how much they mean to you and enjoy the time you have together to the fullest.
- If you believe you havent contributed much to the world, share what resources you do have: time, energy, kindness, compassion. Even actions that seem tiny or insignificant to you, like running an errand for a neighbor, volunteering in your community, or listening to a friends struggles, can have a huge impact for others.
- If you struggle to find meaning in your life, spend some time exploring your personal values creativity, , , empathy, curiosity, and so on. In what ways do your choices already align with them? Can you identify any actions that might help reaffirm those values and create a new sense of purpose?
Major Depressive Disorder With Seasonal Pattern
Previously called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, this type of depression is related to the reduction in daylight during the fall and winter.
It lifts during the rest of the year and in response to light therapy.
People who live in countries with long or severe winters seem to be affected more by this condition.
Other Approaches To The Problem Of Meaning
Meaningless as Loss of Attachment
Many individuals might experience meaninglessness as a kind of depression after experiencing a loss.
For example, suppose a person loses a house, a car, a job, a relationship, or a person who meant a great deal to them. After this loss happens, the individual can experience a painful “emptiness,” an absence, something like a newly-lost tooth of the soul, which feels extremely uncomfortable.
The process of healing from this loss lies in grieving and eventually accepting the loss, and allowing oneself to move on, honoring what has been lost while continuing to live.
And since, in the way life is built, loss is an inevitable part of things, a large part of this aspect lies in preparing oneself…
Preventing Meaninglessness from Attachments
In a way, some unnecessary suffering can be avoided through not getting wrongfully and disproportionately “attached” to certain things, whether they be houses, cars, jobs, relationships, ideas, theories, or even people.
There is a phrase “All is change,” pointing to the truth that everything changes – which is a short version of the Buddhist teaching on “Impermanence.” When we truly understand “impermanence,” then we can also understand that becoming too attached to anything – because any “thing” is, given a long enough time span, necessarily impermanent – then suffering, when that change comes, is inevitable.
Meaningless as No “Games Worth Playing”
“Seek, above all,– Robert S. de Ropp
Depression: What You Need To Know As You Age
If youre one of the more than 14.8 million American adults who experiences major depression, you may feel so bad that you cant get out of bed, be around the people you love or participate in activities that you usually enjoy. Actually, there are more than 50 different symptoms of major depression, ranging from the well-knowncrying and sadnessto those you might never associate with depression, such as anger, workaholism and back pain.
Depression is a disease that affects every aspect of a persons life, not just mood, says Johns Hopkins expert Andrew Angelino, M.D., Chair of Psychiatry at Howard County General Hospital. The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020, depression will be the second-leading cause of disability in the world, just behind cardiovascular disease.
People who are depressed are far more likely to have other chronic medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease, back problems, arthritis, diabetes, and high blood pressure, and to have worse outcomes. Untreated depression can even affect your immune response to some vaccines.
Depression is not just debilitating; it can be deadly. An estimated one out of five people with depression will attempt suicide at some point.
Test Your Treatment Options
Finding what works for you may be like ordering jeans with no stretch online. Before you can find what fits, you may have to try a few that just dont work for you.
Possible depression treatment options include:
- Talk therapy. Not an instant fix but do show that most people need 5 to 10 sessions before seeing results.
- . This can be a hammer in your depression toolbox. Some use depression medications only for a short period of time while others engage in more long-term use.
- Alternative treatments. These can be sought out by those who prefer a more homeopathic approach. Consult your medical doctor before trying any of these methods to avoid any possible dangerous side effects.
- Lifestyle changes. They may not be enough to treat depression on their own but certainly eating mindfully, exercising, getting more restful sleep, and avoiding substances may help.
Be Gentle And Compassionate With Yourself
I wish I had been kinder and gentler to myself and learned self-compassion, instead of beating myself up for being depressed in the first place, says Borchard.
Others echoed her words of wisdom. Dont be too hard on yourself when you have feelings of despair or of being overwhelmed, Hutton says. Believing that youre wrong or bad can take over pretty quickly.
It helps to acknowledge that life is hard with depression or not, Harman says. Gentleness is the only way to live through that hardness.
In fact, Claude suggests self-pampering and relaxation activities, such as massage, as ways to manage depression. An eight-week mindfulness meditation course has also helped him manage his anxiety.
