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Nihilistic, or just depressed?

Beat Mango

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I say to people I don't care about anything. That there is little I value, at least not enough to chase it. People respond by saying I'm depressed. I disagree, and think I'm simply nihilistic:

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


Is there a difference, between nihilism and depression?

I'm also curious what your underlying metaphysical view of the world is. If it's not nihilism, then why not?

My view is that any values we have are arbitrarily conceived from our gender, our bodies, our social standing and other temporal things we have no control over. We don't make our values, our values make us. We can do what we want, but we cannot will what we will.

Part of nihilism is recognising "no necessary norms, rules, or laws"... if our values that these norms, rules and laws arise from are based on such fleeting things such as our bodies and social position, then I don't see how somebody can argue that they are necessary.
 

EyeSeeCold

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Hadoblado

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Depression is an affective, memorial, behavioural, attentive, and cognitive bias.

Nihilism is a rational perspective.

Being depressed does predispose one to nihilism.

Being a nihilist might predispose one towards depression.

I'm an absurdist.

My view is that any values we have are arbitrarily conceived from our gender, our bodies, our social standing and other temporal things we have no control over. We don't make our values, our values make us. We can do what we want, but we cannot will what we will.
My values are largely conceived by rationality. You could argue that I have no control over that, and I'd believe you. ;)

Part of nihilism is recognising "no necessary norms, rules, or laws"... if our values that these norms, rules and laws arise from are based on such fleeting things such as our bodies and social position, then I don't see how somebody can argue that they are necessary.
You can argue that they are necessary in order to achieve certain goals. The worth of these goals are suspect, of course, but this doesn't necessarily mean we must reject them.
 

Brontosaurie

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if you don't care about anything, you're probably depressed. nihilism is usually denial of objective values, not denial of all values.
 

Cherry Cola

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Bronto is right. Theoretically being a nihilist by theoretically denying all meaning is one thing. Not experiencing anything as meaningful; however, is another matter entirely. Humans experience a bunch of stuff as purposeful or meaningful, makes sense on a biological level, gets things done. If you don't then you may be experiencing depression or the early stages of it. Or you're just existentially ruminating :P
 

Brontosaurie

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I am pretty sure you would know if you were depressed
no. depression is not a clear-cut illness with readily discernible symptoms. it affects the way you think and feel about yourself, including attribution and perceived entitlement to help and care.

that appears to be some dicksizing attitude you got.
 

Cherry Cola

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lol dude, knowing if you're depressed or not can be very hard unless the depression is powerful and sudden, when it creeps up on you, then the way you feel and think that feeling normal is like changes slowly and gradually. And that's probably be the most common way adolescents descend into the sad abyss nowadays.

It's also very easy to feel like the picture has changed when in fact you just switched lenses, which further complicates the matter. But enough.
 

Hadoblado

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If he has depression, it's likely mild. When it's more severe, it's unmistakable.
 

Cherry Cola

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You're wrong, it's not necessarily that easy to tell, and there's more than one form of depression. You can't always look for the classic telltale signs and going by how one feels is also hard.

Personality also plays a large part, someone who before becoming depressed was heavily introverted and didn't socialize that much may be left to deal with the sickly stuff him/herself, since the surrounding people may not notice what's going on. And those people then have to go by how they personaly feel, which is also troublesome. Feelings are qualia, tying them to and judging them by external standards is hard since you don't know how other people feel and how strong your feelings are in comparison to theirs and the diffuse external standard.

That being said, a severe depression is of course more evident than a mild one as a rule.
 

