Existential depression is very common amongst gifted individuals. In fact, a wide array of mental and emotional difficulties can be found in many gifted individuals. This all can stem back to grade school, when they were most likely picked on and bullied for being different and “nerdy”.
Existential depression occurs in gifted students many times due to their acute sensitivity to world issues. Many then place blame on the adult world for not doing enough or anything at all in order to fix the problems that they know and care about. These young students then usually attempt to help fix these problems themselves. When they find out that no matter what they do, their “feeble” attempts as mere children cannot aid in solving the many issues this world has, they withdraw and begin questioning what their purpose in life truly is if they cannot do anything about the problems that they recognize.
It is important for children showing symptoms of existentialism, depression or both to see a counselor immediately, as suicide attempts among creative and highly sensitive youth are frequent according to “A Parent’s Guide to Gifted Children.”
Existential depression in gifted children is common due to the basic human need to fit in, and with the high sensitivity to complex issues, these gifted children do not fit in well with a majority of other kids their age. That is why it is important for schools to create groups or clubs for highly intelligent children to participate in. This will show them that they are not alone in their way of thinking among children their own age as many youths who suffer existential depression and are gifted feel trapped in general classrooms where they are not challenged. This sort of interaction is much more important than just having adults engage them in thoughtful conversations, as these gifted children will still see that age gap, and use that to mentally separate themselves from the adults.
Seeing a counselor or psychologist is also important in treating existential depression amongst gifted children. During therapy session, the children will be talked through their anxieties in order to find the true root of them. As many parents know, they do not always get straight answers from their children through direct questions. A good amount of counseling sessions will allow a therapist to find ways into the child’s mind through the carious different conversations that have been had.
While it can be very difficult to prevent existential depression from manifesting in gifted individuals, the treatment, if started early, can be very effective. Psychotherapy along with other activities can help show an existential depressive that their life does in fact have meaning, and that they are not, in fact, alone. These sessions can also help show what needs to be done or changed in order to prevent this emotional ailment from returning. If existential depression in a gifted young person is left unchecked, the results can be disastrous, however.