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Paul92

What's the point?

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Has anyone ever struggled with/overcome obsessions surrounding what is the point of life, if we all die? My argument was always, yes, but we are doing out bit to create a better world for everyone to live in for the next generations.

But then I had the thought that the universe is predicted to end one day. Everything as we know it will be gone, along with the memories etc.

If the universe went on infinitely, I could accept dying. Because then I'd be doing my bit and in a way I and my loved ones would live on forever. Which is a beautiful thought. But science tells us this is unlikely.

Everything we love and everyone we love, will be gone one day.

Trying my best to not think about it... but everything seems pointless at the moment. Why do anything is one day it'll all be gone and nobody or no thing will ever remember it?

Is this even OCD? My enitre body just feels totally numb.

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Paul this is just another intrusive element of thinking on a repetitive theme, urges to varrying out compulsions (ruminating, re-assurance-seeking amongst others)  and as a consequence you suffer Disorder (distress) . So now tell me,  what does that therefore make it?

You need to spot these intrusions and begin to challenge them.

OK you aren't ready to do this without a co-pilot at the moment, but you are still disregarding the excellent advice on this you have previously received on other topics of yours. Still carrying on the same way regardless and - stop press - you are still stuck aren't you? 

None of us get better by keeping stuck like this, carrying on giving belief to obsessions and carrying out compulsions - and we never will.  You need to work what you have been told, resist engaging with these intrusions (getting busy on other things) and work towards being able to "fly solo".

And please do try and resist the compulsion to post more topics of the same ilk. 

Edited by taurean

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Hi Paul,

these do sound like intrusive thoughts and the more you try to figure out the meaning of life, the more you're essentially ruminating. I think the right thing to ask yourself here is who cares about the meaning of life? The point of life is to live and to make the most of what you have. The idea that it will all eventually end and that we don't know what is beyond this existance is what makes life so special and wonderful. We all have a limited time on this earth so we need to enjoy what we have, not sit and obsess about our contributions to the world and how meaningful it all is because the universe may end millions of years from now. 

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I'm sorry, I just get lost in my own mind and I don't always have anywhere else to turn than these forums. The other day I broke down and started posting on a new age spirituality forum, as I wanted to believe that we are all infinite spirits, when quite clearly, there is zero evidence for that.

I think it's just helpful for me to get perspective and opinions of others from time to time on whether this is even is OCD.. I know I must frustrate people, but I cannot tell you how hopeless I feel right now. I'm not 100% convinced that it is OCD, to be honest, and rather I've just realised the pointlessness of life.

I can refocus quite well. I just get back into my hobbies. It isn't easy. But then I feel like I am acting and the urge to figure it out comes even stronger. I did it once with the solipsism, which doesn't bother me anymore, and it took a lot of energy but I will try and do it again.

The point does stand though that if everything will end one day, it makes everything pointless. I do love life. This has intensified during a period where I have started seeing a girl. I think I've fallen for her, and the thought of what we have together just disappearing into nothing really hurts. Maybe that is just OCD attacking the things I value.

Edited by Paul92

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5 minutes ago, Paul92 said:

Maybe that is just OCD attacking the things I value.

 

Yes it is! Look, OCD essentially finds points of doubt and uncertainty and makes us obsess and crave for an answer. But what can possibly be more uncertain than the meaning of life? Literally nobody knows that, despite the fact that philisophers have pondered about it for hundreds of years.

When you have doubts like this, just remind yourself that there is plenty of uncertainty in this life and that OCD is fixating on it. You don't need an answer. 

I don't think it's frustrating for anyone to read your posts, we all chose what we rea dand respond to. It's just not good for you to write out all your ruminations and seek answers!

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23 minutes ago, malina said:

Yes it is! Look, OCD essentially finds points of doubt and uncertainty and makes us obsess and crave for an answer. But what can possibly be more uncertain than the meaning of life? Literally nobody knows that, despite the fact that philisophers have pondered about it for hundreds of years.

