Puberty

Some keys to learn from them


Updated on 02/13/2023 by Dr. Iratxe Lopez. clinical psychologist

Surely you’ve heard of it existential crisis. I’m aware that it’s a bit abstract to put it that way, as there are many nuances. There are also components that will give you clues as to whether you are experiencing one or if you know someone close to you who might be going through one. existential crisis. Often you want to help and don’t know where to start.

A good place to start can be to find out how the person is feeling first. So you have an idea what to do if you are going through the crisis or if it is someone close to you. If you agree, we’ll break down each of the aspects to learn more about what this existential crisis is all about.

1. What is an existential crisis?

The existential crisis it is a state within you that makes you wonder many things when you are going through many changes within yourself and you feel alien to yourself. you don’t know your way around well Who are you and where are you going. You don’t know what you want.

You may have even questioned it many times, but you didn’t. The difference is that in an existential crisis you do not rest and search endlessly for the answer. And of course, sometimes that’s not possible, or at least not as fast as you’d like. Also, the answers may change over time.

In fact, it can occur at any point in your life. For example the famous onemedieval crisis«. It can come on suddenly, meaning one day you’re fine and suddenly you “down” and take days, weeks or even months to recover. Or it may appear intermittently.

It seems important to me that you know that the notion of existential crisis was raised by erikson (1970) who labeled it a identity crisis. That means the question arises: Who am I?

existential crisis issuesexistential crisis issues

2. Types of existential crises

The crisis of 30, 40 and 50 is related to age. Cinema, series and the media in general have helped create strong stereotypes about crises in different age groups. But remember, they’re just clichés. There are other types of existential crises that can occur throughout life, even combined with crises of old age.

  • crisis of Identity. It’s very typical to ask yourself, “Who am I?” This generally happens when the perception you have of yourself doesn’t match who you really are.
  • existential emptiness. “What I do?”; “What am I doing with my life?”. You ask yourself because you really don’t feel comfortable with the life you lead, even with the people you associate with.
  • existential boredom. You feel like every day is the same.
  • existential crisis Work. Who doesn’t happen to have a job they don’t like just because they have a salary every month? But the work doesn’t fill you up, you don’t get along with your colleagues, you don’t fit in there…

Each stage of life has a unique challenge or crisis that a person must face.

erik erikson

3. Components of an existential crisis

The sadness and the vacuum feeling are the two most distinguishing characteristics that a person goes through existential crisis. Suddenly you are no longer interested in the same things as before, you feel permanently dissatisfied even if you have no reason to be. So you start trying new things, new habits, and they don’t fill you either. You are overcome by the feeling that you don’t fit in anywhere or with anyone.

you start ask things that you have not previously considered, for example your job or your partner. You feel emotionally drained. There is no age for that. The existential crisis can appear in both childhood and old age in your life. It also appears when you have to make a very responsible decision, such as B. to have a child. Or just not finding a specific reason.

Often the problem with going through an existential crisis is not the stage but the consequences of being there. We psychologists call itcognitive triad» because it involves negative thoughts about yourself, the world and the future. This creates feelings of helplessness, depression, hopelessness and even the occurrence of suicidal thoughts.

4. How does a person in an existential crisis feel?

Although there are some characteristics that would indicate that you are going through an existential crisis or that someone close to you is in it, the truth is that it is a very difficult situation. Employees. Everyone lives it differently and you shouldn’t get involved in comparisons. By trying to help, they often set an example for other people they know who have been through the same situation and have overcome it in a certain way and in a certain time.

However, I would like to remind you that each of us has had very different experiences, we have different personalities, we were raised in different ways, etc. There is no place for outside opinions just to respect the person who has a very negative image of itself and possibly even presenting episodes similar to those of the person depression and beyond, Fear. One must know the origin to understand it, but recovery should not be forced as a person must go through all stages of their life and devote time to it as they experience a period of change and personal discovery.

5. What to do in an existential crisis?

The first thing you need to do is talk to someone you trust. This person may not be able to help you as much as they would like, but it will do them good to listen and feel supported. People who are not psychologists have very limited resources to deal with a situation of this magnitude that requires time and perseverance.

Everyone has to reboot at some point and turn his life aroundbut when that point is reached they need a guide to lead their steps toward the exit, or rather the entrance, of their inner peace.

The good thing about the existential crisis is that, as the name suggests, it is a crisis and therefore a stage (with a beginning and an end). What happens is that depending on how you deal with it and your perspective, it will take more or less time to solve it.

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6. The crisis as a principle of change

It is often said that crises a chance for him change And personal growth where we can develop parts of ourselves that were previously hidden. To be honest, I don’t know how much I agree with such statements. What I do know is that crises can be a turning point, a moment of no return. An existential crisis can be a good time to start therapy. People tend to think that the only time you go to a psychologist is if you’re depressed, have an eating problem, lost a loved one…but an existential crisis can also lead us to see a psychologist’s office. In our psychological center we have looked after women who did not know whether they wanted to be mothers or not, people who did not know whether they should quit their job because it did not fulfill them, etc.

If you enjoyed this post, you might like another one in which I ask a question: live in the present or plan for the future?

7. Bibliographic References

  1. Andrews, M. (2016). The existential crisis. Behavior Development Bulletin, 21(1), 104-109.
  2. Bugental, JF (1965). The existential crisis in intensive psychotherapy. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, 2nd16-20
  3. Erikson, E. H. (1970). Autobiographical Notes on the Identity Crisis. Daedalus, 99, 730-759.

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