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Cassea

Existential Depression among the Gifted

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How I said It can come off as egotistical without meaning to. <------ this.

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don't get me wrong - i do understand the isolation that being 'gifted' in certain areas can bring. i'm not insensitive to the feelings that are described with respect to it. i lived it and in some ways i still live it.

the 'pedestal' statement has nothing to do with recognizing difference and similarities in people. most of use do this from a very early age without even realizing it.

i made it in reference to a 'gifted' person who comes off as an 'elitist' person. she is the gifted one and therefore she should know.

that's no more true than it would be for me.

cassea has set herself apart, and i think she enjoys that place to some degree for the superiority of it.

i invite her to come to earth and talk about it with others who share some of those experiences - but without the airs.

Well said.

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compassion is not intelligence, and neither is sophistication btw.

it seems the definition of this word becomes looser and looser on this thread.

cassea, i do think you are exceptionally intelligent but you really need to jump down from your pedestal and get realistic about how you stack up against the rest of us.

Now that would be a true sign of intelligence.

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How I said It can come off as egotistical without meaning to. <------ this.

i think this is not the case here.

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compassion is not intelligence, and neither is sophistication btw.

it seems the definition of this word becomes looser and looser on this thread.

cassea, i do think you are exceptionally intelligent but you really need to jump down from your pedestal and get realistic about how you stack up against the rest of us.

What pedestal???

Compassion isn't intelligence but it does come from understanding which is a facet of intelligence. Which is why you need to take it in to consideration. How can you be compassionate if you do not understand what somebody else is going through?

The ideas of the terms are getting looser and looser because the details aren't set in stone. There is no straight definition of intelligence then can encompass the whole. Everything that has to do with how you think, how you feel, and why are all things play in to intelligence. It's quite complicated.

The more gifted you are the more you can relate something to something else. Which generally encourages more sympathy, compassion, since your understanding tends to be wider. There are always exceptions though.

It's not putting yourself on a pedestal to recognize the difference and similarities in people. What is putting yourself on a pedestal is thinking that you are better. Which isn't happening in this conversation. Which goes back to my first post about talking about yourself and how I said It can come off as egotistical without meaning to. Like people said before being gifted is more of a curse then a benefit. The whole ignorance is bliss comes to mind in all this.

Exactly. Brilliantly put. Being a citizen of the world means you recognize your limitations in ability. Compassion is a large part of that. Understanding that you are different doesn't make you "better." It makes you curious.

This curiosity is often attacked in society. It is sad to me. It's sad that people see "curiosity" "honesty" and "confidence" and "compassion" as egotistical.

But it does speak to the OP. It is so very predictable that after a while people stop participating in life. Living in a world of blind people who lash out and attack just adds to the depression. Sadly, it is very very predictable.

This thread is for those of us who understand it. If you don't feel free not to participate. Please do not maul those that do.

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This thread is for those of us who understand it. If you don't feel free not to participate. Please do not maul those that do.

is this directed toward me? this is the very arrogance i refer to!

your experience is not the model by which all others are given merit

and wait,

you are accusing me of mauling??

playing the victim card is something i would expect from someone with a lot less 'savvy' than you cassea.

i'll have you know i understand a whole lot more about it than you think. i didn't have the luxury of a stable home and loving parents to help me through it either. there were many serious abuses and horrors that i navigated along the way. so please don't speak down to me.

i have been through it, i spent a lot of time in therapy dealing with it - which is no longer necessary, because i learned to live with and around the issues and challenges that being 'gifted' or exceptionally perceptive present in life among the so called normal.

i see by your posts that you have not learned this and i would suggest perhaps you consider changing therapists

if you want to discuss the specific challenges presented to those who share this trait then discuss them - discuss strategies for overcoming rather than whining about being misunderstood. i am suggesting that yes you should get off your pedestal (that is to say stop separating yourself by measure of how much more exceptional you are and how much more difficult and lonely everything is and poor you because you have so much more insight etc etc)

yeah we all get that. there are those of us on this thread that go through it and have been through it. the fact that we may not agree has nothing to do with whether we understand the topic but whether or not we have the same experience or agree with your perception.

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No it wasn't directed "at you." It was a general statement. And your personal life has nothing to do with this conversation. Not to be rude but I don't understand why so many on this site seem to project and interpret everything as about them. Then get angry and lash out. This isn't about you. It is a conversation. Can we please stay on topic. Thank you.