When you have doubts like this, just remind yourself that there is plenty of uncertainty in this life and that OCD is fixating on it. You don't need an answer. 

I don't think it's frustrating for anyone to read your posts, we all chose what we rea dand respond to. It's just not good for you to write out all your ruminations and seek answers!

 

So you can sit there and the thought of the end of the universe doesn't really bother you? I know this is reassurance seeking, but as I have said before, I will take your word for it and that will motivate me to refocus.

I'm not really interested in the meaning of life. I always created my own. I love this life, that is the issue. My meaning would be, if the universe would just exist forever, to carry on the human race and do my bit to try and create a peaceful civilisation. That is what I always thought. But if it all ends, then it renders everything a bit pointless. I work in a college/university, and I constantly helping learners with their work. But I just keep getting the thought that it is all a waste of time now for both them and me.

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19 minutes ago, Paul92 said:

So you can sit there and the thought of the end of the universe doesn't really bother you?

 

I honestly don't care about the end of the universe. I don't think about it, it has no meaning to me. 

But there are plenty of other uncertainties in life that do terrify me, just like any OCD sufferer. The things that upset me may seem like nothing to you or another person. 

This is one of the uncertainties that you have to learn to live with. You have to learn to live in the moment and not worry about the fate of the human race, that is a big burden to worry about and one that you have absolutely no control over. It's one of the things you'll have to learn to let go. 

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Paul, we really can't engage with you about your questions and doubts. That would actually be assisting you with your compulsions. What you need to understand is that you trying to figure things out is a compulsion and is making your situation worse. You have a choice. You can choose not to engage with these intrusive thoughts/questions that pop into your head. You can dismiss them as junk and leave them alone. Doing so will cause the intrusive thoughts to ease.

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I know, I'm sorry. As you know, it's easier said than done. Just trying to label it as junk and carry on as I always would. It keeps freaking me out but I've got nothing to lose. Thanks guys. 

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Paul it is junk to all of us and your aim is not to connect with these intrusions, not give the meaning to them that OCD wants. 

You find this theme upsetting - but all themes of OCD bring about the D part, Disorder. 

But, eventually, not if we refuse to listen to the OCD and rather listen to the wise words from the forum. 

I truly believe that most of us can make significant improvements if we follow the right path, and don't give belief to the OCD. 

Those intrusions are only going to ease off as you progressively give less attention to them. Not in a day, probably not in a week, but soon - if you keep your nerve - as the OCD will try to up its game as you resist. 

Listen to WE not the OCD. 

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I'm really trying. But this time it's just so hard. 

I just love this world and all my loved ones so much. To think we all will fade into nothing breaks my heart and takes the colour out of everything. Utterly heart breaking. 

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But it's not a realistic approach - it's an OCD exaggeration - if you like it's a sort of Sci Fi "doomwatch" point of view, it's negative and irrational - and OCD catastrophising. 

You don't have to follow that line of thinking - and the more you accept that, the more you steer your focus elsewhere, the sooner you will regain control of your line of thinking and emotions. 

Boy do I personally know how difficult this is. And yet, without any especial mental strengths, I have managed to do this. 

We all have that capability. 

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13 hours ago, taurean said:

But it's not a realistic approach - it's an OCD exaggeration - if you like it's a sort of Sci Fi "doomwatch" point of view, it's negative and irrational - and OCD catastrophising. 

You don't have to follow that line of thinking - and the more you accept that, the more you steer your focus elsewhere, the sooner you will regain control of your line of thinking and emotions. 

Boy do I personally know how difficult this is. And yet, without any especial mental strengths, I have managed to do this. 

We all have that capability. 

Thank you for your support. I can't tell you how frightened I am currently. All that new age spirituality - new age Buddhism - has mashed my head and I don't know why my mind has latched onto it. And then when I feel like I've gotten past that I just fixate on time and the end of the universe. 

