Yesterday, I listed many biological causes for depression and anxiety. Almost all people have struggled with one or more biological weakness; many struggle with multiple biological causes, enough to cause significant depressive symptoms. For some, the body fights the mind and even the soul.
Today, I will be listing several existential causes of depression. These are almost utterly ignored by psychiatry (and, to my dismay, even many psychologists), although they have been the cause of many of the deepest depressions throughout the millennia.
Existential or psycho-spiritual crises/questions:
• “Meaning of Life” questions: searching for a reason for being or existing without resolution
• The question of the existence of God
• If God exists, is He good?
• How do we explain evil? If I do evil, does that mean I am evil?
• Boredom (nothing meaningful to do/experience)
• Guilt/shame: inadequacy
• Human Mortality versus Immortality
• Am I finite or infinite?
• Is life pointless if death is the end of existence?
• Why must we die?
• Is there an afterlife?
• If there is a Heaven and Hell, will I go to Hell?
• Can I have assurance that I will go to Heaven?
There are those who seem to go throughout life unaware of existential questions and crises or appear comfortable without resolving these questions. But to the existentially sensitive, the answers to these questions are more precious than air. Even one unanswered existential question can reduce even the stoutest soul to a dark puddle and shrivel even the hardiest mind into a bundle of frayed nerves.
Tomorrow, another sphere sufficient to produce deep depression or anxiety.