Brontosaurie

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If he has depression, it's likely mild. When it's more severe, it's unmistakable.
i usually like your contribution but this post is just a wreck.

when it's severe, self-doubt and existential questioning tends to be severe aswell. you may see yourself as irrevocably lost and argue that psychiatric intervention (including diagnosis) would be a waste of resources because what torments you is your own fault, a product of some fundamental deficiency in affirmative character just like every other injustice in the world. in short, you may feel that you don't deserve treatment - because you're not afflicted: you ARE the disease.

regards, my melancholy cock
 

Hadoblado

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i usually like your contribution but this post is just a wreck.

when it's severe, self-doubt and existential questioning tends to be severe aswell. you may see yourself as irrevocably lost and argue that psychiatric intervention (including diagnosis) would be a waste of resources because what torments you is your own fault, a product of some fundamental deficiency in affirmative character just like every other injustice in the world. in short, you may feel that you don't deserve treatment - because you're not afflicted: you ARE the disease.

regards, my melancholy cock
It was a bit weak, I'll try and elaborate.

I largely am not severely depressed, but when I am, it gives me perspective on just how good I have it. In times of severe depression, everything is a shade of shit. I cease being able to tell my own preference because the effort involved in making a decision makes it not worth it. Eating becomes a pain in the ass that I do once every two days, and I only do so once the stomach pain is getting quite severe. Talking becomes difficult. When people express worry I hardly respond, and when I do it's only because I'm hoping they'll go away. There is no motivation to do anything, even procrastinatory activities like computer games or reading fail to give any enjoyment. I just lie there, unemotional recipient of misery.

I was diagnosed with depression before I experienced the more severe kind. Funnily enough, it is the avoidance of the severe kind that is my prime motivator. The fact is, my mild depression does allow for some modicum of satisfaction. Severe depression is worse than death, if I came to believe that it wasn't a transient state, suicide would be the only option. //sob

So basically, when depression is of that severity there is no degree of uncertainty. You know through introspection that there is something deeply wrong, the misery is self-evident, and does not require external validation. At this point psychiatric treatment or diagnosis is not even a care. Nothing you do is taking the misery away, you better hope you have someone to get your ass to the doctor for you, because the learned helplessness will stop you thinking that there is anything they can do (though they usually can help).

Sorry for the sloppy posting. I am under the pump and have little time to take the care to justify assertions/proofread. In a week today I shall be free once more and burning this forum to the ground with my tiradical nonsense ;)
 

Cherry Cola

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Depression can be severe without resulting in apathy, again you do not necessarily know you are depressed, thats not the same thing as knowing that something is fucked up which is a lot easier.

Edit: although I realize now that my latter point was already made in your post.. Fail
 

Hadoblado

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Either way, I think the best attitude is skepticism. There is so much overlap between these disorders it can be very confusing, even for the professionals.
 

Duxwing

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It was a bit weak, I'll try and elaborate.

I largely am not severely depressed, but when I am, it gives me perspective on just how good I have it. In times of severe depression, everything is a shade of shit. I cease being able to tell my own preference because the effort involved in making a decision makes it not worth it. Eating becomes a pain in the ass that I do once every two days, and I only do so once the stomach pain is getting quite severe. Talking becomes difficult. When people express worry I hardly respond, and when I do it's only because I'm hoping they'll go away. There is no motivation to do anything, even procrastinatory activities like computer games or reading fail to give any enjoyment. I just lie there, unemotional recipient of misery.

I was diagnosed with depression before I experienced the more severe kind. Funnily enough, it is the avoidance of the severe kind that is my prime motivator. The fact is, my mild depression does allow for some modicum of satisfaction. Severe depression is worse than death, if I came to believe that it wasn't a transient state, suicide would be the only option. //sob

So basically, when depression is of that severity there is no degree of uncertainty. You know through introspection that there is something deeply wrong, the misery is self-evident, and does not require external validation. At this point psychiatric treatment or diagnosis is not even a care. Nothing you do is taking the misery away, you better hope you have someone to get your ass to the doctor for you, because the learned helplessness will stop you thinking that there is anything they can do (though they usually can help).