I had a strange experience last night. I was at a low I'd never felt before. I looked at myself in the mirror and I didn't really recognise myself and then I threw up. I woke up this morning with my stomach in knots. I feel a bit better now but just numb.

I felt okay ish for parts yesterday and then I googled something at my parents (my dad is into Buddhism and spirituality so it's hard to avoid), and it freaked me out. I seem to go from crushing lows and then almost within a few moments I can be really high, but it doesn't feel like genuine happiness but rather an act. 

Sorry for rambling on. My mission for today is to not engage, or Google anything. Get some rest and eat well. Might as well try and do the work. 

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I made the mistake of doing Buddhist meditation when I had depression. I ended up in floods of tears at the meditation centre and an even lower mood. Eventually seeing a GP when I was in a very bad way. There is now evidence that meditation in the religious guise or more secular guise in the CBT context is counterindicated in cases of depression. Meditation can work for some people but it being challenged that it is a universal solution to all mental health problems.

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7 minutes ago, Angst said:

I made the mistake of doing Buddhist meditation when I had depression. I ended up in floods of tears at the meditation centre and an even lower mood. Eventually seeing a GP when I was in a very bad way. There is now evidence that meditation in the religious guise or more secular guise in the CBT context is counterindicated in cases of depression. Meditation can work for some people but it being challenged that it is a universal solution to all mental health problems.

How are you now? 

Still struggling to see how everything isn't pointless if humans will be exstinct and the universe is going to die. Why do we strive for anything? I honestly feel so so hopeless. There's no hope. All notable cosmologists and physicists say that is going to happen. Fact. There isn't any any doubt, so that's why I don't see how it is OCD. I feel like I've just discovered how meaningless life really is and it's literally killing me. 

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There are very simple meditations to learn which are designed purely to relax and calm us and focus our attention away from our troubles. 

The breath focus simply directs our attention to our breathing, and we take slower, diaphragmatic breaths, relaxing our muscles at the same time. 

With the body focus meditation, whilst breathing slowly we work around our body, tensioning then relaxing each muscle group - great for easing away tension. 

With a mantra meditation, we choose a focus word and express it or just think it on each out breath. 

All simple, performed in a safe controlled environment, and can really benefit us. 

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13 minutes ago, Paul92 said:

How are you now? 

Still struggling to see how everything isn't pointless if humans will be exstinct and the universe is going to die. Why do we strive for anything? I honestly feel so so hopeless. There's no hope. All notable cosmologists and physicists say that is going to happen. Fact. There isn't any any doubt, so that's why I don't see how it is OCD. I feel like I've just discovered how meaningless life really is and it's literally killing me. 

So what? Why let this bother us? 

I don't see lack of meaning. I am nearly 69 years old and each day is a new day with opportunities to engage with those I love, with whom I am friendly, or need to contact. 

When I was a child we lived in danger of the four minute warning of nuclear armageddon. But did we think about that all day long? No, not at all - we buried it at the back of our minds because worrying is damaging and absolutely pointless. 

For most of my career in The City of London I lived under constant possibility of terrorist attack. How did I deal with that? Took sensible precautions and refused to worry. 

Our world will someday end as our star, the sun, will reach the end of its life. 

But there are thousands of other worlds out there within the universe, and new stars and planets are always being created - and the universe continues to expand. 

As an amateur astronomer I marvel in this, not fear it. 

OCD will pick us a theme or themes using falsehood exaggeration or revulsion, constantly remind us of its negativity and engage in catastrophic thinking. 

But we don't have to listen to it, believe it. 

 

Edited by taurean

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Hi Paul92

I am not too bad now.

The US Healthcare and Quality Department - the equivalent of NICE in the UK -  have published an evidence based article ‘Meditation Prograns for Psychological Stress and Well Being’ which is a meta analysis of forms of meditation such as mantras and  mindedfulness which to me demonstrates quite weak evidence for their efficacy especially with regard to established treatments. I cite this article as it is open access and therefore easy to download.

