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What Is an Existential Crisis?

Life can be an incredibly challenging thing — especially for teens struggling with their mental health. Teens are trying to navigate their daily lives with an influx of information from the media, as well as their future on the horizon. Existential crises are incredibly common and affect many people. However, they also offer an opportunity to ground oneself in your values and purposes. Struggling with your mental health may be common, but it does not need to take over your life. If you or a loved one are in search of mental health treatment, Destinations for Teens is here to help. Reach out to one of our mental health professionals today via 877.466.0620 to discuss how we can help.

What Is an Existential Crisis?

An existential crisis  refers to the combination of feelings and questions we might have regarding the meaning and purpose of our personal lives. Existential crises pose incredibly complex questions to which there are rarely concrete answers. Not being able to find answers to these questions can impact our lives in negative ways if we allow these feelings to persist or worsen.

Who Has Existential Crises?

Everybody can have existential crises. Existential crises are far more common than you might think, and they do not target a specific group of people. Any given person may experience an existential crisis at some point.

What Triggers an Existential Crisis?

Existential crises can be triggered by many different things. They most commonly occur when a person faces circumstances, changes, or transitions in their lives that are difficult to adapt to or that raise a question about what they are doing with their lives. These transitions may be the ones that we expect. However, they may offer limitations that lead us to question our lives.

Identifying Existential Crises

Going through an existential crisis can lead a person to feel lost and uneasy — unsure of what direction their life might take. Sometimes it can be difficult to know if what you are experiencing is an existential crisis or depression. Here are five signs that you may be experiencing an existential crisis:

  • Constant worry
  • Symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Decrease in motivation
  • Low energy levels
  • Decrease in social activity

Many of these are signs of depression and can affect how we live our day-to-day lives. However, they are slightly different.

Constant Worry

Somebody undergoing an existential crisis might be experiencing thoughts and existential depression that are impossible to put aside during the day. This can feel like a distraction, where your mind is constantly questioning the same things.

Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression

Constant worry is a symptom of anxiety, as are many other things that can be experienced during an existential crisis. You might experience negative emotions from constantly worrying, leading you to feel anxious and sad. Allowing an existential crisis to get out of hand can damage our mental health.

Decrease in Motivation

Behind motivation is the question of “why” we do what we do. If you are questioning “why” and do not have an answer – you might experience a lack of motivation.

Low energy levels

Energy can decrease for many reasons, such as mood, sleep, and diet. You can also be extending most of your energy into worrying.

Decrease in Social Activity

Having a lack of motivation and decreased energy can make us not want to socialize. If you are experiencing any of the above, it may be time to seek existential crisis treatment.

Existential Crisis Treatment with Destinations for Teens

Existential crises can make life seem impossible without a definite “purpose.” However, they do not need to control you. Treatment for an existential crisis is available with Destinations for Teens, where we hope to remind you how purposeful your own life can be. For more information on existential crisis treatment, contact us via 877.466.0620 today or complete our online form.