Definition: Existential depression occurs when one confronts issues of existence such as life, death, disease, and freedom. An individual suffering from existential depression questions the meaning of life and often feels it is meaningless. While some people may experience this kind of depression after some traumatic event, such as the death of a loved one, gifted people may suffer from it spontaneously; that is, there is no apparent triggering event.

Gifted children can experience existential depression, even children as young as five. They may begin to worry about death and also question the meaning of life.

Many people experience existential depression after a trauma. I know I did after the accident and my brother recently. But prior to this I would consider the concept of life, the seeming futility of life at a very early age. Once you have this impression it is hard to turn it off. It stays. You will sometimes have to force yourself to ignore it.

http://giftedkids.about.com/od/glossary/g/existential.htm

Edited by Cassea

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No it wasn't directed "at you." It was a general statement. .

That's like saying no offence then proceeding to offend someone

And your personal life has nothing to do with this conversation. Not to be rude but I don't understand why so many on this site seem to project and interpret everything as about them. Then get angry and lash out. This isn't about you. It is a conversation. Can we please stay on topic. Thank you.

Why is it that you feel only your personal life experience is relevant to this topic? If you wanted a one sided conversation would it not make more sense to post in a blog.

Edited by Daughter of the Nine Moons
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That's like saying no offence then proceeding to offend someone

Why is it that you feel only your personal life experience is relevant to this topic? If you wanted a one sided conversation would it not make more sense to post in a blog.

thank you

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The exact problems the plague the gifted are what are happening at the end of the post is. That is the point I am trying to make. To be aware of that is not separating yourself from others. Acknowledging that people are different and assuming people are putting themselves on a pedestal are two different things. This is all just a lack of understanding.

I did the same exact thing posting information from my life experiences. Yet not one thing was said about me. Why is that?

A theory was made in the beginning and now it's been proven at the end. It happens on more then one level because people are different even though they maybe similar.

It is one thing to speak generally but when you pick somebody out by a name it becomes personal and a line gets crossed.

Edited by Jinxdom

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Here is another interesting article.

http://schoolsofthou...comment-page-2/

yes it was an interesting article.

i can remember the same challenges as a kid that she tells of her daughter, especially this:

She also gets unnerved by certain loud noises (buzzing or toilets flushing) and even the seams on her socks. I’ve had to turn her socks inside out because the seam on her toes irritated her so much.

i still to this day wear all my underclothing inside out.

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Two comments. On this and other threads I have noticed that people with completely different experiences and hence understandings/ world views, don't have a "common language" with which to communicate. They really CAN'T get the others meaning.

Second, humans fear difference and the unknown in everything. There are good, rational, and evolved reasons for this. Humans particularly fear difference which may be seen as a threat. Hence they are less likely to fear a slightly backward person, because that person doesn't have the capability to affect them in any way, but may fear a gifted one, (in any sense of the word) because such people are the very ones likely to change and challenge their world. (and hence disturb their comfort zone)

In Australia we actually have a label for this. It is called the tall poppy syndrome. Australians tend to cut down anyone who stands taller than them/ the mob, as in the poppy which stands above the field of poppies. The one exception to this is in sporting prowess, which is revered, but any other gifts are often seen as a threat to the herd.

Edited by Mr Walker
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That is very insightful Mr. Walker. I love reading your posts. Always filled with compassion for everyone. I'm off to look up the tall poppy syndrome. I am sure your words will be of comfort to many in the thread. :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tall_poppy_syndrome

The term originates from accounts in Herodotus' The Histories (Book 5, 92f), Aristotle's Politics (1284a), and Livy's History of Rome, Book I.

Herodotus, The Histories, Book 5, 92-f:

He (
) had sent a herald to
and inquired in what way he would best and most safely govern his city. Thrasybulus led the man who had come from Periander outside the town, and entered into a sown field. As he walked through the corn, continually asking why the messenger had come to him from
, he kept cutting off all the tallest ears of wheat which he could see, and throwing them away, until he had destroyed the best and richest part of the crop. Then, after passing through the place and speaking no word of counsel, he sent the herald away. When the herald returned to Cypselus, Periander desired to hear what counsel he brought, but the man said that Thrasybulus had given him none. The herald added that it was a strange man to whom he had been sent, a madman and a destroyer of his own possessions, telling Periander what he had seen Thrasybulus do. Periander, however, understood what had been done, and perceived that Thrasybulus had counselled him to slay those of his townsmen who were outstanding in influence or ability; with that he began to deal with his citizens in an evil manner.