Sorry for the sloppy posting. I am under the pump and have little time to take the care to justify assertions/proofread. In a week today I shall be free once more and burning this forum to the ground with my tiradical nonsense ;)
That's quite a sad thing, Hado, but only the living can enjoy the end of pain.

-Duxwing
 

h0bby1

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not sure it's really easy to match belief and mental disorder, even if cognitive therapy is about that, it's not always that trivial to make clear connection between a belief and a mental disorder, even if negative expectations, or many kind of cognitive pattern can also cause anxiety or depression, or other disorders, or that it's more or less proven that there can be a connection between belief and mental problems, it's also a bit dangerous to systelatically associate some type of belief with mental disorder as well
 

Brontosaurie

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It was a bit weak, I'll try and elaborate.

I largely am not severely depressed, but when I am, it gives me perspective on just how good I have it. In times of severe depression, everything is a shade of shit. I cease being able to tell my own preference because the effort involved in making a decision makes it not worth it. Eating becomes a pain in the ass that I do once every two days, and I only do so once the stomach pain is getting quite severe. Talking becomes difficult. When people express worry I hardly respond, and when I do it's only because I'm hoping they'll go away. There is no motivation to do anything, even procrastinatory activities like computer games or reading fail to give any enjoyment. I just lie there, unemotional recipient of misery.

I was diagnosed with depression before I experienced the more severe kind. Funnily enough, it is the avoidance of the severe kind that is my prime motivator. The fact is, my mild depression does allow for some modicum of satisfaction. Severe depression is worse than death, if I came to believe that it wasn't a transient state, suicide would be the only option. //sob

So basically, when depression is of that severity there is no degree of uncertainty. You know through introspection that there is something deeply wrong, the misery is self-evident, and does not require external validation. At this point psychiatric treatment or diagnosis is not even a care. Nothing you do is taking the misery away, you better hope you have someone to get your ass to the doctor for you, because the learned helplessness will stop you thinking that there is anything they can do (though they usually can help).

Sorry for the sloppy posting. I am under the pump and have little time to take the care to justify assertions/proofread. In a week today I shall be free once more and burning this forum to the ground with my tiradical nonsense ;)
that's a touching account.

i maintain that depression need not be obvious to the sufferer, for reasons stated above.
 

Hadoblado

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Depression is not always obvious, but there is a threshold of severity at which point there is no other explanation. When you haven't enjoyed a single thing in months and there is no external reason for your misery, you must look within.
 

Hadoblado

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What really? How so?

My claim is next to undisprovable, it doesn't even assert that much!

Do you think that because some people don't know they're depressed that this means some people can't know that they're depressed?

At a particular threshold, the variability in mood goes away and it is no longer a tendency but a temperament.

If life is not giving you any reason to feel sad (which ironically, is often the state of depressed persons, as they experience less 'life' being shacked up all the time) then you look for other explanations.

If you can rule out every other reason for your poor mood, and you are not inept, depression is the only answer. You basically have a logical proof of your condition. I don't need no anecdote!
 

doncarlzone

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no. depression is not a clear-cut illness with readily discernible symptoms. it affects the way you think and feel about yourself, including attribution and perceived entitlement to help and care.

that appears to be some dicksizing attitude you got.
dicksizing attitude? Suppose you can argue that if you want.

However, from the OP it does not seem to me that Beat Mango is really questioning depression. Rather, he is just arguing that his friends don't get him. Which is an interesting way to start a nihilism/depression debate.

I may be wrong, Beat Mango feel free to correct me.
 

Cherry Cola

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What really? How so?

My claim is next to undisprovable, it doesn't even assert that much!

Do you think that because some people don't know they're depressed that this means some people can't know that they're depressed?

At a particular threshold, the variability in mood goes away and it is no longer a tendency but a temperament.

If life is not giving you any reason to feel sad (which ironically, is often the state of depressed persons, as they experience less 'life' being shacked up all the time) then you look for other explanations.

