The Main Symptoms of a Lost Soul
A lost soul is one of the concepts most people can sort of understand when they hear about it. Still, it isn’t easy to define it in words, as it’s a bit ambiguous. Firstly, because the very idea of a ”soul” is somewhat vague. In religion, it’s equivalent to an immaterial substance that inhabits the body. However, in colloquial terms, it refers to one’s inner world.
Note that the idea of a lost soul is present in many myths and legends. Generally, it refers to a disembodied spirit, condemned to wander eternally as a result of loss or due to the guilt of an unpaid debt. That’s the equivalent in psychological terms, in one way or another.
Likewise, the concept of a lost soul appears in dissimilar fields, such as psychiatry or shamanism, in addition to psychology. It has similar meanings in all these areas, although, obviously, there are also differences. Continue reading to find out more about it!
“You’re an artist of the spirit. Find yourself and express yourself in your own way. Express your love openly. Life is nothing but a dream.”
-Don Miguel Ruiz-
The lost soul in psychology
Even though a lost soul doesn’t have a specific category within psychology (it’s not even a syndrome), it’s still one of those concepts many psychologists use for working with models.
People whose soul is lost aren’t exactly depressed or anxious, strictly speaking. However, they have traits that indicate a lack of connection with themselves.
The four basic characteristics of a lost soul are:
- They act defensively. In general, these people have deep fears. This makes them put up barriers that keep them from even noticing them. The problem is they don’t know themselves either because said fears permeate everything.
- They’re narrow-minded. Lost souls often have unshakable beliefs and ideas. In reality, their values and belief systems are part of their defensive shield, which is why they refuse to revalue them.
- They make the same mistakes over and over. These types of people find themselves in the same adverse situations time and again. This is partly the factor that makes them defensive.
- They feel uprooted. It’s as if they’re strangers in their own homes. They’re not part of groups of friends nor do they develop an enormous passion for their work or the hobbies they occupy their time in.
The concept of a lost soul in shamanism
This philosophy doesn’t really subscribe to the concept of lost souls but of the loss of the soul. Yes, it’s sort of a similar concept, though not identical. The latter is more a part of social anxiety disease. It’s often a cultural syndrome.
What characterizes the loss of the soul is the feeling of not being yourself or feeling that parts of you are either dormant or completely lost. As a consequence of this, you also lose your energy and vitality. Likewise, you may experience a strong feeling of emptiness and anxiety that’s almost always accompanied by depression and fatigue.
Social anxiety disorder is present in Mexican shamanism. Some of the symptoms of this condition are:
- Feeling blocked.
- A feeling of being confused or incomplete.
- A disappointment with your life.
- Perceiving yourself as a stranger.
- Having addictions.
- A feeling of darkness.
- Withdrawal from others and fear of coming into contact with them.
- Constant tiredness.
- A thirst for change but an inability to do so.
Nobody becomes a lost soul or loses their soul for no good reason. It so happens that, in order to recognize yourself, you initially need someone to recognize you. Someone who can tell you that you’re still there. This is what mothers and other caregivers are supposed to do under normal child development conditions.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen. Often, mothers just aren’t there or simply refuse to recognize you because they can’t. It also happens that you experience confusing and painful situations during your childhood and, then, the circumstances are so invasive that they don’t leave room for this self-recognition.
There are many reasons why a person may put a wall between themselves and the rest of the world. However, it’s mainly to avoid being who they are. Under such conditions, the feeling of strangeness arises together with the feeling of not having anywhere to go or wanting to go somewhere sooner or later. They haven’t lost their soul but are mainly keeping it under wraps as a self-imposed defense mechanism.
Starting the path back to yourself is an arduous task, and it’s very common for such a desire to not even be there. In any case, you must know you can undertake such a journey and learn to be who you are. You might need help but it’s definitely doable.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
Bustabad, S. A. (2008). Inmunología clínica y estrés. En busca de la conexión perdida entre el alma y el cuerpo. Rev Cubana Salud Pública, 34(3), 1-2.