An existential crisis is an alarming state or a feeling of comprehensive psychological uncomfortable due to reflections on the essence of being. This concept is common in countries where basic needs are met. The existential crisis of a person can arise in adolescence or maturity (at the time of evaluating past years), during the maturation of the personality. Such an experience can be quite painful, since there is no opportunity to find the right answers. Coping with an existential crisis is possible in several ways. Some individuals decide to stop asking these questions, since many different problems require participation and resolution. Others - are looking for a way out in the realization that only the present makes sense, so it is necessary to live it fully, so that later, not to regret the missed moments.
What is an existential crisis?
The phenomenon in question is a typical problem of a rational being, free from the need to solve topical issues related to survival. Such individuals have too much time, so they begin to think about the meaning of their own existence of life. More often, such reflections lead to bleak conclusions.
The irrationalistic direction of the modern philosophical doctrine, which establishes the being of human subjects at the center of research and affirms the human instinct as the basic method of comprehending reality, is called existentialism. He had a tremendous impact on the development of the culture of the past century. At the same time, existentialism never existed in pure variation as a separate direction of philosophy.
The human subject seeks to believe that existence makes sense, but at the same time, looking at his own being, as if from the outside, he suddenly realizes that the existence of people is not characterized either by objective meaning or by a predetermined purpose.
The existential crisis of a person can be falsely diagnosed, be a consequence of, or accompany the phenomena below:
- depressive disorder;
- prolonged isolation;
- acute lack of sleep;
- dissatisfaction with their own existence;
- serious psychological trauma;
- a feeling of loneliness and isolation in the world;
- Acquired understanding of their own mortality, most often due to the diagnosis of an incurable disease;
- conviction in the absence of the meaning of existence and the goal of being;
- search for life meaning;
- loss of understanding of the functioning of reality;
- the ultimate degree of experience, bliss or pain, causing the desire to find meaning;
- awareness of the complexity of the device of the universe.
Existential problems of man
Striving for self-development is a natural survival mechanism, because without it the human race would never have reached its current level of development. The problem in the obstacles that lie in wait on this path is often one of the obstacles to an existential crisis, which is formed from contradictions within the personality. A neurosis-like state appears when there is no need to worry about the minimum needs of being.
The desire to argue their own existence appears in the majority of subjects, but some arguments turn out to be primitive and collapsible due to deep religiosity or the “instructions” of a different order.
Existential problems originate at the moment when disappointment comes in previously chosen ideals. The individual ceases to feel satisfaction from the growth of status or loses faith in the unprecedented value of his own being. Another reason for such experiences may be a sense of inevitability of death. Sometimes it may seem that such reflections come to mind only to the owners of a large amount of vacant time, because hard working individuals need to solve many pressing problems every day and all their forces go to survival. In part, this view is true, since existential reflections are more often visited by subjects of creative professions, individuals engaged in physical activity are less prone to digging into the “margins” of their own personality, however, they are not completely protected from it.
The following prerequisites for the emergence of existential experience can be highlighted:
- loss of a loved one;
- the use of psychedelics;
- the threat to their own existence;
- prolonged isolation;
- separation from children, beloved.
In the course of existential thinking, an individual is faced with confrontation caused by a sense of the significance of his own being and a simultaneous understanding of its uselessness. The inability to find a solution to the current situation is transformed into existential despondency, which is characterized by a loss of interest in their own future.
The escalation of the crisis often provokes a desire to complete its supposedly meaningless existence. Since it seems that it is not able to bring benefits. When an individual encounters such a contradiction, it is extremely difficult for him to resolve the problem situation on his own.
In addition to the awareness of personal uniqueness in the Universe, humanity must realize that every subject always remains alone. Since no human subject is able to sense what the other individual feels. It does not matter whether a person is surrounded by thousands of his own kind, merges in ecstasy with a partner or is locked in four walls with his own person in private.
Inescapable existential loneliness implies that the existence of human individuals is predetermined by its individually unique sensations, thoughts, inaccessible to other subjects.
