Atheism and Depression.
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01-11-2013, 06:45 PM
Atheism and Depression.
Hi,

This is my first post on these forums so I'd just like to say hi to everyone.

I'm Connor and I'm 16. I'm from the North of England, which is a lovely place, yet I suffer with depression a lot. I'm an atheist so I'm worried my beliefs are making me very pessimistic about the future and my place in the universe. Obviously this does not make my condition any easier.

I am certain that Atheism is the right option for me, but I was hoping you lovely people on these forums could help me with my issue. I want help on how to be happy with Atheism.

Thank you!
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01-11-2013, 07:03 PM
RE: Atheism and Depression.
Welcome to the forum! My only advice thus far is that you've got to work on being happy with life, not atheism. Atheism will inform only one aspect of your worldview. You've got the whole rest of the world to view correctly in order to be happy.

Good to have you here! Smile

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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01-11-2013, 07:06 PM
RE: Atheism and Depression.
Atheism is a very very VERY limited declaration. That you don't believe in God(s).

You can still believe in what ever supernatural or irrational beliefs that you like which make you happy, just as long as they're not Gods, and still be an atheist.

Just like you can believe in a God, and still be depressed "Oh man, if I don't do everything in the bible, i'm going to burn for ever!"

Atheism is a pretty weak declaration. Almost useless.

Any other beliefs that you have that are making you feel depressed, are most likely separate from atheism. But if it isn't, that you like an invisible superman watching you, then why aren't you depressed that Zeus or Thor isn't looking over you? Why focus on one God among many?
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01-11-2013, 07:09 PM
RE: Atheism and Depression.
(01-11-2013 07:06 PM)PoolBoyG Wrote:  Atheism is a very very VERY limited declaration. That you don't belief in God(s).

You can still believe in what ever supernatural or irrational beliefs that you like which make you happy, just as long as they're not Gods, and still be an atheist.

Just like you can believe in a God, and still be depressed "Oh man, if I don't do everything in the bible, i'm going to burn for ever!"

Atheism is a pretty weak declaration. Almost useless.

Any other beliefs that you have that are making you feel depressed, are most likely separate from atheism. But if it isn't, that you like an invisible superman watching you, then why aren't you depressed that Zeus or Thor isn't looking over you? Why focus on one God among many?

Thanks for the reply mate, it's not the issue that I WISH there was a God, rather that I realise that we are a "pale blue speck of dust suspended in a vast, cold Universe" - T.J Kirk. Kinda just makes everything seem worthless. I realise that I have to cherish life, it's just that nothing seems to make me want to.
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01-11-2013, 07:26 PM
RE: Atheism and Depression.
(01-11-2013 07:09 PM)Mancunian-Heathen Wrote:  I realise that I have to cherish life, it's just that nothing seems to make me want to.

Hang in there and give it a bit. Life has a way of creating cherishable meaning for itself. Thumbsup

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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02-11-2013, 02:38 AM
RE: Atheism and Depression.
Hey!
I'm 17 and in the last year I went from sort of undecided as far as Atheism and spirituality goes, to completely Atheist and non-believer.
I took me quite a few sleepless nights and some depressing months to get trough the thought of no afterlife, but I think it's just a phase most new Atheists go trough.
Once you accept it, though, you'll feel great and stop wasting your time/life on things you don't want to do.
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02-11-2013, 06:05 AM
RE: Atheism and Depression.
Atheism in your teens can be a bit of an issue because the religious have a safe frame work to mold themselves into and have to make few decisions and don't need to give thought to things. Everything is pre-defined for them.

As atheist however, you have all the choices in the world. There is so much to explore and so many ways of looking at things that it can become overwhelming.

Yes, you are a speck of dust in the universe. So is everyone else you know, and everyone who ever lived.

Yet there are so many people who have accomplished huge things. If you could be anyone, who would you like to be? Why?

There's your starting point...

Life has whatever purpose you give it.

[Image: dobie.png]

Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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02-11-2013, 09:50 AM
RE: Atheism and Depression.
My suspicion is that you live a pretty healthy life, free of distractions and escape mechanisms. Moreover you suffer some deficiency in your life, maybe as regards women and intimacy, or male friends and intimacy, or a foundation of career and security. Maybe little things that happen which frustrate and irritate you hint at systemic issues, long term problems. Do you know what you want in life and are you able to achieve it? These are my two questions I give you. My opinion is that many are depressed or would be depressed like you if they faced reality raw. Congratulations for not using an escape mechanism. Many atheists like those above say it just means not believing in a god. I say no, it means facing reality raw without delusions and self-deceptions. The jew Marx hit the nail on the head once actually, Religion is the opiate of the masses. There are other opiates for sure, especially today, facebook, internet, masturbation, "psychology" even, which can all be just as dangerous.
"Idleness is the beginning of all psychology. What? Could it be that psychology is -- a vice?"

I suspect that men tend towards one set and women another, and they share many in common. My opinion is that depression is caused by frustration, and sustained by self-deception and laziness (and plain old ignorance)

If there are no gods, can there be prophets? My opinion is that religion gives people meaning and purpose in life, which lifts them up, especially if they are True Believers. Without this, we have to do a lot of hard work to make our lives meaningful and purposeful, to create meaning. Hard Work makes you free though, the Germans have that view, which is why they rock. Good luck on your path to creating meaning. "All Creators are hard"


My "prophet" is Nietzsche, his alter ego "Zarathustra" who acknowledges there is no god. His views simply resonate with my soul. Here are some quotes. His writings didn't influence me, they enhanced and validated me. He is a goldmine but the path is hard, and I don't want to hang on him either, as a crutch. "I am a rail by the river—grab me, who can grab me—your crutch, however, I am not.” Nietzsche, Zarathustra, “Of The Pale Criminal

