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  1. #1
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    nihilism- has anyone heard of this??

    has anyone ever heard of nihilism? and if yes in what context? a client at work apparently has been described w/ this. is it like a personality trait? does it ever go away? which disorders does this primarily appear w/???

    this is the definition I found at dictionary.com:

    1. Philosophy.
    a) An extreme form of skepticism that denies all existence.
    b) A doctrine holding that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated.
    2. Rejection of all distinctions in moral or religious value and a willingness to repudiate all previous theories of morality or religious belief.
    3. belief that destruction of existing political or social institutions is necessary for future improvement.
    4. also Nihilism A diffuse, revolutionary movement of mid 19th-century Russia that scorned authority and tradition and believed in reason, materialism, and radical change in society and government through terrorism and assassination.
    5. Psychiatry. A delusion, experienced in some mental disorders, that the world or one's mind, body, or self does not exist.

  2. #2
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    nihilism- has anyone heard of this??

    As you have discovered, it is more a philosophy or attitude than a personality trai, I think, although one could probably expect cynicism and pessimism to go along with nihilism.

    If the client has been given this "diagnosis" it is probably referring more to #5.

    define:nihilism
    Definitions of nihilism on the Web:

    the belief that there is no universal truth or underlying reality that undergirds moral values; that ultimately existence is meaningless. From the Latin "nihil" or "nothing".
    gbgm-umc.org/umw/corinthians/glossary.stm

    As a doctrine of negation, nihilism maintains that religious and moral truths are entirely irrational. It then follows, in the words of Ivan, from Dostoyevski's The Brothers Karamazov, "If God does not exist, then everything is permitted." Nihilism is a pessimistic view of reality which results from "God is dead" thinking. In the words of Nietzsche, since there is no God, "there is no one to command, no one to obey, no one to transgress. ...
    www.apologetics.org/glossary.html

    a philosophy that denies the existence of any basis for knowledge or truth, and results in an inability to ascribe meaning to any aspect of reality.
    www.summit.org/resource/dictionary/

    Name given to Russian revolutionary Anarchists of the 19th century. First used by novelist Ivan Sergeyvich Turgenev (1818-83) in his books like 'Fathers and Sons', etc.
    www.embassy.org.nz/encycl/n3encyc.htm

    (Latin) Nothing. {SD, BCW}
    www.theosociety.org/pasadena/etgloss/nf-nz.htm

    commonly defined as “belief in nothing” or “denial of existence” (see also philosophical skepticism) or the view that value and meaning do not exist.
    www.strongatheism.net/intro/lexicon/

    1. Philosophy. An extreme form of skepticism that denies all existence. A doctrine holding that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. 2.Rejection of all distinctions in moral or religious value and a willingness to repudiate all previous theories of morality or religious belief. 3.The belief that destruction of existing political or social institutions is necessary for future improvement. 4. ...
    missbunbun.tripod.com/id7.html

    a revolutionary doctrine that advocates destruction of the social system for its own sake
    nihilistic delusion: the delusion that things (or everything, including the self) do not exist; a sense that everything is unreal
    complete denial of all established authority and institutions
    wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

    Nihilism literally means belief in nothing. As a philosophical position, nihilism is the view that the world, and especially human existence, is without meaning, purpose, comprehensible truth, or essential value. It is more often a charge levelled against a particular idea than a position to which someone is overtly subscribed. Movements such as Dada, Deconstructionism, and Punk have been described by various observers as "nihilist". ...
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nihilism

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    nihilism- has anyone heard of this??

    Shakespeare was good at portraying the feeling of nihilism:

    William Shakespeare eloquently summarized the existential nihilist's perspective when, in this famous passage near the end of Macbeth, he has Macbeth pour out his disgust for life:

    Out, out, brief candle!
    Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more; it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.

    Nihilism - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
    A good movie about overcoming nihilism is I Heart Huckabees, which stars Dustin Hoffman and Lilly Tomlin.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    nihilism- has anyone heard of this??

    thanks for all the great input from both of you! David, have you encountered this in clients? is this a common type of belief system (among clients or people in general)? what type of disorders bring this about if any??? and do people ever change their belief system/attitude w/ time?? the reason why I'm asking so many questions is b/c I've never heard of this until now and it seems really interesting. the client is definitely very negative but also very dissociated almost from reality. in her own little world in what she says, believes, appears... is this necessarily a negative attitude in terms of living one's life or recovering from something (I know it's negative, it's very negative, but I mean everyone's allowed their own opinions, right?)?

  5. #5
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    nihilism- has anyone heard of this??

    Forgot to mention: A book I have found most helpful to deal with my own strain of nihilism is Existential Counselling & Psychotherapy in Practice. Below are some excerpts:

    It has been suggested by existentialists that one can only learn to live when life has first become meaningless. In this sense the existential approach is particularly pertinent with clients who have lost the will to meaning and who feel trapped in an absurd life.
    -- page 136

    As always, people tend to operate with static views of themselves and the world; they think in terms of either/or. Either they will for example believe in God, or they will be stuck with a meaningless universe. Instead they may discover the need for a dynamic integration of their striving for absolute truth on the one hand and their basic sceptical starting point of doubt on the other.
    -- page 140
    Another book I liked was the existential novel The Schopenhauer Cure by Irvin Yalom.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  6. #6
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    nihilism- has anyone heard of this??

    I havent heard the word Nihilism for ages now, I was very heavily involved in the punk era and used to hang around with a group of people who claimed they where nihilists, they always said ,,we came from nothing, we are nothing and we go back to nothing,, I started to believe in their way of thinking more and more,in relation to my life and illness it really did make sense at the time, Ive changed alot now though, so many things have happened that make me see there is a point to it, although I still havent worked out what that point is! Daniel thanks for putting this up its brought back some good memorys of my punk years, pink hair and things, it weird how one word can trigger things off. I think I will go and find some of my old punk records and have a punk day today, thanks!

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