Understanding existential loneliness can bring an individual, both absolute freedom and slavery, can be a generator of unprecedented power or sources of great problems. This is due to individual choice. At the same time to avoid a state of loneliness is impossible. And only in the power of the individual himself transform him into independence and force him to work for him. Responsibility for personal existence and independence also increases the experience of the state being described, since in reality it is impossible for anyone to delegate responsibility for their own being. This burden is individual.
Existential loneliness, above all, due to the correlation of his own personality with nature, perception of himself as a holistic reality. If this need is not satisfied, then a feeling of loneliness arises, expressed by longing for the Fatherland, interaction with nature. The described kind of loneliness will not disappear in communication with its kind, but only temporarily muffled, since the reasons for its occurrence dwell outside the circle of human communications. This experience is far from being observed in all, more often it originates in individuals of certain professions whose activities have a connection, for example, with nature.
Individuals have a strong need for communion with the mystical, God. In the absence of her satisfaction, the characteristic experience of loneliness is born. This factor is fundamental in the formation of various sects, in the emergence of religious fanaticism.
Some subjects are often left unsatisfied with the need to feel and realize their own uniqueness. An individual experiencing self-isolation, understands that one-sided development of his own "I" eliminates the formation of the other parties, and therefore feels uncomfortable. This variation of loneliness is expressed in the form of orientation towards the "I am true."
Cultural loneliness is expressed in the experience of exclusion from cultural wealth, which was previously a significant part of existence. It is often manifested by a gap with the former value reference points, which is an important element in being teenage.
Social loneliness can be met much more often. It is associated with the interaction of the individual and the team. Social loneliness arises in exile, rejection by the collective, rejection by the group.
The individual feels his own rejection, that he was expelled, rejected, not appreciated. The feeling of non-acceptance by society, of its own uselessness, is more often conceived in subjects who could not occupy a certain place in society. Such individuals are inherent concern about their own social status, concern about social identity.
This type of loneliness is often tormented by subjects who need socially meaningful involvement. These are old men, teenagers, low-income persons, eccentric people, women. It is because of the fear of social loneliness that people are actively included in the team and are included in social activities.
Another variation of social loneliness is born when the human subject is perceived only as a role. With the kind of loneliness described above, interpersonal usually goes along. However, it is caused by the rejection or rejection of a particular person.
Individuals experiencing all these types of loneliness suffer from personality disorder - anomie. An anomic individual is characterized by the rejection of his own person and the environment or by the fact that he is under the control of outside actions, writing off responsibility for the life course of fate. An anomic individual often feels that he exists without landmarks in a free (empty) space. People get tired of this existence. As a result, being loses value, suicidal attempts are not uncommon. Such individuals are unable to fight independently with the painful experiences of loneliness.
Often, existential fears are considered a separate kind of fears, not caused by a certain life event, but more related to the inner essence of the human subject. As a result, existential fears have a number of specifics and are inherent in all people, but they lurk in the depths of the subconscious and therefore are often not recognized by man. Due to the depth and ambiguity of the content, the fears of the existential nature almost cannot be fully cured. These fears can only be minimized.
The described fears are divided into:
- fear of old age, death, in other words, fear of the unknown future;
- spatial fears can take various forms: fear of closed or open space, darkness, depth;
- misunderstanding of oneself and fear of one’s own personality, fear of one’s thoughts, insanity, manifestations of personality traits, possible actions, fear of losing control over one’s own person;
- fear of life, manifested in the fear of the unknowability of life: fear of an inexplicable, mysterious, mysterious, meaninglessness of being.
Some authors single out another group of existential fears - the fear of order and the fear of its absence. This variation of fears can be expressed by the obsession of the desire to establish forever a certain way of life, a life order. At the same time, such subjects fear novelty: job changes, habitats, setting up relationships and disorder. The described type of people usually finds itself in an area where a clear order, way of life, punctuality is important. Or, on the contrary, it is found in the desire to destroy the predestination of being, stereotyped behavior, which leads to the emergence of fear due to the need to follow a clearly established order (more often, such individuals find themselves in the works). However, the described fears are inextricably linked with the fear of space, which is why they are more often not distinguished into a separate subgroup.
