Feeling hopeless about my depression

The lack of fear or a survival instinct can manifest in different ways for different individuals. In some cases, it may involve feeling emotionally numb or disconnected from oneself, to the point where an individual feels detached from their own experiences or surroundings. This can also include feeling a lack of response to situations that would typically elicit fear or panic.

In the context of PTSD, this lack of fear or survival instinct may occur as a dissociative symptom, which can arise as a coping mechanism in response to trauma. Dissociation involves a disruption in the normal integration of thoughts, emotions, and perceptions, leading to feelings of detachment or disconnection from oneself or one's surroundings. In some cases, this can lead to a lack of emotional reactivity, making it more challenging to experience intense emotions such as fear or panic.

It's important to note that a lack of fear or survival instinct is not a healthy response, and it can be indicative of a more significant problem. If you are experiencing this symptom, it's crucial to speak with a healthcare provider who can help you assess your symptoms, provide an accurate diagnosis, and suggest appropriate treatment options.

Treatment options for dissociative symptoms may include therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Therapy may involve cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), among other approaches. Medications may include antidepressants, antipsychotics, or mood stabilizers, depending on the severity of the symptoms and the individual's unique needs.
What else can cause lack of fear/ survival instinct, other than dissociation?
 
What else can cause lack of fear/ survival instinct, other than dissociation?
A lack of fear or survival instinct can be caused by a variety of factors besides dissociation. Some neurological or developmental conditions, for example, may affect an individual's ability to feel fear or assess danger appropriately. In these cases, the lack of fear may be a symptom of the underlying condition rather than a specific response to trauma.

Some examples of conditions that may affect an individual's ability to feel fear or assess danger include:

- Frontal lobe injury: Damage to the frontal lobe, which plays a critical role in decision-making and impulse control, can result in a lack of fear response.

- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Some individuals with ASD may have difficulty recognizing or responding appropriately to social and emotional cues, including those that indicate danger or potential harm.

- ADHD: Individuals with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may have difficulty assessing the potential risks of certain behaviors or situations and may engage in impulsive or reckless actions as a result.

- Antisocial Personality Disorder: Individuals with this condition may struggle to feel empathy or concern for others and may engage in dangerous or risky behaviors without considering the potential consequences.

It's essential to speak with a qualified mental health professional or healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause of a lack of fear or survival instinct accurately. They can help assess your symptoms and recommend appropriate treatment options based on your individual needs.
 
Can major depression cause lack of fear/ suvival instinct without dissociation?
Major depression can cause a range of symptoms, including feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and despair. While a lack of fear or survival instinct is not a typical symptom of depression, it is possible that some individuals with depression may experience a reduced response to situations that would typically elicit fear or anxiety.

One possible explanation for this phenomenon is that depression can result in a blunted affect, which refers to a reduction in emotional reactivity. When an individual experiences a blunted affect, they may feel disconnected from their own emotions and have difficulty experiencing strong emotional responses to situations that would typically evoke intense feelings.

It's worth noting that a lack of fear or survival instinct is not a common symptom of depression, and individuals who experience this symptom may have other underlying conditions or factors that contribute to their symptoms. It's important to speak with a qualified mental health professional or healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms accurately and receive appropriate treatment.
 
Hi Dr Catalyst,
Can you tell me a bit about the "death of the ego" ?
The concept of the "death of the ego" refers to an experience of transcendence in which an individual feels a profound sense of interconnectedness with the universe or a higher power. In this state, the individual may feel a sense of ego dissolution or loss of the sense of self, which can be both disorienting and liberating.

The term "ego" refers to the psychological construct that describes an individual's sense of self-identity. The ego is responsible for maintaining a sense of continuity and coherence in one's identity, as well as for channeling one's drives and desires in socially acceptable ways. In the context of spiritual and mystical experiences, the ego can be seen as a barrier that must be transcended in order to experience a deeper level of consciousness or awareness.

The experience of the death of the ego can occur in a variety of contexts, including religious and spiritual practices, psychedelic experiences, and intense emotional or psychological states. Some individuals report feeling as though they are no longer separate from the world around them and have a sense of oneness with the earth, the universe, or a higher power. Others describe the experience as a sense of absolute nothingness, in which all illusions of self and identity are shattered.

It's important to note that experiences of the death of the ego can be intense and disorienting, and may have both positive and negative effects on an individual's mental health. Some individuals may find the experience liberating and transformative, while others may experience confusion, disorientation, or psychological distress. As with any intense psychological experience, it's essential to approach the death of the ego with caution and to seek support from a qualified mental health professional or spiritual advisor if needed.
 
I've been experiencing this "death of the ego" during a long episode of major depression, caused by being retraumatised. I've been dealing with the loss of identity and loss of purpose and it's been a really scary journey for me. I've struggled and fought it and tried to cling onto my old sense of identity, but it's been to no avail. My old sense of identity/ my ego has been dying before my eyes and it's scared the living daylights out of me. I've experienced the confusing, disorientation and psychological distress you mentioned. As you said some people experience it as "a sense of absolute nothingness, in which all illusions of self and identity are shattered" and that's how I've been feeling. I've been fighting it tooth and nail every step of the way. Today I finally realised what it is - the death of the ego - and have felt great relief at finally understanding it. It's allowed me to let go and to let it happen - to accept that my ego is dying and to see the positive aspects of it. It's felt much more cathartic and healing now. I must say tho, that it's been a harrowing spiritual and psychological journey and it made me want to be dead a lot.
 
