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Cassea

Existential Depression among the Gifted

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I'm still learning to live with it. I posted this thread in case others felt alone as well.

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I don't think being different should necessarily be equated with being gifted. I don't consider myself intellectually "gifted"--I personally know only one person who might fit this label (a former Hertz fellowship candidate).

However, I do relate to not being able to relate to many, many people throughout life. Part of this is because my personality is not such that I'm outgoing or empathetic. My interests are diverse and some are so out there that I can only find people to share my thoughts with on certain things online.

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I don't think being different should necessarily be equated with being gifted. I don't consider myself intellectually "gifted"--I personally know only one person who might fit this label (a former Hertz fellowship candidate).

However, I do relate to not being able to relate to many, many people throughout life. Part of this is because my personality is not such that I'm outgoing or empathetic. My interests are diverse and some are so out there that I can only find people to share my thoughts with on certain things online.

It is not to say that only gifted people experience existential depression. It is to say that people who experience existential depression are gifted thinkers. You are equivocating two different things.

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Damn that website for putting down those questions which of course made me think about them and start down that crappy thought path. Pretty much summed up my childhood pretty well though.

I could never get upset at what people thought of me or reacted to me. I could never take it to heart because people who get angry for stupid reasons just seems so foolish. Which usually results in me laughing while they are screaming and making them even angrier.

Only feel alone only when I'm not doing anything so I compensate by always doing stuff.

I tend to go more absurd the nihilistic . Silly is better then sad any day :tsu:

I think the attitude from others comes mostly from jealousy and coming off as arrogant/smug by accident. My friends actually told me that they hated the way they could practice anything for weeks on end and I do it once and started off better then they are now at it while making it look easy almost to the point of showing off. I was even told because of that it is hard to be my friend. (My friends are brutally honest ) Even worse when you do it to people who are supposed to be the most knowledgeable or best at it in the room. That has a tendency to shatter egos which I found gives you a long list of people who hate you for stupid reasons.

Oh and try to talk about what people say and what you've done regardless of how you say it since it all comes off as narcissistic when your really not trying to be, which I'll admit is depressing.............. and really silly.

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Your post is spot on. You can even see in this thread the sort of hostility against admitting that you are a gifted thinker. As if we must hide it away and be ashamed. And I'm more open here than I have ever been in my life. I rarely get the opportunity to discuss. My therapist also asked me to consider my passive reaction to violence. And it's weird martyrdom issue. You believe you deserve to be abused because you are so used to it from others.

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Your post is spot on. You can even see in this thread the sort of hostility against admitting that you are a gifted thinker. As if we must hide it away and be ashamed. And I'm more open here than I have ever been in my life. I rarely get the opportunity to discuss. My therapist also asked me to consider my passive reaction to violence. And it's weird martyrdom issue. You believe you deserve to be abused because you are so used to it from others.

It's a social taboo to talk about yourself in a positive way.... I know.... It's silly. My favorite are the people that proclaim how humble they are. I have learned on forums just to let it out and let the cards fall where they may . Pride and humility where do.

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It is not to say that only gifted people experience existential depression. It is to say that people who experience existential depression are gifted thinkers. You are equivocating two different things.

isn't this the same thing?

seriously. i read it three times.

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cassea I'm sorry you are so depressed and have had such hardships.. I'm not sure i agree with it being because you are so intellectually gifted.. it all sounds a bit like an ego trip..

sorry..

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cassea I'm sorry you are so depressed and have had such hardships.. I'm not sure i agree with it being because you are so intellectually gifted.. it all sounds a bit like an ego trip..

sorry..

I'm not where I used to be. But it isn't an ego trip. If it was an ego trip do you think I'd be admitting my struggles? Those who experience this know what I mean.

And to JGirl I see that was worded wrong. I meant to say that it doesn't mean all gifted thinkers experience existential depression. There are different kinds of gifted in the world. But those who do suffer from existential depression are gifted thinkers.

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thank you - i really did read it over and over lol

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You believe you deserve to be abused because you are so used to it from others.

