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How It Feels Like to Have an Existential Crisis

Author Wynter uses fiction to talk about his experience with depression.

“Embrace the void and have the courage to exist.”


What is an Existential Crisis?

An existential crisis occurs as an inner conflict, characterized by the impression that life lacks any meaning, leading us to question our purpose in life, which leaves us feeling stuck. Life can be so unfair that it drives us to test our reality and doubt it, it could be caused by guilt, trauma, or sorrow, and when you start to ask these questions, your mind starts to blame you, and the loop goes on, you feel depressed and anxious, alas, your life could go wrong in so many ways.


Have you ever waken up at night, gaze at the ceiling blankly, and think to yourself, “why am I here?” it is the question that has baffled almost every one of us at some point in our lives, you feel lost, but you go to sleep and wake up with the same dreaded feeling thinking to yourself, “what am I doing here?” it is something you couldn’t get off your head, searching to be here, knowing very well you will never find an answer to, so you go on with your life with a busy mind and a shallow void inside your head and soul of lost hope, confused about your identity and your defining qualities, in a state of despair. The absurdity behind everything is the main issue, especially since one has a powerful desire for meaning.

Different types.

An existential crisis could have many forms, such as death, which happens when you reach a certain age and are confronted with the reality of having to die someday; the fear of what follows is the main trigger behind the crisis, it could also be caused by isolation, especially from loved ones, loss, is one of the hardest realities to exist, being alone gives you a depth into seeing the pointlessness, it could also be caused by the sense of freedom you have, having to accept the consequences of your own choices, or it could also be triggered by a sense of failure, feeling like you haven’t done anything significant in your life, besides, it could occur after faking happiness and giving yourself a false sense of hope for so long.


From anxiety to panic attacks and a constant state of fear, the pain outweighs any opportunity for hope or inner joy, which brings about a lack of motivation and the inability to move forward, these emotions are often out of control and are hard to handle, which happens to cause a disturbing sense of self-integrity which leads to insecurity and alienation.


The cognitive aspect of it lies beneath the concept that nothing is of any significance, it is also correlated with the concept of death and having to deal with its reality, we are all aware of it as a fact, but we usually shrug it off as it is inevitable and we are most likely scared of wondering what lies ahead of it.


How we behave normally is subjective, but there are common characteristics shared across all the people experiencing existential crises, as they often lead to social isolation, lack of emotional responses, and deterioration of relationships. It is also theorized that an existential crisis could elevate the symptoms of our antisocial attitude and could also lead to substance abuse and addiction.

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These behavioral deviances often cause various health problems ranging from psychological depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure to long-term organ damage and an increased likelihood of cancer.

How to overcome it.

The first thing to do is to seek the meaning of life through yourself and not overlook the good qualities of life, knowing that you are lucky to be here even if sorrow is all over you, you must understand that you are a part of this wonderful experience of consciousness and self-awareness and that you should value the great moments that passed and that you will come across you, I know it is a hard thing to do but by thinking positively you can do wonders, especially if you ignore all the question marks, the second thing to do is to seek professional treatment, the existential therapeutic approach can help you a lot to get through your hard times , there are two methods that deal with existential dread, existential therapy to combat internal negative thoughts and the use of electromagnetic pulses to influence communication between neurotransmitters in the brain, this method is called (TMS) Transcranial magnetic stimulation, which helps address different brain chemistry to improve the symptoms of depression, another method to consider is to seek activities and find distractions especially by writing a journal which helps you a lot get rid of your negative thoughts and reach self-realization by accepting life’s imperfection and fears.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2022 Wynter Northfield

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