Spiritual Awakening Depression: Why It Happens & How To Overcome It

Spiritual awakening can be a beautiful and transformative experience, but it’s not always easy.

Many people experience a period of depression during their spiritual journey. This phenomenon is known as spiritual awakening depression and is more common than you might think.

There are many reasons why spiritual awakening causes depression which we will dive into today.

It’s important to understand that episodes of depression are a normal part of the awakening process which can be overcome with the right approach.

Main Points

  • Spiritual awakening depression is a very common occurrence among spiritual seekers.
  • Depression arises on the spiritual path to force you to process your shadow and purge you of past trauma. In the process of this purging you must fully experience your suffering to dissolve it.
  • The best way to overcome spiritual awakening depression is to seek guidance from an experienced spiritual mentor and surrender to what arises to allow it to be processed fully and quickly.

Why Spiritual Awakening Can Cause Depression

When you experience a spiritual awakening you are increasing your awareness. This expansion of consciousness can bring a lot of things to the surface. During the awakening process you may be forced to confront your shadow head on.

It is not uncommon for individuals to experience depression during this process. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as feeling overwhelmed by the intensity of the experience or feeling disconnected from your old way of life.

Spiritual Awakening Depression Symptoms

Spiritual awakening depression can be identified with a specific set of symptoms. These can include:

It is important to remember that everyone’s spiritual awakening journey is different. Don’t compare your experience with others who’s awakening journey unfolded much differently. There is no right or wrong way to come to awakening.



Discover the 6 stages of awakening and find out where you are in your journey.

Depression During Spiritual Awakening

If you are experiencing depression during your spiritual awakening, you are not alone. Many people go through this phase. In fact psychological distress is the #1 cause of spiritual awakening according to recent research on the matter.

The fact that you’re going through this phase is a sign that you are going through deep transformation.

Common Triggers

What is it about spiritual awakenings that can trigger depression in us? Well, there are several reasons this occurs including:

  • Ego dissolution: As you’re waking up who you thought you were may begin to evaporate into thin air. You will go into a complete identity shift during spiritual awakening. Your ego and who you thought you were may actually die during this process. This can be a terrifying experience.
  • Loneliness: You may feel like no one understands what you’re going through. Spiritual awakening is such a personal experience that it’s hard to describe to others. Many will dismiss your experience which can lead you to feeling isolated.
  • Fear of the unknown: So much of what you thought you knew is being turned on its head during spiritual awakening. You may feel fear and uncertainty about the future because of these drastic changes.

Depression As A Sign of Awakening

Depression can actually trigger spiritual awakenings believe it or not. There are many sources that say the most likely time you will break into a spiritual awakening is when you are in your lowest points.

Being in a high level of suffering forces your psyche into surrender. This state of openness and surrender can lead to consciousness breakthroughs.

So if you’re going through a bout of deep depression you may be on the verge of a spiritual awakening.

Navigating the Dark Night of the Soul

A lone figure stands at the edge of a vast, dark forest, illuminated only by a faint glimmer of light in the distance. The atmosphere is heavy and oppressive, conveying a sense of isolation and inner turmoil

St. John of the cross named this particular part of the spiritual journey “the dark night of the soul”. This is a period of intense emotional and spiritual turmoil that leaves you feeling lost, depressed, and alone.

The dark night of the soul is the bleak period you must go through for the sun to rise in the morning of spiritual liberation.

All kinds of difficult emotions and inner demons will come up to be purged during the dark night of the soul. Your job during this dark night is to surrender and allow everything to come up. It’s important that you process what arises without resistance.

This can be a deeply painful experience, but it’s crucial to go through to enter the next phase of awakening.

How Long Does The Dark Night Of The Soul Last?

How long will the dark night last?

The dark night of the soul can last as long as it needs to. For some this will only be a few days, while others will go through years of depression.

Luckily there are some things you can do to overcome this experience much more quickly.

Below is my guide to best overcoming your spiritual awakening depression.

Strategies for Overcoming Spiritual Depression

If you are experiencing spiritual depression there are some things that are in your control. Here are some things to keep in mind to overcome your spiritual awakening depression.

Self-Care Practices

First and foremost is maintaining basic self care. Try your best to take care of your mind and body during this difficult period.