What Illnesses Happen With Depression
Itâs common for people to have other medical or mental health problems along with depression, such as anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, , substance use disorders, and eating disorders. If you or a loved one has symptoms of depression or another mental illness, talk to your doctor. Treatments can help.
A Letter To You For When Life Feels Pointless
We know that life feels pointless right now. We understand how monotonous everything can become. What its like to feel totally and utterly worn down by trying to stay afloat. It can grind us down until we have no energy left at all. Until we begin to wonder what the point of it all really is.
We see you. We see how hard you are working to hold things together. How keeping things ticking over is a superhuman achievement right now. Perhaps you dont always manage to wear a clean jumper, or even get dressed every day. But youre doing your best. Youre trying your best to take the medication youve been prescribed, keep the house running, look after any dependants, manage your , and maybe, on a good day, wave a damp cloth around the kitchen.
Life can grind us down. When were really low, it can be difficult to find any meaning in our life. We often search for reasons to live. Reasons to keep going with everything when its so exhausting. A glimmer of hope on the horizon that offers us a reason to keep pouring energy into the daily grind. It can be so difficult to find this meaning, especially when we feel rubbish. Without meaning, everything can feel pointless. Keeping things going becomes even harder when we cant see the point in it.
Even though it feels pointless were still doing it. The fact that were still waking up each morning and trying to face the day in the best way we know how shows how tenacious we are.
What Are The Symptoms Of Depression
Each person is different and will have unique symptoms, but here are some of the more common symptoms of depression:
- Depressed mood
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness or hopelessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in usually-enjoyed activities
- Change in weight or appetite
- Sleep disturbances
What’s The Point Of Living Without Him/her
I work to provide culturally tailored services to my clients through support, advocacy, and reflection.
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Some Common Causes Of Depression
Having a parent and grandparent with depression increases the risk of depression, suggesting that genetics plays a big role. The rates of depression are also higher among those who have a history of substance use. Other factors linked to depression include brain chemistry imbalances, hormones, seasonal changes, stress, and trauma.
If You Or Someone You Love Has Depression
If you or someone you love is showing signs of depression, you may wonder what steps to take. You may want to begin by learning more about depression, including symptoms and treatment as well as myths, misunderstandings, and stigma. This can provide a better picture of what to expect and make you a more well-informed patient or caregiver.
You should also set an appointment with your primary care physician who will give a physical exam, run any blood tests to rule out any medical conditions that mimic depression, and provide a reference to a mental health professional for further treatment. During the visit, you can also ask for some recommendations of reputable sources of information and support.
When To Get Help For Low Mood Or Depression
Whatever the cause, if negative feelings don’t go away, are too much for you to cope with, or are stopping you from carrying on with your normal life, you may need to make some changes and get some extra support.
If you’re still feeling down after a couple of weeks, talk to your GP or speak to a Breathing Space advisor on 0800 83 85 87 .If you are feeling distressed, in a state of despair or suicidal outwith these hours you can contact NHS 24 on 111 or on 116 123 .
Getting Back On Track
Healing from depression is not linear. For some it may be a lifelong condition from which you learn to manage your symptoms while others may see situations and themselves improve.
Most importantly, dont set a time frame for recovery. Everyone has their own reasons for , which means you are allowed your own process however long it takes.
That said, there are building blocks to making living with depression easier.
Weight Or Appetite/hunger Fluctuations
Much like the effects of sleepiness, the impact of depression on appetite contains some opposing effects. Depression can cause weight fluctuations and either an increase or decrease in appetite. This symptom varies by person so its helpful to take note of any change in hunger cues.
Tacklingit: In some cases when you eat is more important than what you eat. Set a food routine to help keep your energy while checking in with your body. Make sure to talk to your doctor about any significant weight changes.
What Is The Point Of Life
Ive tried mental help for my depression. Im even on anti-depressants and i feel even worse than i did before. Counseling does not help me. i have lost the will to live and now Im thinking about doing it. whenever i talk about my depression and how i get picked on in school and how almost nobody cares what happens to me, i feel even worse afterwards. some people can be saved, but others like me will not. If someone wants to die, just let them. Death isnt a bad thing, its a relief from pain and suffering.