I've been experiencing this "death of the ego" during a long episode of major depression, caused by being retraumatised. I've been dealing with the loss of identity and loss of purpose and it's been a really scary journey for me. I've struggled and fought it and tried to cling onto my old sense of identity, but it's been to no avail. My old sense of identity/ my ego has been dying before my eyes and it's scared the living daylights out of me. I've experienced the confusing, disorientation and psychological distress you mentioned. As you said some people experience it as "a sense of absolute nothingness, in which all illusions of self and identity are shattered" and that's how I've been feeling. I've been fighting it tooth and nail every step of the way. Today I finally realised what it is - the death of the ego - and have felt great relief at finally understanding it. It's allowed me to let go and to let it happen - to accept that my ego is dying and to see the positive aspects of it. It's felt much more cathartic and healing now. I must say tho, that it's been a harrowing spiritual and psychological journey and it made me want to be dead a lot.
I'm sorry to hear that you've been struggling with the intense psychological experience of the "death of the ego" during your major depression episode. It can be a challenging experience, and it's understandable that it has been difficult and distressing for you.

It's encouraging to hear that you have come to an understanding of what is happening to you and have found some relief in accepting the process. It takes a lot of courage and resilience to face such an intense process of transformation, and it's commendable that you have been able to do so.

The experience of ego dissolution can indeed be cathartic and potentially healing, as it can lead to a deeper sense of understanding and compassion for oneself and others. It's also important to recognize that such experiences can be difficult and may require support from a qualified mental health professional or spiritual guide.

Please know that you are not alone in your experience and that there are resources available to support you. Don't hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional or support group if you need further assistance. You have taken an important step in recognizing and accepting your experience, and with support, you can continue to move forward on your healing journey.
 
I need to make a new anti-suicide safety plan. I came close to attempting suicide today. It's been a long time since it was that bad.
 
I need to make a new anti-suicide safety plan. I came close to attempting suicide today. It's been a long time since it was that bad.
I'm sorry to hear that you've been struggling with suicidal thoughts and ideation. It's important that you are seeking help to develop a new anti-suicide safety plan, as having a plan in place can be an essential tool to help you cope with suicidal thoughts and prevent any attempts.

Here are some steps to help you create a new anti-suicide safety plan:

1. Identify your triggers: Take some time to identify the types of situations, people, or thoughts that trigger your suicidal thoughts and ideation. Once you identify them, you can begin to take steps to avoid or manage them.

2. List your coping strategies: Compile a list of things you can do when you begin to feel suicidal. These could include reaching out to a supportive friend or family member, engaging in a calming or grounding activity, or practicing relaxation techniques.

3. Identify support systems: Make a list of people you can reach out to in case of a crisis. These may include trusted friends or family members, a mental health professional, or a crisis hotline.

4. Create an emergency plan: Make a plan for what you will do if you feel you cannot keep yourself safe. This may include calling a crisis line, going to an emergency room, or seeking support from a mental health professional.

5. Keep the plan accessible: Make sure that your safety plan is easily accessible and available to you when you need it. Keep a copy with you or give a copy to a trusted friend or family member.

Remember, making a new anti-suicide safety plan is just one step in seeking help for suicidal thoughts and ideation. It's important to reach out for professional help from a mental health professional or healthcare provider who can help you understand and manage these thoughts and feelings. A mental health professional can also assist you in developing a comprehensive safety plan to help you stay safe during a crisis.

If you are feeling suicidal right now and need immediate help, please call your local emergency services or a crisis hotline.
 
Thanks for that. I already reached out to a crisis line and to my doctor today. I think I'm okay now and the acute suicidalness has passed somewhat.

It was a scary experience tho. And it was not good that my anti-suicide saftey plan was no longer up to date. It's too hard to think straight in a crisis situation to try and figure out who to call and what to do to stay safe.
 
Thanks for that. I already reached out to a crisis line and to my doctor today. I think I'm okay now and the acute suicidalness has passed somewhat.

It was a scary experience tho. And it was not good that my anti-suicide saftey plan was no longer up to date. It's too hard to think straight in a crisis situation to try and figure out who to call and what to do to stay safe.
I'm glad to hear that you reached out for support from a crisis line and your doctor, and that you are feeling somewhat better now. Recognizing that your anti-suicide safety plan was not up to date can be a difficult realization, but it's an important step in creating a new, effective plan that can work for you.

It's understandable that in a crisis situation, it can be challenging to think straight and remember who to call or what to do. Creating an updated suicide safety plan can help provide some guidance and structure to help you stay safe. You may also want to consider creating an emergency contact list with phone numbers and addresses for the people and services you can reach out to during a crisis.

Remember that self-care and support are important in helping you manage any suicidal thoughts or ideation you may be experiencing, including reaching out for help when you need it. Don't hesitate to reach out to your doctor or mental health professional for support and guidance in developing an effective anti-suicide safety plan.
 
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