If you can rule out every other reason for your poor mood, and you are not inept, depression is the only answer. You basically have a logical proof of your condition. I don't need no anecdote!
No I think that because some people don't know that they are depressed you can't say that depression can be detected with certainty, unless you assume a specific depressed person, in which case it either can or can't be detected, but that's another question.

Tendency or temperament... meh semantics, there is no necessary definite cognitive shift wherein the sufferer - formerly ignorant - is suddenly made aware of his condition, although such a one may of course occur.

Also logic, geez, logic is practically more or less a feeling of things making sense, what makes sense to a severely depressed person won't to a somewhat content one. Internal logic changes with mood, it's not set in stone because humans are ultimately not rational in the sense that we like to think of ourselves. Internal logic is not some anchor that you can always rely on to guide you when all other fails, it's just as big a part, and just as much a reinforcer of the wicked circle a depression is as direct emotions. Try telling someone jumping in front of a train that they don't make sense, it wont work because the suicidal don't think like the sane.
 

Duxwing

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No I think that because some people don't know that they are depressed you can't say that depression can be detected with certainty, unless you assume a specific depressed person, in which case it either can or can't be detected, but that's another question.

Tendency or temperament... meh semantics, there is no necessary definite cognitive shift wherein the sufferer - formerly ignorant - is suddenly made aware of his condition, although such a one may of course occur.

Also logic, geez, logic is practically more or less a feeling of things making sense, what makes sense to a severely depressed person won't to a somewhat content one. Internal logic changes with mood, it's not set in stone because humans are ultimately not rational in the sense that we like to think of ourselves. Internal logic is not some reliable anchor that you can always rely on to guide you when all other fails, it's just as big a part, and just as much a reinforcer of the wicked circle a depression is. Try telling someone jumping in front of a train that they don't make sense.
The problem with the train-jumper is not that they believe that death will end their suffering, but rather that they will be able to enjoy the relief implicit in the statement "X will end my suffering". Dead people probably can't feel relief.

-Duxwing
 

Duxwing

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No I think that because some people don't know that they are depressed you can't say that depression can be detected with certainty, unless you assume a specific depressed person, in which case it either can or can't be detected, but that's another question.

Tendency or temperament... meh semantics, there is no necessary definite cognitive shift wherein the sufferer - formerly ignorant - is suddenly made aware of his condition, although such a one may of course occur.

Also logic, geez, logic is practically more or less a feeling of things making sense, what makes sense to a severely depressed person won't to a somewhat content one. Internal logic changes with mood, it's not set in stone because humans are ultimately not rational in the sense that we like to think of ourselves. Internal logic is not some reliable anchor that you can always rely on to guide you when all other fails, it's just as big a part, and just as much a reinforcer of the wicked circle a depression is. Try telling someone jumping in front of a train that they don't make sense.
The problem with the train-jumper is not that they believe that death will end their suffering, but rather that they will be able to enjoy the relief implicit in the statement "X will end my suffering". Dead people probably can't feel relief.

-Duxwing
 

Beat Mango

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dicksizing attitude? Suppose you can argue that if you want.

However, from the OP it does not seem to me that Beat Mango is really questioning depression. Rather, he is just arguing that his friends don't get him. Which is an interesting way to start a nihilism/depression debate.

I may be wrong, Beat Mango feel free to correct me.
A bit of both. Am I nihilistic because I'm depressed? Or am I depressed because I'm nihilistic? Or is there a third variable?
 

Brontosaurie

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dicksizing attitude? Suppose you can argue that if you want.

However, from the OP it does not seem to me that Beat Mango is really questioning depression. Rather, he is just arguing that his friends don't get him. Which is an interesting way to start a nihilism/depression debate.

