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What is the problem with many people today?

What are the inner problems that people have in this generation and what is the cause of it? Why does it seem that more and more people are depressed and anxious? I’m sure you agree with me that we are currently living in an age of depression and anxiety. The rate of psychological problems is at an all-time high. Many people are unhappy with themselves and their lives.

Anxiety and depression are not new but they are increasing and at a great scale. One of the reasons for this psychological epidemic was written in the book Man’s Search for Himself by Rollo May. It is a book written 70 years ago but I believe applies today. In the following article, we will look at the reason for the psychological epidemic today that Rollo May discovered.

When everything feels like nothing

Rollo May goes on to explain that the primary problem is emptiness. In the sense that people not only do not know what they want but they also do not know what they feel. The case is not that we feel too much but too little. For many people, there is this abyss or void that is living within them. As human beings we are meant to feel, experience, and enjoy life, however, when you feel empty everything feels like nothing. People are not aware of their feelings, wants, and desires. A person who does not know what he desires is like a ship with no captain. The ship is at the mercy of the strong winds and ocean.

The ocean can be very unforgiving and ferocious. Where do you think a ship with no captain ends up? The answer is that the ship most probably becomes a shipwreck. Life is like the ocean, it’s scary, and deep and throws at us strong winds sometimes, taking us there and here. Our minds sometimes feel like it’s all over the place. If we do not know where we want to be and what we want we develop strong feelings of powerlessness.

Connection between Emptiness and powerlessness

One of the symptoms of depression is feelings of hopelessness. Feeling powerless can make us feel hopeless. As Rollo May said “The experience of emptiness comes from a feeling of powerlessness to do anything effective about their lives … thus he gets a deep sense of despair and futility. When a person feels powerless to overcome a danger his last line of defense is to avoid the feeling of danger” (Rollo May, 1953).

It is no surprise that people cannot live in this state for long. To fill the inner void a person will engage in risky behavior such as consuming excessive alcohol, substances, casual sex, and eventually destructive activities. Is that not what we are seeing today, especially among the youth? Sometimes people hide behind vices and risky behavior claiming it is thrilling and enjoyable but sometimes it is a case of filling an inner void that has never been filled. When the void can not be filled then comes depression, hopelessness, anxiety, and even suicide.

How do you feel?

A psychologist/therapist’s favorite line: “How do you feel”? It’s a simple question but sometimes the most simple questions are the hardest to answer. The “ How does … make you feel” is a simple yet powerful question because it forces you to begin aware of your feelings and emotions. As the famous saying goes: “Awareness in itself is healing” The solution to Emptiness is feeling and awareness. What is a sponge that cannot absorb? What is a hamburger without a burger patty? What is a human being that cannot feel and experience life? Our feelings, wants, desires, dreams, aspirations, frustrations, and everything else make us who we are. It does not make us good or bad. To suppress, ignore, and reject our feelings is to reject and ignore ourselves. This takes away our driving force. Making us feel empty.


The article above discussed the concept of emptiness and how it is one of the causes of the inner problems that people have in this day and age. Emptiness makes us feel powerless and without direction. When we feel that way we feel worthless and then the downward spiral of destructive behaviors and thoughts begins. The first step of the cure for this is self-awareness. In the next blog article, we will discuss where emptiness comes from, why it happens, and how to change.

I would highly encourage you to read the book Man’s Search for Himself as it is an amazing read. I have also written a book to help those who are depressed, anxious, hopeless, and suicidal. Click on the link: Thank you for taking the time to read this article, I hope you have a wonderful day.