- Sep 5, 2009
What's your experience with this? How do you handle it?
An existential crisis may result from:
An existential crisis is often provoked by a significant event in the person's life — marriage, separation, major loss, the death of a loved one, a life-threatening experience, a new love partner, psycho-active drug use, <<<<AHEM!!! adult children leaving home, reaching a personally-significant age (turning 30, turning 40, etc.), etc. Usually, it provokes the sufferer's introspection about personal mortality, thus revealing the psychological repression of said awareness.
- The sense of being alone and isolated in the world;
- A new-found grasp or appreciation of one's mortality;
- Believing that one's life has no purpose or external meaning;
- Awareness of one's freedom and the consequences of accepting or rejecting that freedom;
- An extremely pleasurable or hurtful experience that leaves one seeking meaning;
An existential crisis may resemble anomie (a personal condition resulting from a lack of norms) or a midlife crisis. Sometimes, an existential crisis stems from a person's new perception of life and existence.
When a person faces the paradox of believing his or her life important whilst thinking that human existence is meaningless and without purpose, cognitive dissonance occurs, overcoming many innate psychological and cultural defense mechanisms.
Analogously, existentialism posits that a person can and does define the meaning and purpose of their life, and therefore must choose to resolve the crisis of existence.