Editors Note: This was posted as a comment to another advice entry, but I thought that it made sense to treat it as its own question/comment. The assertions made here are too important to let go unchallenged.
You dont come out and say it, but youve written a suicidal comment here. You talk about dying in the end as though it is something that happens when people want it to happen, but what you dont come quite out and say directly is that you are thinking about helping that process of dying along in some active way. I know you know this, but maybe not all the readers do, so lets make it clear.
The big illusion of suicide is that it is the only solution to an otherwise unsolvable and terribly painful problem. This is how it seems to the typical suicidal person, anyway. Suicide is not really the solution it appears to be, however.
Low Mood And Depression
Difficult events and experiences can leave us in low spirits or cause depression.
It could be relationship problems, , sleep problems, stress at work, bullying, chronic illness or pain.
Sometimes it’s possible to feel down without there being an obvious reason.
If you are experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety call Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87.
Existential Depression In Gifted Individuals
It has been my experience that gifted and talented persons are more likely to experience a type of depression referred to as existential depression. Although an episode of existential depression may be precipitated in anyone by a major loss or the threat of a loss which highlights the transient nature of life, persons of higher intellectual ability are more prone to experience existential depression spontaneously. Sometimes this existential depression is tied into the positive disintegration experience referred to by Dabrowski .
Existential depression is a depression that arises when an individual confronts certain basic issues of existence. Yalom describes four such issues death, freedom, isolation and meaninglessness. Death is an inevitable occurrence. Freedom, in an existential sense, refers to the absence of external structure. That is, humans do not enter a world which is inherently structured. We must give the world a structure which we ourselves create. Isolation recognizes that no matter how close we become to another person, a gap always remains, and we are nonetheless alone. Meaninglessness stems from the first three. If we must die, if we construct our own world, and if each of us is ultimately alone, then what meaning does life have?
Hold fast to dreams,
What Is The Meaning To Life Is Everything Just Pointless
I am sorry to put such a negative title to this forum post but I feel it is the only way to sum up how I feel.
Is anyone else in the same boat as me?
I feel like every single thing is pointless and mundane. I question in my mind constantly why people put so much effort and energy into things like making sculptures or painting art or putting their heart and soul into making a scaled village with small handmade green trees etc… I have just randomly chosen those examples but I feel like everything is pointless and I hate feeling this way. I think its really lovely that people enjoy these little things in life and I would love to put my energy into something like those people do but I just cant. I see people around me buying scented candles and ornaments and house decorations and I find myself thinking ‘why bother?’ And ‘what is the point?’
I haven’t always thought and felt like this, I used to love painting and drawing and being creative but I found that over the years I slowly lost interest to the point were I was forcing myself to try and enjoy those things. I am not organised at all, I look around my room now and there are piles of clothes I have not put away and the room is untidy but I find myself saying ‘ i will do it tommorow’.
I really hate feeling like this and I feel as though I am wasting my life just sitting around everyday and doing nothing but I am finding it so hard to find motivation or energy to actually change my situation.
Here is some extra info:
Why Is It Hard To Admit That You Have Walking Depression
You may recognize many of these signs in your life but still be slow to admit that you are depressed. Why is that?
Because it feels presumptuous to put yourself in that category when youre still getting by. You feel like it would be insulting to those who are much worse off than you. You may feel like you have no real reason to be depressed.
Because your pride and your identity take a hit. You have to admit vulnerability and allow that you are not the all-conquering superhero you thought you were.
Because you realize that you and your life need to change, which feels like more work piled on your plate.
Because you are admitting your own responsibility for your unhappiness and that can trigger self-judgment.
Because you might uncover grief or anger at those around you for not seeing and taking better care of you.
Why Should I Continue To Fight The Pain Of Depression For Another 40 Years
A commenter, yesterday that so succinctly expresses what so many of us feel about depression, bipolar and mental illness, and continue to feel. The following is her comment and my response.
when I just feel so sick and tired of fighting for what seems like nothingwhat seems like a never ending battlewhat seems like someone hitting me over the head with a two-by-four every two minutes, telling me it will never stop until the day I die, and then they explaining to me why I should continue to fight to live for another 40 years.
Yes. I know.