You have to understand Connor, that the individual does not exist as an individual. We are meant for community and we are influenced by our environment and by the people therein. Not all societies and civilizations that have existed have been like ours. Used to be simpler, a man could speak his mind without fear of the smear, he worked the land or didn't live far from it in the concrete jungle, we lived primarily in villages of like minded people of the same race and culture, and trust was high and things were longer lasting and more continuous. We had less distraction. It wasn't all good and it wasn't all the same from time to time or place to place, and nobody here has any actual experience of it, but this modern world is a destroyer of traditional values and life styles. Women have changed, industries have changed

You are an atheist, and an Englishmen. It means you are probably a thinker. So think all the way to the end, whatever conclusion you may end up reaching, and share your views with no one except voluntarily in self-control. I find that Christianity is a garbage middle eastern Hebrew religion, the work of one fanatic troubled brain, of the man Saul/Paul, and the religion has been Europeanized to some extent but it brought us alien ideas, and it should be rejected as foreign matter.. but at the same time- this is important, I'm starting to realize many of the virtues ,which have been attributed to Christianity, are solid, sound, important, and these MUST NOT BE REJECTED. I'm talking about Hard Work, Gratitude, Humility, Contentment. The Christian vices were never Christian vices, they were universal vices: Envy, Sloth/Idleness, Greed, Lust (lusting in vain after what you can't achieve, and driving yourself crazy).

And Shame is often at the bottom of pain.
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02-11-2013, 03:57 PM
RE: Atheism and Depression.
(02-11-2013 09:50 AM)viking Wrote:  My suspicion is that you live a pretty healthy life, free of distractions and escape mechanisms. Moreover you suffer some deficiency in your life, maybe as regards women and intimacy, or male friends and intimacy, or a foundation of career and security. Maybe little things that happen which frustrate and irritate you hint at systemic issues, long term problems. Do you know what you want in life and are you able to achieve it? These are my two questions I give you. My opinion is that many are depressed or would be depressed like you if they faced reality raw. Congratulations for not using an escape mechanism. Many atheists like those above say it just means not believing in a god. I say no, it means facing reality raw without delusions and self-deceptions. The jew Marx hit the nail on the head once actually, Religion is the opiate of the masses. There are other opiates for sure, especially today, facebook, internet, masturbation, "psychology" even, which can all be just as dangerous.
"Idleness is the beginning of all psychology. What? Could it be that psychology is -- a vice?"

I suspect that men tend towards one set and women another, and they share many in common. My opinion is that depression is caused by frustration, and sustained by self-deception and laziness (and plain old ignorance)

If there are no gods, can there be prophets? My opinion is that religion gives people meaning and purpose in life, which lifts them up, especially if they are True Believers. Without this, we have to do a lot of hard work to make our lives meaningful and purposeful, to create meaning. Hard Work makes you free though, the Germans have that view, which is why they rock. Good luck on your path to creating meaning. "All Creators are hard"


My "prophet" is Nietzsche, his alter ego "Zarathustra" who acknowledges there is no god. His views simply resonate with my soul. Here are some quotes. His writings didn't influence me, they enhanced and validated me. He is a goldmine but the path is hard, and I don't want to hang on him either, as a crutch. "I am a rail by the river—grab me, who can grab me—your crutch, however, I am not.” Nietzsche, Zarathustra, “Of The Pale Criminal

You have to understand Connor, that the individual does not exist as an individual. We are meant for community and we are influenced by our environment and by the people therein. Not all societies and civilizations that have existed have been like ours. Used to be simpler, a man could speak his mind without fear of the smear, he worked the land or didn't live far from it in the concrete jungle, we lived primarily in villages of like minded people of the same race and culture, and trust was high and things were longer lasting and more continuous. We had less distraction. It wasn't all good and it wasn't all the same from time to time or place to place, and nobody here has any actual experience of it, but this modern world is a destroyer of traditional values and life styles. Women have changed, industries have changed

You are an atheist, and an Englishmen. It means you are probably a thinker. So think all the way to the end, whatever conclusion you may end up reaching, and share your views with no one except voluntarily in self-control. I find that Christianity is a garbage middle eastern Hebrew religion, the work of one fanatic troubled brain, of the man Saul/Paul, and the religion has been Europeanized to some extent but it brought us alien ideas, and it should be rejected as foreign matter.. but at the same time- this is important, I'm starting to realize many of the virtues ,which have been attributed to Christianity, are solid, sound, important, and these MUST NOT BE REJECTED. I'm talking about Hard Work, Gratitude, Humility, Contentment. The Christian vices were never Christian vices, they were universal vices: Envy, Sloth/Idleness, Greed, Lust (lusting in vain after what you can't achieve, and driving yourself crazy).

And Shame is often at the bottom of pain.

Thank you for your amazing reply. You have made some brilliant points and I am taking all your ideas on board. You are unbelievably helpful. Thanks!
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04-11-2013, 01:16 PM
RE: Atheism and Depression.
(01-11-2013 06:45 PM)Mancunian-Heathen Wrote:  Hi,

This is my first post on these forums so I'd just like to say hi to everyone.

I'm Connor and I'm 16. I'm from the North of England, which is a lovely place, yet I suffer with depression a lot. I'm an atheist so I'm worried my beliefs are making me very pessimistic about the future and my place in the universe. Obviously this does not make my condition any easier.

I am certain that Atheism is the right option for me, but I was hoping you lovely people on these forums could help me with my issue. I want help on how to be happy with Atheism.

Thank you!

If you're depressed then do something that will put your mind off it.
Like, try to think of something nice or cozy, listen to music or go away from the computer and associate with others.
Hope it helps.
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