I never thought of it as deserve to be abused but as being strong enough to take it. Since I noticed that I'm less likely to fight for myself in some situations but for others I'd step in. Exact same belief but with a sense of denial. What a crappy self-realization lol.

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And to JGirl I see that was worded wrong. I meant to say that it doesn't mean all gifted thinkers experience existential depression. There are different kinds of gifted in the world. But those who do suffer from existential depression are gifted thinkers.

It still seems to me that existential depression isn't a type of depression. Yalom believed that his four major themes were the source of all human suffering. In this view, all people who are depressed suffer existential depression.

If you don't mind sharing, what kind of therapist/psychiatrist diagnosed you?

http://www.existential-therapy.com/

Edited by Cybele
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This is exactly the rationalization. I experience the same thing. I feel as though that I am meant to take it because I am somehow more able. But for another I would walk through fire.

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It still seems to me that existential depression isn't a type of depression. Yalom believed that his four major themes were the source of all human suffering. In this view, all people who are depressed suffer existential depression.

If you don't mind sharing, what kind of therapist/psychiatrist diagnosed you?

http://www.existential-therapy.com/

This is not my "diagnosis" per se. It is one of the parts of the issues I deal with. It's not a formal diagnosis, but an observation. And my therapist is a psychologist and part of a team.

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This is not my "diagnosis" per se. It is one of the parts of the issues I deal with. It's not a formal diagnosis, but an observation. And my therapist is a psychologist and part of a team.

Thanks for clarifying.

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It's a social taboo to talk about yourself in a positive way.... I know.... It's silly. My favorite are the people that proclaim how humble they are. I have learned on forums just to let it out and let the cards fall where they may . Pride and humility where do.

i don't think it's a social taboo to refer to oneself in a positive way. i think the problem arises when one feels the need to refer to how exceptional they are. or special or 'gifted'.

i hate the use of the term 'gifted' to refer to advantage. just call it what it is. a lucky advantage

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That's what is quite amusing. It is not a lucky advantage. It is a lonely existence. Most people I know who struggle with this don't feel "exceptional." Quite the opposite. They are taught their whole lives to hide it. Not to talk about it. Or constantly told we think too much. I have yet to see this "gifted" issue be anything positive. That's why I wanted to start this thread. To reach out to others as well.

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i don't think it's a social taboo to refer to oneself in a positive way. i think the problem arises when one feels the need to refer to how exceptional they are. or special or 'gifted'.

i hate the use of the term 'gifted' to refer to advantage. just call it what it is. a lucky advantage

I think any self-rating of intelligence is necessarily done in the context of your peers--how "average" they are. It's not simply a matter of humility, but also of perspective. People tend to seek the company of those who are more similar to themselves.

That's what is quite amusing. It is not a lucky advantage. It is a lonely existence. Most people I know who struggle with this don't feel "exceptional." Quite the opposite. They are taught their whole lives to hide it. Not to talk about it. Or constantly told we think too much. I have yet to see this "gifted" issue be anything positive. That's why I wanted to start this thread. To reach out to others as well.

How can being "gifted" be totally negative if it allows you greater opportunities to pursue any career path you want, to understand and appreciate things most people cannot? Unless someone is a prodigy who is in college studying theoretical physics at age 9, surely there must be at least some similar peers to confide in.

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An extremely intelligent person can lack any sort of creativity. A highly creative person can lack intelligence, as measured by IQ tests or scholastic achievement.

Many people on these forums come up with unconventional theories and ideas. Highly intellectually gifted and creative people are out there changing the way the world works and thinks; I don't think many such people spend hours trying to convince others of their ideas on online forums.

It's too easy to say that people don't "get" or accept your ideas because they're intellectually "common" or because they would have to give up their preconceived notions of reality--as if it's your right to demand such a thing. If someone really does have gifts and ideas to offer the world, then they should prove it, not hold it over others as a way of feeling better about themselves (as seems to be done too often on these forums).

The artistically gifted ,are known to have above average intelligence,and score high on IQ tests .

http://www.artisticnetwork.net/arts/260/identifying_artistically_gifted_children.html

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That's what is quite amusing. It is not a lucky advantage. It is a lonely existence. Most people I know who struggle with this don't feel "exceptional." Quite the opposite. They are taught their whole lives to hide it. Not to talk about it. Or constantly told we think too much. I have yet to see this "gifted" issue be anything positive. That's why I wanted to start this thread. To reach out to others as well.

