Existential Depression In Gifted Individuals
Gifted individuals lucky enough to find a place to use their giftedness and relationships in which to share it, may still have difficulty accepting the depth and breadth of their giftedness. An inborn exceptional endowment that permits success that far exceeds their normally endowed peers can lead to a sense of guilt and shame – not one of pride and self-esteem. The ongoing struggle to accept the reality of being gifted is often accompanied by feelings of alienation,isolation , disillusionment, detachment, dissociation, and a conviction that life has lost its meaning. At times, these symptoms of existential distress can cause feelings of intense sadness, fatigue, sleep difficulties, loss of appetite, agitation, low motivation difficulty concentrating,indecisiveness, and hopelessness. These are the symptoms and signs of an Existential Depression.
A comprehensive assessment can discover the specific reason why existential distress has become an existential depression. This points the way to a focused treatment.
The ultimate psychological conflict of many gifted individuals is how to accept the reality of their giftedness and use it to benefit themselves and others instead of undermining it, disavowing it and denying it. This conflict is their core existential dilemma. Because this conflict is often unconscious – completely out of a gifted individual’s conscious awareness – the outward manifestations can be emotional volatility, self-defeating behaviors, underachievement, and inability to form a solid sense of identity. The emotional stress caused by this ongoing unresolved psychological conflict about being gifted and how to use- it regardless of circumstance or relationships – is, for many gifted individuals, the underlying basic psychological pathway to existential depression.