Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    What do you think of this concept?

    I was in a situation a few months ago where I nearly died - and strangely enough I suddenly adopted completely nihilistic thinking as a defence mechanism - that it didn't matter if I died because nothing mattered. I remember thinking "this is all just sensory information, doesn't really matter if it ends in a minute". I wonder if there's any use to this, hah.

    Problem is, I'm having a hard time shaking off that meaninglessness now that I'm better, and it's rendered me quite depressed.

    Thoughts on nihilism vis a vis psychology/psychiatry?
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    I'd probably think the same. But then consider all of your friends, your loved ones, your ambitions and it's suddenly not so meaningless.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by HearTheThunder)
    What do you think of this concept?

    I was in a situation a few months ago where I nearly died - and strangely enough I suddenly adopted completely nihilistic thinking as a defence mechanism - that it didn't matter if I died because nothing mattered. I remember thinking "this is all just sensory information, doesn't really matter if it ends in a minute". I wonder if there's any use to this, hah.

    Problem is, I'm having a hard time shaking off that meaninglessness now that I'm better, and it's rendered me quite depressed.

    Thoughts on nihilism vis a vis psychology/psychiatry?
    I think that nihilism can be a defence mechanism in precisely the way you describe. It's certainly the case that a great way to deal with stress and pain is to adopt the mindset that nothing matters, that everything is valueless and meaningless.

    I don't think that's always the case. Sometime's people may believe that it is an intellectually honest position to adopt and therefore they have reason to think like a nihilist. I think they're mistaken, but I don't doubt that people can honestly arrive at mistaken judgements.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    I think that life in the long term is meant to put everyone's ego in check, to establish who and what is important us and therefore where we want our duties to be, thus making us feel more comfortable in life. But the difficulty of getting to that position is what keeps us spurred to do things to make the painful part worthwhile.

    So I believe that, for some or many people, depression is a useful part of human experience. Being nihilistic may actually be an act of love (diminishing our ego in to nothing) but, unfortunately, it can come across as the opposite (egotistical), wallowing in ourself rather than anything outside of ourself.

    Mind you, saying that you're runner up in comedian of the year doesn't make me think that true nihilism is in your heart. I think you've managed to wangle sufficient notice from people to get by. Try not to veer so much between the Stephen Fry-like extremes and find someone, possibly someone very different, who loves you regardless of your status / public acclaim. And then back it up regardless by doing whatever keeps you happy and stable in life.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I think it's useful by the logic that:

    -If I don't care then I have nothing to lose

    -If I have nothing to lose then all I can do is gain

    -Thereby if something bad happens it doesn't matter, I've lost nothing, whereas if something good happens I've gained.



    Aside from that, it's just easier to not care; caring about things can eventually be painful or lead to unwanted situations; caring means you have to involve yourself by puting in time and effort; caring means you risk your own ego at the expense of unknown circumstances. If we are rational and selfish beings then caring would by that logic be meaningless. I don't think that can be the case since caring is fundamental in not only our nature but for other members of the animal kingdom.

    Giving up is the easy thing to do, and day after day it seems more and more tempting. But if you don't try you'll never know.
    • Section Leader
    • Political Ambassador
    • Reporter Team
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    I think most nihilists arrive at nihilism as a last resort, but I wouldn't generally think of it as a defence mechanism. Nihilism is usually the result of continued scepticism - the questioning of one's values until coming to the discovery that they are not underpinned by anything.

    What would more appropriately be described as a defence mechanism I think would be the opposite: holding unjustified beliefs because they serve to lift one's spirits. Nihilism's not very much of a pleasant stance, but the ones who hold it do so most likely at least with a strong sense of intellectual honesty, believing that they are not nihilists because of any reason other than that their investigations have forced them there.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by miser)
    I think most nihilists arrive at nihilism as a last resort, but I wouldn't generally think of it as a defence mechanism. Nihilism is usually the result of continued scepticism - the questioning of one's values until coming to the discovery that they are not underpinned by anything.

    What would more appropriately be described as a defence mechanism I think would be the opposite: holding unjustified beliefs because they serve to lift one's spirits. Nihilism's not very much of a pleasant stance, but the ones who hold it do so most likely at least with a strong sense of intellectual honesty, believing that they are not nihilists because of any reason other than that their investigations have forced them there.
    I agree with you there; I wonder if anyone has chosen to be a nihilist. I mean, of course you can choose to be one, but if they suddenly decided one day to be a nihilist with absolutely no negative thoughts in their minds at all and just abandoned everything they believed in to be one.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Did TEF Bronze Award affect your UCAS choices?
    Useful resources
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.