As gifted adults, our highly sensitive selves often reach momentous peaks and seemingly bottomless valleys in our emotional experiences. We search for meaning in our lives, contemplate ideas like the finality of death vs. the possibility of an afterlife, and wonder how we can help the world we live in. But what about when we can’t find all the answers, or when we realize that maybe there aren’t even answers after all?
Gifted adults very often have a desperate need to create. We need to know that we are doing something that is making our world a better place, or helping the people who live in it. We have to spend our time sharing, contributing, learning, exploring, reaching for understanding and meaning at the next level because without this we develop a huge gap within ourselves. And this gap can very easily create existential depression.
In The Van Gogh Blues, Dr. Eric Maisel describes how the lack of opportunity to create sparks negative emotions in someone who has the ability to make a difference, someone who he calls ‘a creator’:
This is why creating is such a crucial activity in the life of a creator: It is one of the ways, and often the most important way, that she manages to make life feel meaningful. Not creating is depressing because she is not making meaning when she is not creating. Creating but falling short in her efforts is also depressing because only insufficient meaning is produced if her products strike her as weak or shallow.
So one of the ways that we can overcome existential depression is to find ways to make meaning in our lives, to contribute and to help others. When we give of ourselves, we not only energize the focus of our efforts, but we bring life to our own spirits. We feel that we create meaning by using the unique parts of our human selves.
If you find yourself feeling down and asking yourself questions like, “What is this all for?”, “Why am I even here?”, or “Is this all there is?”, then consider how well you are currently creating in your life. And if you haven’t been sharing as much of yourself as you could, do something good for someone else, and you’ll find yourself in a better place.