I may be wrong, Beat Mango feel free to correct me.
i read your post as a cathegorical statement about depressed people, not anything specific to Beat Mango's situation.

but if you mean that Beat Mango has some personal feature which grants him perfect insight and mental self-awareness then that's interesting too.
 

hisfunkyness

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I think when people have their first episode of severe depression, they can be clueless. I was. It lasted for several months, and I ended up finally realizing this wasn't just how I was going to be my entire life, it was some state I had brought on myself from self-neglect, and basically just going a bit insane. I had to slowly will myself to switch things up in my life, and it actually took me a few years to fully crawl out of the mess I had created.

I was always prone to acute bouts of mild depression, so just thought it was a long utterance, and some sort of stage that was needed. It wasn't, I was essentially just emotionally retarded for a while. Now I know better, and clean up my mess before it gets to be anything close to severe. I have moments where it can seem severe, but these processes get shut down rather quickly, and replaced with simply forcing myself to do something productive, while increasing self-awareness to push through whatever nonsense i was thinking.

As for nihilism, it runs deep within me, but I find it enlightening, and that it doesn't have to lead to any sort of apathy. I feel free to choose my own destiny after fully accepting the existential nature of reality. I'm not bound to follow anyone else's rules if they don't align with my goals and values. Can come off as arrogance, and I try to limit this within reason, but ultimately if we're not free to choose as we please from what we perceive and value, we are utterly lost.

As for the INFJ above projecting his own shortcomings onto people in general, LOL! It's just too obvious.
 

WALKYRIA

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It's not such an easy question since both are related.... and although theoretically both have different definitions; there is practically no cut points and I believe it's something like a continuum.
Thing is nihilism can lead to a type of depression called existential depression where one person spends the whole time thinking about the real meaning of life. One resolves the depression- nihilism- by realizing that life doesnt have an intrinsic meaning... but that one must create a meaning or that one must write one's own life story; Which feels even more awesome. Some people never solve the existential depression and delve into an even more deeper and deeper state of depression... sometimes lifelong.

I have found that INTPs 5w4 being deconstructionnalists , naturally go through a transient phase of nihilism... as part of normal growth trajectory.
 

Hadoblado

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@CC & Bront
I've changed my perspective on this a bit. Given certain conditions depression is obvious, but that's essentially tautology, obvious conditions are obvious. My assertion that the conditions under which the conditions are obvious are tied directly to the severity of the depression is unjustified. Though there is still a correlation between severity and diagnosis, there is no point at which severity leads inevitably to accurate self-diagnosis. :storks:
 

TBerg

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I personally believe that nihilism is an expression of traits associated with the destroyer archetype. Look into that archetype online to gain further insight.

I also think that nihilism is the ideological remnant of depression, in that you only lose interest in something after it has been painfully pulled from your existence. We denigrate and destroy that which we cannot retrieve.
 

Yasaka no Magatama

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I think that Nihilism is generally associated with depression because it denies the existence of an intrinsic value to life. However I think Nihilism is quite different because it can transcend all that is considered a "dogma" or undeniable truth by people in order to create a life of infinite possibilities. But when you are being apathetic you simply don't give any kind of importance or passion to life and simply don't enjoy or care about what it has to offer. I think it's possible to become depressed by Nihilism if you decide that since things have no natural value, they are not worth doing. It is also possible to lose interest in the future of life since it has no intrinsic worth or importance.
 

Xopata

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Mmm, nihilism. How I love you. I would say that they are not the same, as I would consider myself nihilistic (sort of, I'm a fancy blend of straight nihilism and cosmicism), yet I enjoy life. I find the notion of a predefined, not anatomical, purpose in life, ridiculous. Equally, I find all things done meaningless. So why continue, might ask a psychiatrist? Because life is god damned enjoyable, that why! Whatever I do, I'm probably not going to be here in 100 years. I'll have no memory of anything. But until then I intend to have a good time. (As such, there is no predetermined or chosen meaning in my life, only the intention to receive pleasure (by observing what I subjectively consider beauty (the universe (sorry for off topic and nested quotes))))
 
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