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Help! I’m Having an Existential Crisis!


Do you ever wonder why you’re here on earth? What is the meaning of life? When we transition from being a child to a teenager, these are questions that may go through our minds. Teenagers tend to think existentially. They often question the meaning of things including why they are here and what the purpose of their existence is. Existential thinking doesn’t end in our adolescent years, but adolescence is known for being a time when we question our purpose in life.

What is an existential crisis?

An existential crisis can happen to anybody. It’s the exact moment where a person questions their meaning or value, and it is philosophical. Many times people who are going through a depressive episode will have an existential crisis. They could believe there is no meaning in life. But many people (whether they’re experiencing symptoms of depression or not) can have a philosophical dilemma as to why they’re here and what their life purpose is. It might happen during a transition in their life. The reason it often occurs during adolescence is because you’re transitioning from being a child to being an adult. Sometimes people who are transitioning into midlife experience an existential crisis. A person might be retiring from a job or switching careers, and that can cause them to speculate on their meaning. They might wonder why they’re here on this planet.

Mental illness and an existential crisis

People with a variety of mental illnesses may experience an existential crisis because their symptoms can be overwhelming and they might ponder their existence. When you have a mental illness, your symptoms can be so oppressive that you might wonder, “What’s the purpose of it all?” You’re struggling to survive, and it can be incredibly overwhelming to get up in the morning and manage symptoms of PTSD, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder or OCD. It’s no wonder that you start to wonder why you’re here on the plane. You’re trying so hard to make it through this next moment. Living with mental illness is challenging, but everybody has a purpose in this world, and we can all find it if we keep looking.

Finding your purpose

It might not be evident, but for most of our lives we are searching for what is meaningful to us, and it’s not just about getting up and going to work, it’s about connecting with people that mean something to you and finding what we love to do during our lifetime. Still, it’s common to feel stuck sometimes. There are moments where you don’t know why you’re here, and it can feel frustrating. You might start to feel stagnated. You may even become depressed because you’re trying to figure out what your life means but you can’t come up with an answer. That’s when seeing a therapist can help you.

How online counseling can help you in an existential crisis

Online counseling is an excellent place to discuss what you’re going through when it comes to an existential crisis. If you’re questioning your purpose on this earth, an online therapist can help you and support you in defining what you’re interested in doing with your life. You might not know the answer, and that’s why it’s OK to reach out for that support. You can discover what you love about yourself and what you’d like to do based on your talents and abilities. If you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing with your life, that’s OK because life is about exploration. Maybe an existential crisis will lead you to some answers. An online therapist can support you through the process of finding yourself and your purpose in the world.

Getty photo by kieferpix