The concept of the Existential Vacuum, created by the psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, who managed to survive the Holocaust after spending 4 years of his life in a concentration camp, refers to a deep feeling of emptiness, meaninglessness and lack of purpose in life. It is characterized by a paralyzing sense of boredom, apathy, and a sense of detachment from oneself, one's true nature, and the world. A feeling that separates a person from experiencing his values for the present moment. A condition that separates the individual from his actual life roles and their adequate fulfillment.
According to Frankl, an existential vacuum occurs when individuals are unable to find or create meaning in their lives. It can occur even when basic physiological needs are met, and yet people still feel a deep sense of dissatisfaction and purposelessness. The condition can be overlooked as such, because seemingly everything else in the person's life seems to be fine and there is nothing to burden them so much.Precisely because of this, these people are often not properly understood by those around them, and their behavior can cause indignation, even ridicule. This feeling of emptiness is serious and if left untreated can lead to many psychological and emotional struggles, even depression, feelings of anxiety and feelings of despair.
Frankl believed that an existential vacuum often arises in societies where people are faced with an abundance of material comforts, are not challenged by the tasks of survival and the difficulties of necessity to cope, and despite the available resources they could use, they are detached of their deeper a sense of purpose and satisfaction. He developed a psychotherapeutic theory showing that finding meaning and purpose in life is critical to psychological well-being and resilience.
Overcoming the existential vacuum involves searching for and discovering personal meaning and purpose. This can be achieved by engaging in activities that align with one's values, cultivating meaningful relationships, pursuing personal growth and self-reflection, and finding a sense of connection to something greater than oneself.
It is important to note that existential vacuum is a complex and deeply personal experience and its causes and manifestations can vary from person to person. If you struggle with feelings of emptiness or lack of meaning, seeking support from a mental health professional can be helpful in exploring these emotions and working to find a sense of purpose and fulfillment in life.