Gifted Bulletin Board

Welcome to the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

We invite you to share your experiences and to post information about advocacy, research and other gifted education issues on this free public discussion forum.
CLICK HERE to Log In. Click here for the Board Rules.

Links


Learn about Davidson Academy Online - for profoundly gifted students living anywhere in the U.S. & Canada.

The Davidson Institute is a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted students through the following programs:

  • Fellows Scholarship
  • Young Scholars
  • Davidson Academy
  • THINK Summer Institute

  • Subscribe to the Davidson Institute's eNews-Update Newsletter >

    Free Gifted Resources & Guides >

    Who's Online Now
    0 members (), 95 guests, and 13 robots.
    Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
    Newest Members
    sailare, malik, watkinsayden81, thomaszx, Peter Jhonson
    11,480 Registered Users
    July
    S M T W T F S
    1 2 3 4 5 6
    7 8 9 10 11 12 13
    14 15 16 17 18 19 20
    21 22 23 24 25 26 27
    28 29 30 31
    Previous Thread
    Next Thread
    Print Thread
    Page 2 of 2 1 2
    Joined: Jun 2015
    Posts: 132
    L
    LazyMum Offline OP
    Member
    OP Offline
    Member
    L
    Joined: Jun 2015
    Posts: 132
    Thanks Platypus101. For me the problem isn't trying to better understand how DD5 feels, it's that there is no response I can give her that will fix it the unfixable - that life is meaningless, time is relative, and even though she's got 100 years of living to look forward to, it will pass, and once it's passed it will be as if it never happened. I've been dealing with the same feelings since I was a kid. I read the Dabrowski article, it wasn't anything new to me. The way I deal with it is pretty basic: I believe that being alive is better than being dead. So, the best thing to do is to enjoy what you can while you're here and keep yourself distracted from the existential questioning. But talking about the joys and freedoms of adulthood isn't going to fix things. I don't want to lay my nihilistic outlook on her just yet, so I think lying about death might be the way to go here. At least for a while, until she's old enough to develop her own philosophy on life, or discover religion, or boys or something else that keeps her distracted...

    Last edited by LazyMum; 11/05/18 09:13 AM.
    Joined: Oct 2014
    Posts: 675
    P
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    P
    Joined: Oct 2014
    Posts: 675
    It sounds like this is a really tough space for you to lead your daughter through, given your feelings are much the same as hers. Sending hugs to get through this, and hope the wise folk on this board can offer some suggestions of how to channel your intimate knowledge of the challenges to settle/ pre-empt some of your DD's worst fears. I found my son's existential depression terrifying; I can't even imagine what it feels like to experience it. Your description is very like his: "that life is meaningless, time is relative, and even though she's got 100 years of living to look forward to, it will pass, and once it's passed it will be as if it never happened".

    And yet. There is a fundamental contradiction between that nihilist view, and what you say next:
    Originally Posted by LazyMum
    I believe that being alive is better than being dead.

    Taking as given that I have no idea what I am talking about, still I'd say: this is your key. Why? And how? It may be way harder to see that side - what makes life worth living despite it all. Can you share some of those reasons with your DD? Specific, real examples of why you feel better off alive? And (what seemed critical for us, at least), some concrete steps that would increase her sense of having some control over getting to those things/ states of being that make life worth living?


    Joined: Jun 2015
    Posts: 132
    L
    LazyMum Offline OP
    Member
    OP Offline
    Member
    L
    Joined: Jun 2015
    Posts: 132
    Originally Posted by Platypus101
    And yet. There is a fundamental contradiction between that nihilist view, and what you say next:
    Originally Posted by LazyMum
    I believe that being alive is better than being dead.

