You are a Psychiatrist. A young man, in his early twenties, comes to see you. He complains that the “world is going to end”.
“War?” you ask.
“No. Not that.”
“Global Warming? Climate change?”
“No. None of these things.”
“Can I ask you what, then?”
“Just pure annihilation. The abyss.”
The man has “annihilation anxiety”. Oddly, this condition had its own Wikipedia entry a few years back. That has disappeared - along with any mention of its synonyms (the “unthinkable” anxiety - the “impossible” anxiety). He is suffering from extreme existential angst.
He is also depressed. He complains that his world is empty and he cannot find meaning in anything.
How do you treat him? Does he need antipsychotics? Anti anxiety pills? Anti depressants? Or do you wait? Is he on the verge of psychosis? Or has he already stepped into it?
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