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Question about existential thinking..does everyone experience it?

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#13 Lolla_



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Posted 03 July 2019 - 05:20 PM

I keep having this issue. Not as intense as before. At the beginning when I first had panic attacks, I start having weird existential thoughts. I keep asking why do we exist, why do we walk, think, etc I was looking at people and I would get confused. I used to have also thoughts about what is after life, these thoughts i wouldnt have before. I mean they wouldnt be so intense.
I am trying to not think about it, I find it gets less intense with time and acceptance of reality.

#14 Speedy69


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Posted 04 July 2019 - 02:40 PM

Yea it’s just one of those things that dp patches onto because dp makes us feel unreal like we don’t exist and instead of accepting it’s anxiety we fuel it with fear and our minds go straight to thinking. And it makes sense that we would get hung up on thoughts about existence because we feel like we don’t exist. It’s all anxiety. It’s just hard to accept that. If our minds were healthy and we were like we were before dp these thoughts wouldn’t matter to us. We would just dismiss them but dp makes you question everything. It’s like suddenly nothing makes sense like we just landed on this planet and have to relearn everything. It’s very hard but I recovered twice before so I know it’s possible.

#15 Emptyflask


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Posted 09 July 2019 - 08:43 PM

Ive had these thoughts the moment my dp began, maybe they even caused it. Idk, either way ive just gotten to a point where i dont think anything really has a point and im just trying to give my life and other peoples lives meaning since we're all just here i guess.

#16 Fromhollandwithlove


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Posted 10 July 2019 - 02:10 AM

I feel existential terror is also in my top 3 worst symptoms. The thoughts return to me on a daily base and it feels compulsivly. I usually ignore it, but they still seem to return, maybe because I can't seem to find an answer to these questions.

BUT I did find out that whenever I take a stimulant (like Adderal/Ritalin) I feel energy flowing through my body, giving me the illusion i'm not so hollow and in turn this reduces the existential thinking. I feel more grounded on Ritalin, not as much in my head.

Going for CBT to get a better grip on the thoughts.

But in short: Yes, A LOT of existential thinking since dp/dr. Also before but it wasn't paired with anxiety so it was different, i thought about existential question with an open view, not a view filled with anxiety.

#17 Speedy69


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Posted 10 July 2019 - 04:19 PM

Existential thoughts definitely take a different shape when in dp/dr because dp/dr makes you feel unreal and when you feel unreal you question the world around you. CBT I’m sure will help. Definitely keep us updated if it helps you.

#18 MusicaElectronica


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Posted 20 July 2019 - 02:20 AM

In the beginning of my dp/dr I got panicked when I "realized" that I exist. Like I got freaked out and it felt just uncomfortable being human. Can anyone relate?

#19 Emptyflask


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Posted 20 July 2019 - 07:22 PM

In the beginning of my dp/dr I got panicked when I "realized" that I exist. Like I got freaked out and it felt just uncomfortable being human. Can anyone relate?

Yeah i do. I STILL feel uncomfortable being human. Just strait up realizing im a living creature or that life exists at all is strange.

#20 mar


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Posted 23 July 2019 - 03:01 AM

Yeah i do. I STILL feel uncomfortable being human. Just strait up realizing im a living creature or that life exists at all is strange.

Same here. +2 years now

I have good and bad days though.

#21 Psyborg


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Posted 23 July 2019 - 04:50 AM

I have these thoughts since I was a kid and they suck .

#22 Neilcl2



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Posted 08 August 2019 - 04:18 PM

My first post and I have had this same issue in the past and again today as an episode when walking back from work. I got into mindset that only I exist, not my body but my thoughts is everything and this is infinity, and all that is around me is not real.
I am 39 and have probably a dozen of these episodes over the last 25 years. I recall the first, when 16 after smoking cannabis which I think unlocked this in me. Since then when I get stressed over a period of time it causes an episode, which lasts 5 or 10 mins, I try to find a mirror to check I'm here and then question if what I see is just my god like self trying to not allow my real self realise all this normal human stuff is fake.
This is the first time I have been able to find something on the internet about this which has massively helped as I read some posts where people have had this experience therefore I am not alone and that I am not alone or the alone God like self. Albeit when I read some posts it sets me off agsin into that potential state of unrealistic mindset that I then try to hold off going into.
At this point it feels good that at least this has a name and what I believe is I have episodes so existential thoughts that really make me panic.
Hope this makes sense, I dont talk to people about it as on the one conscious level I dont want people to judge me and think I'm crazy and on the other conscious level I dont want the unrealistic infinity to be true - my thoughts go if i find out the truth my human state will disappear and I'll be alone in that infinity as that is what it all really is.