I experienced a mix of positivity and negativity depending on who I was interacting with. There were a few adults/ teachers who were very encouraging but most didn't care either way. Then there were a few who inexplicably hated me and singled me out, which really didn't help with my peers opinion of me. For the most part, my peers wanted nothing to do with me and because of that, I definitely did not feel exceptional, special, or even useful.

How can being "gifted" be totally negative if it allows you greater opportunities to pursue any career path you want, to understand and appreciate things most people cannot? Unless someone is a prodigy who is in college studying theoretical physics at age 9, surely there must be at least some similar peers to confide in.

If someone is depressed at that young an age, the greater opportunities can become irrelevant. (I was depressed prior to 10 years of age) Despite my IQ I barely graduated, not because of ability but because of depression and frustration, and that I found school both boring and terrifying. Except for science, biology in particular. I could have studied cell function, DNA and molecular structure endlessly.

As for similar peers, not for me. There were similarly minded students, but I was the bottom rung of the popularity food chain in school, so even people who might enjoy talking to me when the teachers forced them to partner with me on a project would still avoid me like the plague outside of class to protect their own social status.

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i don't think it's a social taboo to refer to oneself in a positive way. i think the problem arises when one feels the need to refer to how exceptional they are. or special or 'gifted'.

i hate the use of the term 'gifted' to refer to advantage. just call it what it is. a lucky advantage

I did a couple of experiments once on another forum. In one I stated in a matter of fact way that i I have an IQ of 160. The amount of negativity that then poored upon me was tremendous. In another forum i stated that I believed I was a messenger from god. I maintained an even logical and scientific tone. I was the center of attention for severely negative attacks, near constant ridicule, and frankly what amounted to bullying. It was fun to tear the bullying group apart logically

But the more reason I used, the more hostile they got.

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This is not my "diagnosis" per se. It is one of the parts of the issues I deal with. It's not a formal diagnosis, but an observation. And my therapist is a psychologist and part of a team.

All depression is existential. You wouldn't suffer from "rationalist depression" would you?

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I experienced a mix of positivity and negativity depending on who I was interacting with. There were a few adults/ teachers who were very encouraging but most didn't care either way. Then there were a few who inexplicably hated me and singled me out, which really didn't help with my peers opinion of me. For the most part, my peers wanted nothing to do with me and because of that, I definitely did not feel exceptional, special, or even useful.

If someone is depressed at that young an age, the greater opportunities can become irrelevant. (I was depressed prior to 10 years of age) Despite my IQ I barely graduated, not because of ability but because of depression and frustration, and that I found school both boring and terrifying. Except for science, biology in particular. I could have studied cell function, DNA and molecular structure endlessly.

As for similar peers, not for me. There were similarly minded students, but I was the bottom rung of the popularity food chain in school, so even people who might enjoy talking to me when the teachers forced them to partner with me on a project would still avoid me like the plague outside of class to protect their own social status.

This is very true. It is indicative in some of the comments even here. There is a disdain attached to being that aware throughout your life. Since it is not an average way of thinking the opportunities that seem fruitful are difficult to grasp. And there are so many systems in place that you have to learn to function in the system. You don't get to be who you really are deep inside.

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I did a couple of experiments once on another forum. In one I stated in a matter of fact way that i I have an IQ of 160. The amount of negativity that then poored upon me was tremendous. In another forum i stated that I believed I was a messenger from god. I maintained an even logical and scientific tone. I was the center of attention for severely negative attacks, near constant ridicule, and frankly what amounted to bullying. It was fun to tear the bullying group apart logically

But the more reason I used, the more hostile they got.

i don't think you can use that as a gauge though.

just recently becky's mom and i both reported our IQs on a thread here and not one person challenged us or made any comment, derogatory or otherwise. (mine is a decent score, but hers is way up there)

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Hmmm.

This will keep me thinking for a while.

Nice thread.

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