Anxiety or Psychosis

10 posts / 0 new
Last post
rat spit's picture
Anxiety or Psychosis

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.
“Famine. Drought?”
“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?


rat spit

Subscription Note: 

Choosing to subscribe to this topic will automatically register you for email notifications for comments and updates on this thread.

Email notifications will be sent out daily by default unless specified otherwise on your account which you can edit by going to your userpage here and clicking on the subscriptions tab.

Grinseed's picture
He needs to watch Butt

He needs to watch Butt Pirates 3 real bad!

Cognostic's picture
@rat spit: You little

@rat spit: You little genius. "You give him the URL for Atheist Republic and tell him to save as many people as he can." Yea, it's not a cure but he gets his crazy fuck shit assertions challenged, he has something to bitch about in each new session, and the money keeps rolling in. (Now we know what is going on.)

TheBlindWatchmaker's picture
How would I treat him? with

How would I treat him? with kindness, with compassion.

I would talk to him, delve into his inner being and find out what triggers or causes these feelings.

There are also lot's of ways to deal/cope with anxiety, I struggle with it myself but do not medicate any longer (not that I condone modern medicine, just simply put, I wanted to be completely clean of any form of medication whilst I was pregnant).

One thing I would not suggest however, is to have them lured by the religious zealots that will simply either agree and encourage or lie to you with tales of salvation etc. All depending on the flavour of theism you are approached by.

jeevion's picture
People that do this *may*

People that do this *may* conflate the end of the world with the end of themselves. The problem with searching for something (ie. meaning of life) while *not* knowing it may *not* exist renders one liable to never find it *if* it does not actually exist. This is a (psycho)pathology:


The expression of one being bound to search for something that might/does not exist in an ongoing state.

Searching for something that does not exist such that "believing", if found, would free one from their own suffering (the insufferably fruitless endeavor) of pursuing that which might never be found can bring about a/the need for such a kind of (self-)annihilation which is projected externally (ie. “Just pure annihilation. The abyss.”).

It is a case of projection - the fear is irrational, and if the being understands the imagery they are imagining is ones own internal state externalized, they may understand that it is of their own making. Is man made in the image of god, or god made in the image of man? The good and evil of man externalized, by man, but projected bigger and more powerful in the image and likeness of god/STN.

If suffering were a bleeding wound, understanding its source is the suture. If a person is suffering a “world is going to end” pathology, even granting this as true, it applies to everyone. Therefor, instead of focusing on that it is coming for them, understand it is coming for everyone, and focus on what one might get to do and/or experience before it does come.

Perhaps this way, they will realize over time that it is not worth suffering an "inevitability" (delusion) at the expense of ones immediate person. Perhaps they will too realize that the entire pathology is generated and/or self-perpetuated by themselves, which would release the bind. No medication would be needed, just a kind of re-orientation of perspective.

If this individual could channel this emotive energy into something that works for them, rather than against them, they might tap into something that discovers a meaning for *their* life: how to overcome depression, for example, as they will certainly see it in the others who themselves suffer it, and know well what they are going through. And their testimony being true as having overcome it (if true), speaking from experience, and they go on to help others get out of the place he was in.

It would add "meaning" to the life of him, and those around him who would be indebted to his help: he lived it, he first helped himself out of it, now he helps others.

It doesn't take "belief" in a god to do something "meaningful".

Tin-Man's picture
@Agnos Re: "It doesn't take

@Agnos Re: "It doesn't take "belief" in a god to do something "meaningful"."

I have to admit I am in full agreement with that statement.... *thumbs up*...

xenoview's picture

Are you talking about yourself?

rat spit's picture
That young man was indeed

That young man was indeed once my self. I was treated with antipsychotics because my main complaint was that “the world was going to end”. And the doctor didn’t quite understand that, as Apoc has eluded to, it was the utter extinction of my Self which was the cause of my concerns.

I was also deeply depressed. The antipsychotics conflated my problem. I believe the onset of my eventual psychosis might have lasted with less duration and intensity had the anxiety and depression been addressed first.

Thank you for your contributions. I will push production of “Butt Pirates 3” to an even earlier date if it will help to save unfortunate souls.

rat spit

jeevion's picture
It does take "belief" in a

It does take "belief" in a god to do something terrible.

I'm sorry Tin-Man your entrance is too grand
to pass up and leave squandered.

Wizard of Oz

Dorothy: Human Soul
Scarecrow: Psychology
Tin-Man: Emotion
Lion: "Nerve" (ie. Instinct)

It might be accurate:

The Hebrew letter 'shin' in STN is the trio: psychology, emotion, instinct.
The Hebrew letter 'tet' in STN is a serpentine bind.
The Hebrew letter 'nun' (final) is an ongoing (ie. indefinite) state.

When these (ie. shin; trio) are attached to (ie. tet; bound) anything (ie. an idol) in an ongoing state, this is from whence human suffering and is the same word: STN (satan).

And how terrible would it be:

if "believers" "believed"
(in an ongoing state)
that such things as books
("believed" to be Oz)
and long-dead characters
(as graven as they are)
as they are imagined
(in the heavens of them)

are, in the reality,

a cause to themselves
(if I only had a brain...)
to hack at their emotions
(if I only had a heart...)
and render cowardice
(if I only had the nerve...)
among those who irrationally fear
(unlike Toto, the dog)
MEN, behind curtains.


Tin-Man's picture
@Agnos Re: Wizard of Oz

@Agnos Re: Wizard of Oz

Yes, that rascal Toto was definitely a brave little champ. Glad you managed to mention him. But, remember, he was also very loyal. Plus, he was intelligent and very caring. Therefore, if you think about it, Toto was actually the fully combined embodiment of all the other four. Pretty cool, huh? Ahhh... I miss that little guy sometimes... *reflective sigh*...

Donating = Loving

Heart Icon

Bringing you atheist articles and building active godless communities takes hundreds of hours and resources each month. If you find any joy or stimulation at Atheist Republic, please consider becoming a Supporting Member with a recurring monthly donation of your choosing, between a cup of tea and a good dinner.

Or make a one-time donation in any amount.