This basic self care includes:

  • Getting enough sleep each night
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Spending time with people you love
  • Doing some form of exercise
  • Getting outside

Obviously if you’re going through a depression doing these things will be difficult. Simply try your best on these points everyday and be kind when you fall short. You will thank yourself after your dark night of the soul ends.

By taking care of yourself you can also reduce the symptoms of depression that comes along with your awakening.

Find A Spiritual Guide

Having spiritual support has always helped me advance spiritually. There are so many guides out there who’s entire life is dedicated to helping people in your position.

Getting guidance from someone who knows the path to spiritual awakening can make your experience so much more bearable. They will know what to do and how to do it.

How do you find a spiritual mentor? Check out the MyGuru spiritual mentor directory to find a guide.

When To See A Therapist

There are times when your depression can go beyond what spiritual mentor can do to help. For issues of the soul consult a spiritual expert. For issues of the mind see a therapist.

If you have pre-existing depression spiritual awakening may exasperate it. For dealing with depression directly you may need a licensed therapist.

If you ever have thoughts of suicide during this journey please call the suicide hotline (dial 988) and see a therapist asap.

Mindfulness and Meditation

One of the most powerful tools to get through spiritual awakening depression is simple mindfulness meditation. Practicing meditation will allow you to observe all of your thoughts and emotions more clearly.

Getting clear on what exactly is coming up during your dark night of the soul is an important part in overcoming it.

Surrender to The Process

By far the most important part of overcoming spiritual awakening depression is surrendering. This may sound counterintuitive, but in many cases resisting your negative emotions may prolong and exacerbate your depression.

Allow everything to come up and be seen no matter how painful it may be. This can be particularly challenging for deep traumas that we never want to think about every again.

Surrendering allows it to arise and be seen. By not resisting and observing, it will begin to dissolve.

With time you will begin to feel better and eventually overcome your spiritual depression.

Personal Growth Post-Spiritual Depression

A wilted flower emerges from dark soil, reaching towards the sunlight. Surrounding it, vibrant blooms symbolize growth and renewal after a period of darkness

Though spiritual awakening depression can be a challenging experience, it will also lead to deep spiritual growth.

After coming out of a period of depression there are a few things you should consider.

Embracing Change

One of the most important things you can do after experiencing spiritual depression is to embrace change. The quality of the universe is constant change. To be at odds with change is to be at odds with the universe.

This may mean making changes in your daily routine, your relationships, or your beliefs when they no longer serve you. It’s important to be open to new experiences and perspectives throughout this post depression time.

Continual Surrender

Another thing to remember post spiritual awakening depression is to always surrender to whatever arises.

If negative emotions and past experiences arise in your consciousness simply notice it, give it love, and watch it begin to dissolve.

Resisting negative emotions will only make them last longer. Make surrender a part of your daily routine.

Following Your Intuition

Trust that little guide inside of you known as intuition. Your gut will tell you what’s right and what’s wrong. Trust yourself and follow that feeling.

Despite everything else changing around you, your intuition will remain a constant guide throughout your journey.

Spiritual Awakening Depression FAQs

A serene figure meditates in a tranquil garden, surrounded by blooming flowers and flowing water. The scene exudes peace and balance, representing the journey from spiritual awakening to overcoming depression

What Is The Dark Night Of The Soul?

The dark night of the soul is period of time during spiritual awakening where you are plunged into your shadow. This phase is characterized by intense inner struggle, psychological distress, and confusion.

Is It Spiritual Awakening Depression Common?

Yes, depression is very common during your spiritual awakening journey. In fact psychological turmoil is held as the most common cause of spiritual awakening.

How Long Does Spiritual Awakening Depression Typically Last?

Spiritual awakening depression can last anywhere from a few days to a few years. It varies from person to person and is a very personal and subjective experience.

The duration can be shortened by following the steps laid out earlier in this article.


It’s completely normal to experience many ups and downs during your spiritual awakening journey. While spiritual awakening depression can be challenging, it is not permanent.

Remember, you are not alone in your journey. Many people have experienced spiritual awakening depression and have gone on to find peace, purpose, and love in their lives. Know that you are being guided and loved throughout this process. Good luck!

Hi, I’m Ryan. I’m a meditation teacher, spiritual seeker, and founder of nurtureyourspirit.org. I’m glad you’re here! I founded Nurture Your Spirit because of my love of meditation, spirituality, and spiritual awakening.

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