Aristotle uses Herodotus' story in his Politics, (1284a) referring to Thrasybulus' advice to Periander to "take off the tallest stalks, hinting thereby, that it was necessary to make away with the eminent citizens".

The specific reference to poppies occurs in Livy's account of the tyrannical Roman King, Tarquin the Proud. He is said to have received a messenger from his son Sextus Tarquinius asking what he should do next in Gabii, since he had become all-powerful there. Rather than answering the messenger verbally, Tarquin went into his garden, took a stick, and symbolically swept it across his garden, thus cutting off the heads of the tallest poppies that were growing there. The messenger, tired of waiting for an answer, returned to Gabii and told Sextus what he had seen. Sextus realised that his father wished him to put to death all of the most eminent people of Gabii, which he then did.[1]

Edited by Cassea
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We have an analogy here but unfortunately it is not as eloquent as the tall poppy.

Here we compare people to a bucket of lobsters, as soon as one tries to crawl out, the others drag him back in.

Simply put what can also be observed besides this principle is also the tribal mentality that still exists in others, where if you think different, then on some fundamental level the others believe you will be a threat to the tribe. This did serve us well when we all had the same focus, hunt and forage, if someone messed up it could mean death for the whole tribe so it was imperative everyone was on the same page. Now society might have moved past the tribal stage but that does not mean every individual can rise above it.

Whenever one who is stronger attacks the more compassionaite individual, there is also the dynamic of those who hate weakness, in themselves, in others so they attack it. Again in tribal times the weak link could mean death to the tribe. We should no longer be thinking and operating this way. I cannot help but see these who cannot accept differences in others or weakness in others as simply them being stuck in a tribal mindset. It isn't pretty, it isn't sophisticated, and it is no longer acceptable but as long as those who are different and/or compassionate continue to engage them then the attacks will continue.

Also what some might consider weakness might actually be a strength and it is proven after many attacks when that weakness does not go away but becomes a gift. For those who are able to hide their weakness and destroy it, just to be accepted and fit in with others, that is a strategy I might envy because they have found a way to accept and be accepted by the group (the herd) but then again they have also abandoned their authentic self and have become one with the tribe when it is no longer necessary to abandon your authentic self.

But even for those set apart, not being accepted because most people are just not bright and cannot appreciate brightness, it still is harmful. Social isolation and loneliness tells the body you are away from the tribe, alone and will die without support, even if we no longer live in the jungle where being alone does mean death the body does not understand that, we evolved in a specific manner to be group animals, so the invidividual who has a strong sense of individuality will always be supressed. Social isolation can become loneliness and loneliness carries the same health risk as smoking does. You might not smoke but if you are lonely your life can and most likely will be decreased as if you were smoking. Now if you smoke and are lonely...double faster.

In the end it is nothing personal, we are operating on scripts, but the fact that the group will always suppress the individual in most instances is inevitable, it is the chief cause of the existential depression among the gifted. It is the reason for the burning times, all the witches killed, many were simple faith healers, they had a gift of another sort, in the end it was also about the group suppressing the individual. In my view those who are gifted, while never being accepted, still have the mission to share their gifts with the world, with those who need it, with those who accept it, and for those who will eventually come around, and who knows maybe even these other people can discover their own gifts for I believe we all have them but they can be diminished or lost as we begin to try and fit in with the group.

Edited by I believe you
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What pedestal???

Lol...seriously...

v

This thread is for those of us who understand it. If you don't feel free not to participate. Please do not maul those that do.

it's always the same type that claims to have insight but happens to display none of it to others. What a coincidence.

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is this directed toward me? this is the very arrogance i refer to!

your experience is not the model by which all others are given merit

and wait,

you are accusing me of mauling??

playing the victim card is something i would expect from someone with a lot less 'savvy' than you cassea.

i'll have you know i understand a whole lot more about it than you think. i didn't have the luxury of a stable home and loving parents to help me through it either. there were many serious abuses and horrors that i navigated along the way. so please don't speak down to me.

i have been through it, i spent a lot of time in therapy dealing with it - which is no longer necessary, because i learned to live with and around the issues and challenges that being 'gifted' or exceptionally perceptive present in life among the so called normal.

i see by your posts that you have not learned this and i would suggest perhaps you consider changing therapists

if you want to discuss the specific challenges presented to those who share this trait then discuss them - discuss strategies for overcoming rather than whining about being misunderstood. i am suggesting that yes you should get off your pedestal (that is to say stop separating yourself by measure of how much more exceptional you are and how much more difficult and lonely everything is and poor you because you have so much more insight etc etc)

yeah we all get that. there are those of us on this thread that go through it and have been through it. the fact that we may not agree has nothing to do with whether we understand the topic but whether or not we have the same experience or agree with your perception.