Forgive me if this is weird but it feels good just to write this down the best I can articulate it. A reply will help me know this is real please.

#23 forestx5


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Posted 09 August 2019 - 07:44 AM

I don't think existential thinking is necessarily pathological.  It isn't irrational to spend time in thought about the origins of life, the mysteries of the universe, or the existence of god.

When you evaluate these things and decide life isn't worth the effort, you may be suffering from existential depression.  When you can't move past these questions and engage fully in

life, then you have a problem.  In my experience, existential issues and dp/dr are not two sides of the same coin as are electricity and magnetism.  I grew up in a home with a physically and emotionally abusive father.

My father was scarred during his formative years during the great depression of 1929 to 1939.  He didn't want children.  My mother gave him 4 sons.  When we were old enough,

he went out and bought us all some leather.  Not baseball gloves, but a barber strop with which he would beat us in a frenzy.  He did not have a realistic appreciation of money.

He was very penny wise, and pound foolish.  He would drive the boys 10 miles to save 25 cents on hair cuts.  Then, spend 35 cents on a pack of cigarettes.  His sons were

all very intelligent, but he offered no financial support for higher educations.  At 18, you got kicked in the ass, or punched in the face,  and shown the door.  

Dad didn't believe in spending money on medical care either, even though he became a supervisor at the steel  mill and he had good health insurance.

I worked at the mill for 5 years.  An older worker asked me if my dad worked across the river at the 48" sheet mill.  I said yeah.  He said "yer dad's a real bastard".

I said "you should have to live with him." lol

When he died of a  heart attack at age 59, after his routine morning coughing fits, an autopsy showed several previous scars (heart attacks) on his heart for which he had never

sought treatment.  He was tough, and cheap.  I didn't experience dp/dr until I had epileptic seizures at age 17. No doubt, Dad played a critical role in my mother's lie to  me, that my EEG at age 17 was "normal with one lead off".

It took me 40 years to uncover that lie.  When I had a 2nd EEG at age 57, the neurologist said "your EEG indicates you have a disability." I guess 40 years of ocular migraines, focal temporal lobe seizures, 

and 5 episodes of major depression qualified as a disability.

But, I was already contemplating ending my life at age 8, and had done the spiritual

and existential background work to facilitate my decision. I saw myself as a financial strain on my family, and my life

was drudgery.  I wasn't looking to punish anyone.  I just wanted out.    I'm 64 years old now, and I don't feel any pressure

to end my life.  I just sent my daughter off to a 4 year university, which I prepaid through a savings plan.

I don't have any emotional obligations to pay.  I now see life as having a negative outcome, no matter how well you play the game.

It's sort of  like blackjack.  No matter if you count cards or use progressive betting schemes, the table always tilts to the dealer/casino.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.  So, why  play the game of life? It's a sad game, but it's the only game in town. lol

I reserve the right to end my life when the time is right.  I honestly believe I will.  It may be suicide, but it will have none of the angst that

would have accompanied the act at age 8, or 14, or 16.

#24 dpsucks


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Posted 15 August 2019 - 01:59 AM

Yes and for some reason its gotten noticeably worse over the past 3 years (yes I do remember when it started getting worse), however Ive had it on and off for all of the 8 years Ive had dp/dr. Now though, its everyday. Ive become so used to it happening all day everyday that its just a normal daily occurrence. The existential thinking has become so ingrained in my thought processes that it now feels weird to NOT have those thoughts. Also, because of this it baffles me how anyone could not feel an urge to think about how we all got here on a floating mass in space or about the origins of human consciousness. However I know thats not normal, because I can clearly remember there being a time before dp that I didnt have the thoughts. Hopefully it leaves me for good someday.

As to whether its pathological, I think it can be. This has been debated on this site before and I gave the opinion that I think it is pathological (in certain cases). Many things can be in certain instances I suppose. However when it comes to existential rumination, I think there is definitely a link to psychopathology. For example, in literature about schizophrenia, metaphysical concerns are reported as something that those with schizophrenia ruminate over. Metaphysics and existential thinking arent the same per se, but both concern philosophical questions.

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