Individuals may arrive at the opinion that their life has no purpose or value, or that human life has no meaning, whether in spiritual or existential terms. Causes for this may lie in the body: middle-age crises, the onset of debilitating old-age, ill-health, clinical depression, reaction to medication, alcohol, drugs or other somatic agents; or they may lie in psychosomatic reactions from emotional shocks such as grief, and catastrophic upheavals in personal life. The same negative viewpoint may be reached by some schools of reasoning or philosophies of nihilistic tendency, or may result from being a victim of the disasters of war or other mass human destruction. Persons who are isolated, for whom no one appears to care, and in whose lives love has no place, are also vulnerable to the devastating impression of living in a void, which may culminate in suicide a in as its extreme result, or a listless and apathetic life at best, if not a mentally ill one.
Ontologically, persons experiencing a sense of void may be unsure of the reality of their own identity. They have a divided self, one part of which experiences something, the other part of which denies the experiences and the experiencer as being unreal or meaningless.