I wouldn't worry about it too much, JGirl.

Some ppl just need to make themselves feel special. They need to believe they are the only ones in the world that think about life, existence and death. Of course everyone thinks about those topics and many more. But some can't cope with the anxiety it can bring along and they have to tell themselves there is a reason why they think about those things. And that reason has to be that they must be superior to everybody else. Because everybody else doesn't get paralysed by the anxiety of doubt. because they know that overthinking things and assuming the equator runs through their *sses doesn't get you anywhere....so they have to be less intelligent. They just have to be.

Being a slave to your own web of thoughts is something for the gifted. Nothing gifted about that of course, but they have to believe it to be.

Edited by Render
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Several people in this thread have shared their experiences without attacking others in the thread for "feeling special" "ego tripping" "being on a pedestal" "playing holier thou" etc. So I'm enjoying the conversation and the experiences shared that do so without feeling the need to put others down.

I believe you that's a great observation about perceived weakness. In some cases it seems that as long as you are quiet about it, it's ok. But discussion is almost a provocation. This is why it is hard to share a conversation about this. You never know where the attack is going to come from. This compounds the depression even more.

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I wouldn't worry about it too much, JGirl.

Some ppl just need to make themselves feel special. They need to believe they are the only ones in the world that think about life, existence and death. Of course everyone thinks about those topics and many more. But some can't cope with the anxiety it can bring along and they have to tell themselves there is a reason why they think about those things. And that reason has to be that they must be superior to everybody else. Because everybody else doesn't get paralysed by the anxiety of doubt. because they know that overthinking things and assuming the equator runs through their *sses doesn't get you anywhere....so they have to be less intelligent. They just have to be.

Being a slave to your own web of thoughts is something for the gifted. Nothing gifted about that of course, but they have to believe it to be.

thanks render

i'm not so much worried about it as frustrated by it.

to be honest i could have handled things differently than i did, i allowed my frustration to take center stage. i regret that.

i would agree that overthinking everything is a weakness but one that can be overcome with diligent effort. i am guilty at times of forgetting to apply that effort, and my actions and reactions on this thread demonstrate that to some degree.

not that i don't stand by what i said regarding elitism vs giftedness. they are two different things and i don't think that one should automatically have to follow the other. it's important for those who have this problem to step out of that mindset (of 'giftedness') and look at things more realistically, otherwise it's an exercise in self pity and separation.

having said that, the part of your post i bolded is not exactly accurate in my experience. yes there are many who have this difficulty and some are more perceptive than others. the more perceptive are going to go deeper into this 'illusion' (for lack of a better term at the moment)

and consequently have a more difficult time navigating through it. it doesn't make anyone better than anyone else however, actually it makes them at more of a disadvantage.

whether or not the OP acknowledges that i also have the same experiences and challenges as she does, the fact remains that i do and i have throughout my life. the difference between she and i is that i have already dealt with it to a degree that it doesn't cripple my life anymore.

i hope that others reading this thread will understand that and perhaps even take what i have to say on the matter as valid and useful in their own struggle.

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The part about the sock seams was quite interesting. It's these types of nuances that can best explain the difference between just "thinking about these things" and being overly preoccupied. Everyone thinks about existence. It becomes a depression when it pervades your life. The same way people tell depressed people to "shake it off" or get over it. It would be such a blessing for all of us to be able to do that. Overthinking is the same as not being able to ignore the seam in the sock. Even when you turn it inside out you still "sense it." Why do some have the ability to get over it or let it go. Why do some not. As we struggle with this it doesn't feel like you are "special" or "on a pedestal" or "better than others." When I watched the Matrix and Teddy says "Why oh why didn't I take the other pill" he is lamenting the problem that consciousness on that level can be. People may wish they could go through life without even noticing. After time it becomes very lonely.

Seems that Jgirl feels a bit of that loneliness and wanting to be heard. I'm curious more about your experiences with this Jgirl. Please share. :)

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The part about the sock seams was quite interesting. It's these types of nuances that can best explain the difference between just "thinking about these things" and being overly preoccupied. Everyone thinks about existence. It becomes a depression when it pervades your life. The same way people tell depressed people to "shake it off" or get over it. It would be such a blessing for all of us to be able to do that. Overthinking is the same as not being able to ignore the seam in the sock. Even when you turn it inside out you still "sense it." Why do some have the ability to get over it or let it go. Why do some not. As we struggle with this it doesn't feel like you are "special" or "on a pedestal" or "better than others." When I watched the Matrix and Teddy says "Why oh why didn't I take the other pill" he is lamenting the problem that consciousness on that level can be. People may wish they could go through life without even noticing. After time it becomes very lonely.

