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I Don’t Want to Be Alive But I Don’t Want to Die

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It’s so weird. I don’t see anything exciting about living anymore. I feel like something is missing? I just can’t get excited over anything anymore. Someone wants to pay me 20 dollars for a bad drawing? Great. I’m actually doing well in school? Fantastic. I have a whole weekend to do whatever I want? Awesome.

I usually enjoy the little things in life. Now I can’t even enjoy my hobbies. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Scarily enough I wouldn’t mind dying as long as it is quick and painless. Hell, I wouldn’t mind going through torturous pain. But at the same time, it’s not like I’d like to die. It’s just that I don’t want to be alive, you know? There’s a difference. Well, at least to me there is. It’s like, I’m not going to attempt suicide or anything, but if I were to die for whatever reason, that’s completely cool with me. Which is completely off because I’m scared of dying? (From Indonesia)

I Don’t Want to Be Alive But I Don’t Want to Die

Answered by on -


The question each human being has to answer is, what makes life worth living? The answer usually changes over time and begins in our teen years. It sounds to me as if this is the first time you’ve had the challenge of trying to answer what it is that brings joy, excitement, and awe into your life.

From your email, it is clear it is clear you are creative and articulate. My encouragements is to start experimenting with classes and activities that you find interesting. You haven’t been exposed to the thing(s) that may be most engaging for you yet. Sampling different activities with different people may awaken you to possibilities that you didn’t know existed.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

I Don’t Want to Be Alive But I Don’t Want to Die

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2019). I Don’t Want to Be Alive But I Don’t Want to Die. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 1, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 30 Jan 2019 (Originally: 31 Jan 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 30 Jan 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.