    No contradiction here Platypus - things don't have to be meaningful to be enjoyable! smile I'd rather be here, doing all the fun stuff you can do while you're alive, even with the knowledge that it will come to nothing, mean nothing and be remembered by no one within a generation or two, than be gone already. All the fun stuff is really cool! It doesn't make the meaninglessness and brevity less terrifying, but it makes me happy at the same time. Which sounds odd, but imagine if your parent passed away within days of your child being declared in remission, and the different feelings that would generate - all those different, deep, contradictory emotions, all at the same time. So yeah, I'm terrified, I'm sorrowful, I'm happy, I love life. It's a crazy mix! But I don't want to freak my daughter out by throwing her in the deep end of all those big feelings just yet. I think it would just be too much for her. Lying works for me, for now wink

    Joined: Apr 2013
    Posts: 5,254
    Likes: 7
    I
    Member
    Offline
    Member
    I
    Joined: Apr 2013
    Posts: 5,254
    Likes: 7
    Originally Posted by LazyMum
    I'd rather be here, doing all the fun stuff you can do while you're alive, even with the knowledge that it will come to nothing, mean nothing and be remembered by no one within a generation or two, than be gone already.
    This sums up the book of Ecclesiastes (from the bible). Whether read as "literature" or as a faith guide, in whole or in part, some may find comfort in seeing that they are not alone in their existential thought journey but that similar sentiments were jotted more than 2,000 years ago. Many translations can be accessed and read online.

    Joined: Mar 2018
    Posts: 25
    I
    Junior Member
    Offline
    Junior Member
    I
    Joined: Mar 2018
    Posts: 25
    Hi, LazyMum. I have also experienced bouts of existential depression since I was very young (about 3, I think). Since you've been through it yourself I imagine you can already guess what might be triggering this crisis, how she might feel and how to help her cope over the years.

    When I reflect as an adult about what scared me when I was a child I think that my fear was partially due to:
    -I could not imagine what being dead is like, so I always though of it as being alone, in the dark... and alive.
    -I understood that as I was growing up my parents were growing older, and I felt guilty and sad.
    -I realized that my parents missed the times when I was little, and I felt painfully sorry for them.
    -I didnít like change and was afraid of the future.

    So maybe you could explore how she thinks being dead is like, and also make death less of a tabu: try to make jokes about it, make it a household item so that it doesnít look so scary.

    Also, reassure her that you are happy that she is growing up and that you look forward to the future. I love reading science and technology stuff and imaginig how new developments might make our lives better, so that the march of time has at least a silver lining.

    Last edited by Isabel; 11/08/18 06:21 AM.
    Joined: Nov 2016
    Posts: 35
    M
    Junior Member
    Offline
    Junior Member
    M
    Joined: Nov 2016
    Posts: 35
    Thank you, posters, for providing a good therapy session here, for both my child and me. We deal with existential questions and contemplation misery at my house too.

    My DS10, at age 6, got teary-eyed while hugging me and said he does that sometimes because he knows he won't always be able to hug me. He collapsed in tears after reading his preschool handprint poem, which he found in a keepsake box, because he won't ever be that little again. I'm the one who's supposed to be crying over that, not him! (And I do, of course.) He struggles with simple decisions, as another poster mentioned here, because he cannot bear the loss of the other opportunity, or loss of time to do one thing that comes with choosing another. He struggles to enjoy his pets because he cannot ever forget that someday they will die too, and he is living that misery, mourning them before they are gone. There is the old "Nothing we do matters if we die anyway" but also sometimes "I guess if we only get one chance, we should enjoy it" and the vacillating back and forth creates its own emotional yo-yo. So much good advice here, and it helps a lot to know that we are not alone in this struggle.

    Page 2 of 2 1 2

    Moderated by  M-Moderator 

    Link Copied to Clipboard
    Recent Posts
    help understanding wppsi scores
    by lululo4321 - 07/19/24 02:42 PM
    Opinions on School
    by Heidi_Hunter - 07/16/24 10:52 AM
    Adventure Academy
    by Heidi_Hunter - 07/11/24 04:29 AM
    IEP questions
    by Heidi_Hunter - 07/11/24 04:22 AM
    Advice for profoundly gifted and imaginative 7yo?
    by Kim Jensen (DK) - 07/05/24 08:32 AM
    Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5