In Session with “Everything Everywhere All At Once”

Join Dr. Sam & Dr. Fran on a life saving journey as they cover Everything Everywhere All At Once. 
While the doctors are not experts on the multiverse and may not have the answer to the meaning of life, they are familiar with ADHD symptoms. They discuss whether or not Evelyn may be experiencing ADHD symptoms, anxiety, or multiverse jumping phenomena. All of the above?

The doctors also discuss Evelyn’s experiences with her family dynamics. We dive into the relationships between Evelyn and her husband, her daughter, and her father. Relatedly, we review aspects of identity and self-worth. Is Evelyn only able to save the world because she is the worst version of herself? Can anyone be satisfied when comparing themself to the versions of themselves that could have been?

Finally, we review Joy (AKA Jobu) and the everything bagel. In discussing Joy’s experiences, we consider her experiences with unhappiness, depression, despair and philosophical ideas about existence. Do people typically approach making meaning out of their lives by creating bagel black holes? 

If nothing matters, does this podcast exist? 

Glossary of Terms

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – a psychiatric diagnosis characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity–impulsivity that interferes with functioning

Nihilism – a philosophical viewpoint that rejects all religious and moral principles and believes that life is meaningless

Existentialism – a philosophical viewpoint that posits that people have free will to determine the course of their lives and have an individual responsibility to create meaning

Existential angst (also referred to as existential dread)– a feeling of dread or anxiety related to the belief that life has no meaning

Intergenerational trauma – when oppressive or traumatic events are transmitted (or passed down to younger generations) within families


People who have watched Everything Everywhere All at Once often wonder whether Evelyn has ADHD. Read this article to learn more about the directors’ inspiration for Evelyn’s character and what they learned along the way.

To understand more about the diagnostic criteria for ADHD, check out our episode on Elf!

We discuss how ADHD and anxiety can often overlap, read more about the similarities and differences between these conditions here.

One focus of the session is the overlap between psychology and philosophy, including related to nihilism and existentialism. Learn more about existential approaches to therapy here.

Another topic of today’s episode is intergenerational trauma. Read more about how intergenerational trauma can impact Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities here. We also dispel myths around parenting for Chinese immigrant mothers and share recent research on the topic.