Your are back to existentialism. Existential therapy is about finding meaning in life.

Edited by Angst

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4 hours ago, taurean said:

So what? Why let this bother us? 

I don't see lack of meaning. I am nearly 69 years old and each day is a new day with opportunities to engage with those I love, with whom I am friendly, or need to contact. 

When I was a child we lived in danger of the four minute warning of nuclear armageddon. But did we think about that all day long? No, not at all - we buried it at the back of our minds because worrying is damaging and absolutely pointless. 

For most of my career in The City of London I lived under constant possibility of terrorist attack. How did I deal with that? Took sensible precautions and refused to worry. 

Our world will someday end as our star, the sun, will reach the end of its life. 

But there are thousands of other worlds out there within the universe, and new stars and planets are always being created - and the universe continues to expand. 

As an amateur astronomer I marvel in this, not fear it. 

OCD will pick us a theme or themes using falsehood exaggeration or revulsion, constantly remind us of its negativity and engage in catastrophic thinking. 

But we don't have to listen to it, believe it. 

 

It does bother me, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry that I seem to be going round in circles, but I can't even find the words to tell you how I feel right now, and I sometimes feel this forum is all I have.

It just breaks my heart that me, you and everyone else, along with all our memories and stories, will one day be gone. Which latches onto everything else in my life. Why do we bother having jobs or doing XYZ, if this will all come to an end one day. If we knew the universe would carry on infinitely, then I could accept my own death, because we'd live on and we could be doing our bit to advance our species.

I know these are ruminations. I just feel really hopeless.

 

 

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It is ruminating, it is giving belief to irrational thinking and you do need to work on breaking free from the negative focus it has built. 

For me, we live on through our families and friends. What happens in the future we cannot control so we must work to accepting that. 

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21 minutes ago, taurean said:

It is ruminating, it is giving belief to irrational thinking and you do need to work on breaking free from the negative focus it has built. 

For me, we live on through our families and friends. What happens in the future we cannot control so we must work to accepting that. 

I know what you are saying. I wish I had your perspective. I'm 26 years old, and one half of me loves this life so much and the other half just wants to cut to the chase and end it.

Maybe I will try taking the Sertraline I was prescribed. See if that helps.

Can I ask, have you ever had existential themes? I don't mean that as in "if you haven't then you can't understand". I'm just generally curious to see if you have.

Thanks again.

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4 hours ago, Paul92 said:

Can I ask, have you ever had existential themes? I don't mean that as in "if you haven't then you can't understand". I'm just generally curious to see if you have. 

No, my themes have been magical thinking, harm and checking. 

Part of whatever our treatment for whatever our theme is needs to be challenging what the OCD is saying (but not by seeking re-assurance, which is a compulsion). 

As a child I successfully used this to overcome my magical thinking theme, without knowing I was a sufferer from OCD, or that I had stumbled upon the right way to treat it. 

So challenging what OCD is telling us - seeing it as lies, falsehoods, exaggerations or revulsions is important. OCD's take on things is actually negative worthless nonsense to which we, pointlessly, spend increasing portions of our lives. 

Where others might take part in a reasoned debate - such as existentialism - then forget it and move on, the OCD sufferer is compelled to continue the debate, search for "vital" clues and sufferers disorder as a result. 

When we fight the need to focus, the need to debate, and the urge to carry out compulsions, then we are on the road to recovery. 

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11 hours ago, Paul92 said:

Still struggling to see how everything isn't pointless if humans will be exstinct and the universe is going to die.

1. Even if its true that the universe will some day die and humans will go extinct, we are here now, living our lives now, experiencing life now.  Whatever happens to the universe and our species is basically beyond our control.  You can spend your whole life trying to decide what to do about that, or you can live your life and enjoy whatever time it is you do have.

2. We can't even be sure that either of those things will happen.  What if they don't?  Or what if they do but there is something else going on we don't yet understand/know about?  What if there is an afterlife of some kind?  What if there is a way to leave this universe and travel to a new one before its all over?  What if the end of this universe influences the next?  There are so many possibilities, so many things we just don't know.

