International Journal of Philosophical Practice

Volume 4, Issue 4, Fall 2018

Ross Channing Reed
Pages 37-54

Depression, Anxiety, Powerlessness and Irrational Belief in Unlimited Individual
Possibility as a Consequence of Ubiquitous Systemic Terror

Systemic existential conditions are indelible aspects of a client’s reflective and non-reflective modes of consciousness. These conditions impinge upon a client’s ability and willingness to think through his/her situation in the world, as this may serve to highlight the terror of living. Depression, anxiety, and a sense of powerlessness, in conjunction with a contradictory belief in unlimited individual possibility are often translations of and reaction formations against the ontological experience of terror. The problematic nature of terror, as such, is discussed, as are its effects upon those who seek counseling. Sources of terror include but are not limited to the increasing monetization of all facets of contemporary post-Modern society, the collapse of the possibility of a democratic society, the renewed global arms race, the increasing debt load shouldered by individuals, the destruction of liberal arts education, and the wholesale disregard of basic human rights as enumerated in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In sum, an artificially created state of nature could account for currently existing conditions of terror and the attendant consequences of that terror: depression, anxiety, a sense of powerlessness, and an irrational belief in unlimited individual possibility.