This phenomenon is the inevitable companion of human nature. Birth is inevitably followed by demise. The basis of human existence is murder. Because for the sake of survival, people exterminate the animal world. Exceptions are not even vegetarians, as they kill plants. And stopping to eat, a person will kill his own person, that is, commit suicide.
Guilt is an integral part of human existence. The difference between adequate fault and neurotic lies in the motivating factor. Neurotic guilt is based on imaginary offenses, supposedly directed against the social environment, parental orders, generally accepted social norms. A normal guilt is a call to conscience; more simply, it encourages individuals to attach great importance to the ethical aspects of their own behavior.
Existential wine is considered a variation of guilt. There are three of its forms. The first is the consequence of the inability to live, corresponding to its own potential. For example, people feel guilty, thinking that they hurt themselves. The second is based on the distortion of the reality of the comrades of a given individual. People may believe that they have caused damage to relatives or friends. The third is the “fault of separation,” the object of this variation of offense is nature as a whole.
Existential offense is universal. It nests in self-consciousness and does not constitute a result of non-execution of parental “directives,” however, it follows from the view that the human subject can perceive himself as an individual who can make choices and cannot. Hence, the concept under consideration is inextricably linked with personal responsibility. Existential wine should not be considered a priori neurotic guilt, but it has the resource necessary for transformation into a neurotic guilt. Moreover, if we correctly approach the variation of guilt under consideration, then it is capable of benefiting the human subject. It often contributes to the formation in individuals of the ability to reconcile with the world and sympathize with the surrounding subjects, as well as the development of a creative resource.
Existential offense in front of a person is a payment that pays the individual for not incarnating his own destiny, for renouncing his own feelings, alienation of his own person from his thoughts and desires. Simply put, the concept described can be expressed as: "If an individual recognizes that he can change a particular trait or habit now, he will be forced to admit that he could have changed it a long time ago. Therefore, he is to blame for his wasted years, for his own losses and failures." Therefore, the more mature an individual is, the more his particular problem or general dissatisfaction with being, the deeper his existential character will be.
How to overcome an existential crisis
The phenomenon in question arises when the concept of the meaning of existence and its purpose ceases to satisfy, ceases to direct, deprives of inner peace. When an individual realizes the transience of his own being, he does not understand how to fill his own existence. This disturbs his mind, knocks the soil out from under his feet. However, it is only necessary to outline a certain insignificant goal and stock up on determination, as composure returns.
There are several ways to get out of an existential crisis, one of which is characterized by 4 steps.
The first is to get rid of dark thoughts, negative feelings. This is a kind of isolation from the negative.
The next step is fixation. It consists in the fight against alienation, by “tying” oneself to a stable system of values and ideals (God, the state, the church, destiny, people).
The third step is a distraction, which is to prohibit your own thoughts to flow in a negative direction. It is necessary to fill being with new activities, hobbies, goals, projects that contribute to distraction. It is on the new achievements should concentrate all the energy.
The last step is sublimation. Here one must direct one's own forces in a positive direction: one can play music, take up drawing, read poetry — everything that contributes to personal self-expression.
Below are other ways to get out of the existential crisis. First of all, it is recommended to try to realize that the source of the problem is the individual himself. However, the point here is not in the reflections themselves, but in the culprit of their generation. Thoughts arise as a result of the impact of the internal state, the surrounding society and the response to the experience gained.
You should also take the environment as it is. By questioning everything, a person learns to recognize lies and to separate him from the truth. This phenomenon is a fairly common problem. Almost every human subject sometimes thinks he is stuck in a game created and controlled by someone from the outside who does not want the human kind of good. Когда человек ощущает кризис, ему начинает видеться, что другие субъекты добились высот благодаря умению обманывать его, внушать страх, всецело игнорировать.In order to get rid of such thoughts, it is recommended to study the history of civilization, it is necessary to clarify how the generational change takes place on Earth, the eternity that exists. Then you need to form your own understanding of the direction of the movement of the world.
Human existence seems quite measured and organized, so there is at least a minimum of meaning in it. In order to avoid an existential crisis, one should stop comparing one’s own personality with the social environment and individuals. This will greatly increase the ability to receive pleasure from being.