Seems that Jgirl feels a bit of that loneliness and wanting to be heard. I'm curious more about your experiences with this Jgirl. Please share. :)

thank you cassea

i have always had problems with hypersensitivity, from my earliest memory. growing up in a very large family there was no time given to coddle or make allowances for one child out of fifteen so my 'problems' were not acknowledged. on the contrary, i was chastised and ridiculed for having them.

the simplest things could set me off, but i was not allowed to express that. i had to shove it down and try to work around it. at a very early age this was an incredible feat and i wasn't very good at it lol

long story short, i have learned how to function with the hypersensitivity over the years to a degree where it no longer drives me into panic or anxiety.

i still wear many clothing items inside out, i cannot wear something close to my neck, or anything elasticized around my body

i hate getting wet, it's a very creepy feeling for me, i can't look at certain colors for very long or it will nauseate me or give me a headache.

i feel every fabric before i make a clothing purchase to make sure i'll be able to stand it against my skin. i can't stand perfumes, loud noises, or sudden sounds, i have a problem with light as well. i could go on and on but i'm already sounding like a space case lol

the hypersensitivity was the base of most of my misery as a kid. my being that way was an annoyance to my mother. she bullied and ridiculed me on my 'weaknesses' and my 'whining'. man i hated her.

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Mull this around in your head though. She(your mother) acted how she acted because she didn't understand you. (The source of the problem)

Hardly a space case, you want to be comfortable(Everybody wants to be comfortable to some extent). We all look for comfort in different ways. I wear baggy clothes, people think I do it to look gangsta, but I don't I do it for comfort(mostly because I don't like how some fabrics and tightness around certain parts of my body feel sound familiar :P). Nor can I wear watches, jewelery, or ties.

The color thing isn't that far fetched either colors draw out people's emotion, The more intense your emotions the more colors will affect you leading you to being uncomfortable. This is why red cars have higher insurance rates then say grey cars. Why I rarely wear emotional charged colors(usually white black and grey).

(deja vu Lol ok it does make me think I'm a space case when I think about it and realize I do it :P )

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thanks render

i'm not so much worried about it as frustrated by it.

to be honest i could have handled things differently than i did, i allowed my frustration to take center stage. i regret that.

i would agree that overthinking everything is a weakness but one that can be overcome with diligent effort. i am guilty at times of forgetting to apply that effort, and my actions and reactions on this thread demonstrate that to some degree.

not that i don't stand by what i said regarding elitism vs giftedness. they are two different things and i don't think that one should automatically have to follow the other. it's important for those who have this problem to step out of that mindset (of 'giftedness') and look at things more realistically, otherwise it's an exercise in self pity and separation.

having said that, the part of your post i bolded is not exactly accurate in my experience. yes there are many who have this difficulty and some are more perceptive than others. the more perceptive are going to go deeper into this 'illusion' (for lack of a better term at the moment)

and consequently have a more difficult time navigating through it. it doesn't make anyone better than anyone else however, actually it makes them at more of a disadvantage.

whether or not the OP acknowledges that i also have the same experiences and challenges as she does, the fact remains that i do and i have throughout my life. the difference between she and i is that i have already dealt with it to a degree that it doesn't cripple my life anymore.

i hope that others reading this thread will understand that and perhaps even take what i have to say on the matter as valid and useful in their own struggle.

I find ppl that put their energy in becoming a better person admirable instead of the ones that waste all their energy on dwelling on their issues without end.

The part you bolded in my post was a way of saying that some ppl who call themselves "gifted" and are therefore dwelling on their issues have to tell themselves they are superior intelligent-wise. But of course, this is not the case. They are allowing themselves to be paralized by their own circular thoughts. So i think we are agreeing. ;-)

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I think intelligence and wisdom are two different things.

There are sociopathic god complex genius doctors, and the most kindest and wise people with down syndrome.

Still yet, there is emotional intelligence and personal disaplin. I have seen "average people" accomplish a hell of a lot more than Somone I might consider "intelligent" by sheer force of will and hard work.

Then there is the matter of experience.

Somone with a "high Iq" pampered through college does not qualify as intelligent to me.

Mabey potentially intelligent.

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