 

 

11 hours ago, Paul92 said:

There's no hope. All notable cosmologists and physicists say that is going to happen. Fact. There isn't any any doubt, so that's why I don't see how it is OCD.

Not quite fact, just the current most likely best guess, because thats how science works.  Science always allows for other possibilities if you can find a better explanation or prove something differently.  For as much as we know there is so much we DONT know.  Take dark matter and dark energy for example.  We know very little about either (if they even exist).  There are many ideas on what they are or how they can be, but we haven't been able to prove any of them.  The human mind, for as brilliant as it is, is also limited.  In addition to all these things we don't yet know about the universe its entirely possible there are things we will never know, that we can't possibly know.  That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with trying to know them, but, as I alluded to above, what if there are things like an afterlife, things with are beyond our sciences ability to explain or understand?  No doubt? Oh there is definitely doubt, thats why scientists continue to research, to seek knowledge, to explain, because any good scientist knows that there is so much we DONT yet know.

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And remember, hiding beneath all this is that old favourite card of OCD, the demand for certainty. 

And how are we taught to deal with that card - to trump it? 

By probability, and indifference. 

So for me, I know the universe is continuing to expand - and it's done that since the dawn of time (estimated to be about 14 billion years). So why shouldn't it continue to do so? 

And if it doesn't, so what? I won't be here - I 've known since I was sentient that we are mortal, we all die. I have known loved and lost many people and animals. I have learned to accept and cope with such losses without ongoing distress. 

Rationally I should be more worried about nuclear war. But as I said earlier, I accepted that possibility as a child. 

So what SHOULD I worry about? 

The answer is simple. I have learned that we should never worry. Be concerned, yes. Prepared yes. But worry? It's an absolute no no. It makes us distressed depressed and ill, upset others around us and achieve nothing. 

 

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1 hour ago, taurean said:

And remember, hiding beneath all this is that old favourite card of OCD, the demand for certainty. 

And how are we taught to deal with that card - to trump it? 

By probability, and indifference. 

So for me, I know the universe is continuing to expand - and it's done that since the dawn of time (estimated to be about 14 billion years). So why shouldn't it continue to do so? 

And if it doesn't, so what? I won't be here - I 've known since I was sentient that we are mortal, we all die. I have known loved and lost many people and animals. I have learned to accept and cope with such losses without ongoing distress. 

Rationally I should be more worried about nuclear war. But as I said earlier, I accepted that possibility as a child. 

So what SHOULD I worry about? 

The answer is simple. I have learned that we should never worry. Be concerned, yes. Prepared yes. But worry? It's an absolute no no. It makes us distressed depressed and ill, upset others around us and achieve nothing. 

 

The current prediction is that it can't continue to expand forever, as things will become so distant gravity will not be able to retain a hold on anything. And light will not be able to reach anywhere as it will be simply too far. As a result, heat death. We know the Sun will engulf the earth, too. Which makes me wonder what is the whole point of this? What sort of God or creator, if there is one, would be so cruel?

People like Eckhart Tolle and other spiritual gurus tell us we are not our minds, we just think we are. And we are all the same thing. But if I wasn't supposed to have a mind, with memory, reasoning, decision making abilities, why do I have one? Also, humans came before any of these teachings. So I am a materialist, I believe in the laws of physics and the biology of the human being.

I know I shouldn't worry about it. But it's really upsetting me at the moment, to think my loved ones are going to be gone and nobody will ever remember them. And the whole thing about time, too. I sometimes get this feeling like we are already dead, as everything is temporary. Like even the universe has already ended because that point in time WILL come. If something is guaranteed, my mind tells me that it has sort of already happened. Which scares me.

I know worrying is pointless. It's just hard to stop worrying about the disappearance of things that make your life worth living. It's a terrible paradox.

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