Existential Anxiety

For example: agoraphobia, claustrophobia, social phobia.

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CitM
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Existential Anxiety

Postby CitM » Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:42 pm

I wonder if anyone else suffers from this or know of people suffering from this?

Love,
CitM

nenkohai2
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Postby nenkohai2 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:28 pm

Hi CitM,

from what very little I've read on it, it's not a diagnoses, per se. Though, I'd imagine it could become a generalized anxiety.

I once had a general anxiety about dying - especially when I was a child. The older I get, the more used to the idea of dying I get. I'm coming to terms with it. I can understand how it would generate anxiety.

One of the things I'm working on is that death isn't an event; but rather, a process. A process I'll be around for the beginning of.

It's not a particularly morbid subject to me.

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specter
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Nursing homes scare me more than death.

Postby specter » Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:11 pm

Coming from someone who generally loathes life, I particularly enjoy the word "existential". ... Life, at least to me, is a worrisome aspect. The only element of death that scares me is the potential of intense physical suffering and all-around disrespect of my body while I -- or anyone -- is dying. This upsets me very badly because I had visited nursing homes as little girl and I noticed the mistreatment that occurred. It wasn't abuse and severe neglect, but there was mild neglect and a lot of complaining from the seniors who were there. Made me realize that it's the last place I would ever want to be before I die. Absolute worst.

Experiencing this conjured up all kinds of worries in my head. It made me fear living, in the event that I was physically suffering and could not die. Sometimes life can be scarier than death, although not always. I can't argue this point all the time, but I think there are times when I definitely can.

There was also a positive experience I had when I visited that nursing home. : ) There was a little boy who stayed there. He was 12, but his body didn't age beyond 2. Total sweetheart. Was older than me at the time, by the way. I was about 8? He couldn't talk or take care of himself. He was taken care of by nurses, and I think his parents visited him regularly. Bright blue eyes, happy face, dark brown hair. There was something about this little person that ... really etched itself into my heart. There aren't accurate words to describe the emotion. If it's possible for a stranger to inspire "faith" and love inside of another stranger, without saying anything to that person -- he couldn't talk, but he could make noises -- then I think that might very well be what happened. Beautiful little person. Hope wherever he is that he is happy.

100footpole
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Postby 100footpole » Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:55 am

Spectre,

There are deep conundrums in the word "existential".

Should we be selfish or caring? What is fair to the people around us?

I am very sensitive to this:

there was mild neglect and a lot of complaining from the seniors who were there.


Because at what point do you decide not to do for a person, to let them express their independence, but acting on their own complaint? In addition there are some things that we simply need to accept as facts. How often have I heard a complaint phrased like "If I had this ... " or "If I had done that ... " It is difficult to accomplish goals, and two reasons are that we cannot change the past and we cannot predict the future. All we can do is our best, to adapt, accept, and do what we can for others.

We can all try to be like your little friend:

If it's possible for a stranger to inspire "faith" and love inside of another stranger, without saying anything to that person -- he couldn't talk, but he could make noises -- then I think that might very well be what happened.


We need to show that existential joy is stronger than existential despair.

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specter
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Ugh, the food.

Postby specter » Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:03 pm

We need to show that existential joy is stronger than existential despair.


I don't agree. ... One of the few pleasures I get from life is food. Not much else. I can take it or leave it, really.

Life's just ... "okay". That's the only way I'd put it.

Should we be selfish or caring? What is fair to the people around us?


Could you please elaborate? I'm not sure I understand what you're talking about.

The way I see it -- from the past perspective of someone who was only 8 years old -- the little boy was happy because he was loved and had people taking care of him. The reality he lived with was that he did not have extreme pressures or demands, that he was accepted for who he was, and that people would bend over backwards to take care of him. Unconditional love is an incredibly moving thing to witness from the perspective of an outsider. This is especially so for someone who was not raised with that type of love. It's powerful to behold in other people.

As far as decision-making goes, I don't have anyone in my life I would be willing to make decisions for. ... Having someone go to a nursing home due to old age? There's no one in my life that I feel close enough to that would cause me to make that choice for them. ... Not everyone has people that they feel closely to, and sometimes this is for a good reason. I like to believe that everything happens for some sort of reason, even if that idea doesn't make sense all of the time....

Me, I'd just tolerate whatever happened. The only pet peeve I would have is the unhealthy food, germs, and lack of sanitation. As long as I have my imagination, I don't care where I am. Doesn't bother me too much.

100footpole
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Postby 100footpole » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:38 am

Great reply Specter.

I think it get's to where we disagree on a world view.

You wrote:

Unconditional love is an incredibly moving thing to witness from the perspective of an outsider. This is especially so for someone who was not raised with that type of love. It's powerful to behold in other people.


That kind of love is possible to give to beings with limited agency: pets and children of all ages. You are right that unconditional love comes with no expectations. As soon as we make plans though, we begin to have expectations. We have expectations as soon as we talk about what "big people" do ... When we ask a person to reflect are they acting like a big person we are putting the expectation that they need to adapt to the world on them.

I believe that unconditional love without expectations results in monsters like Kim Jung Un, or African war lords, or Narco Kings. Reciprocated love results in compromise and growth.

I believe the converse of:
I don't have anyone in my life I would be willing to make decisions for.


Is that there is also no one in your life making decisions for you.

For me there is no joy in that, but it must be a two way street. In medicine there are the "angels of death" ... Nurses who decide to put people out of their misery without consulting them. Compare these to Dr. Kevorkian, I believe he took his own life AFTER his agency disappeared.

When you write:

One of the few pleasures I get from life is food.


I read the only pleasure I have been able to find has been food, and I have quit looking. Your question "Am I real" is similar to the statement a pet owner might make: "Only my pet understands me." This is true, because the pet has fewer expectations that another person might. It is so much easier to find an animal to love than a person, but I think many of us want the complexity of human love.

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specter
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Postby specter » Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:45 pm

Is that there is also no one in your life making decisions for you.


Not true. There are people in my life who have made decisions for me and still try to make decisions for me, plenty of times. Currently, I'm trying to cut ties with them. They do not love me. They do not love, period. They only pretend to.

I believe that unconditional love without expectations results in monsters like Kim Jung Un, or African war lords, or Narco Kings. Reciprocated love results in compromise and growth.


I don't know how that's possible. Don't mothers unconditionally love their babies? Saying that a mother conditionally loves them is like saying a mother will not love her baby if the baby is handicapped and cannot do anything. ... Unconditional love, to me, is the most beautiful thing in the universe. Rulers of the world, I think, probably turn into monsters because they didn't grow up with unconditional love. Only a theory. Never saw their household.

There are a lot of households that raise children with hatred and pain. That contributes to a lot of problems in the world.

... Nurses who decide to put people out of their misery without consulting them.


Consent is a key factor. Basically, we should eventually live in a world where people's will is respected. If they are at the end of their rope and want to die, then that's the will. If they are at the end of their rope and do not want to die, then that is also their will. It scares and sickens me that we live in a world that does not respect someone's personal will. I'm one of those strange people who cannot fathom the idea that other people think they have to control other people and make decisions for them. It's unthinkable to me. And no, I've been under somebody else's thumb all my life. I know exactly how it feels.

Does it bother anyone else that children are treated like chattel instead of human beings? --or that they aren't considered human beings because they are not adults?

This world makes me sick to my stomach. Can't hide it.


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