Existential Crisis

Therapy for an Existential Crisis in NYC

What Is an Existential Crisis?

No matter how old you are, you can experience an existential crisis.

In general terms, an existential crisis is a certain point in your life where you may begin to reconsider or question your values, beliefs, purpose, and place on earth. It can be relatively minor and last for only a short period, or it can be a pivotal life event that may challenge the foundation of who you are as a person and how you want to live your life. 

When you encounter negative experiences, you may feel anxious or depressed. But, when you’re in the midst of an existential crisis, these emotions can evolve, leading to despair, existential depression, or existential anxiety. 

We specialize in Therapy for Existential Crises in NYC

Often, an existential crisis occurs during a transition period that may reflect a certain difficulty in adapting to your new environment. For example, if you move away from home to pursue further education, you may feel like you have lost the sense of safety and security that had been surrounding you your entire life. 

Aside from this, you can also experience a crisis at a later age. Perhaps, after you have built a home and created a family in your adult years, you undergo a difficult divorce that may feel as if your life is crumbling. In another case, you may have just landed your dream job, but come to realize that it’s not all that you thought it was. So, you decide to quit your job and pursue another career. 

These tectonic shifts in your life can make you doubt yourself and raise profound questions about the meaning of your life and your ultimate purpose in the world. 

Other causes that may trigger an existential crisis include:

    • Death of a loved one (either family, friend, or partner)

    • Feelings of isolation and loneliness

    • Uncertainty

    • Health issues

    • Guilt

    • Overwhelming options that force you to make a difficult choice

    • Extreme pressure (from society, family, peers, or even self-imposed)

    • Bankruptcy 

    • Traumatic experiences

Everyone experiences transitions differently, and existential crises vary from person to person in terms of intensity, duration, severity, and impact.

What Does an Existential Crisis Feel Like?

Many people who are undergoing a crisis may feel detached — as if they’ve lost a connection between themselves and the world around them.

You may also feel this way and wonder whether what you’re going through is depression or an existential crisis. To help you identify what you’re going through, take a look at these signs.

Constant Worry

When you cannot go through your day without that nagging feeling that something is bound to go wrong, you may be in the midst of a crisis. When you feel as though you’re constantly distracted by thoughts and questions about your life and the choices you’ve made, you may be facing a more severe condition that requires therapy or medical attention.

Existential Anxiety and Depression

While feeling depressed and anxious isn’t uncommon when your life feels off-track, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going through a crisis. These symptoms, however, are associated with an existential crisis if they’re accompanied by a growing need to find meaning.

On top of fatigue, headaches, and persistent sadness that you may experience due to depression, you may also have suicidal thoughts and hopelessness that are deeply rooted in not finding your purpose. You might ask yourself, “Is my only purpose to work and pay bills?”

If you’re feeling existential anxiety, you might also ask, “Where do I fit in?” These questions can lead you down a path of uncertainty, which may ultimately lead to an existential crisis.

Decreased Motivation

Another possible sign pointing to an existential crisis is decreased motivation. People are often driven by their “why.” This is the crux behind why people do what they do. If you cannot find the answer to this question, you may not have the motivation to act on anything.

You may feel a disconnection from all aspects of your life, including your work, beliefs, faith, and relationships. You might find it difficult to see the bigger picture and, therefore, lose all sense of reason to do anything.

Decreased motivation can manifest itself physically, mentally, and emotionally. For example, you may find it challenging to get up in the morning to start your day. You may even procrastinate or put off your tasks without being bothered by the consequences of your actions. In other words, you may become indifferent.

Lack of Social Activity

Lack of social activity can be a byproduct of decreased motivation and low energy. When you don’t feel motivated to act, you don’t go the extra mile to keep your connections. As a result, your social life suffers and your feelings of loneliness and disconnection can turn into anxiety, depression, and ultimately, existential crisis.

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What Does Therapy for an Existential Crisis Look Like?

When these signs appear, remember that you don’t have to suffer alone. Therapy for an existential crisis in NYC with qualified mental health professionals is available.

At Clarity Therapy, we understand the challenges you may face when dealing with an existential crisis. Our goal is to help you find meaning and purpose in your life once again. Our team of licensed psychotherapists seeks to end your fear of uncertainties and the great unknown. 

Because every person is different, our psychotherapists can tailor treatment to meet your needs. We’ll draw from various approaches such as spiritual counseling, mindfulness practices, insight-oriented therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help you overcome your crisis. 

On top of this, your therapist may also draw from the following specialized methods:

Existential Therapy

Existential therapy allows you to develop an outlook on life that’s focused on possibilities rather than potential problems. 

The objective of existential therapy is to help you embrace your life and pursue your wishes and curiosity without being held back by fear. By helping you understand your current concerns from a new perspective, this approach can help you make more sound decisions and improve how you feel.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (also known as ACT) helps clients gain awareness of their own negative self-talk and learn how to take positive action. It integrates elements of cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness practices to achieve the desired result. 

The goal of this type of therapy is to help you define your values and find ways to move towards them without being held back by negative events. 

According to one study,  Acceptance and Commitment Therapy can reduce depression and anxiety symptoms by decreasing the power of mental and emotional pain. 

What if I’m Not Ready To Start Therapy?

If you’re not yet ready to delve into therapy for your existential crisis in NYC, there are alternative solutions you can explore to help you overcome your existential crisis. 

Find a Support Group

When you’re experiencing depression and anxiety as a result of an existential crisis, try to find a group of people who are going through something similar and can support you.

Start Journaling

Journaling can help you look at life from a different perspective. Whether it’s documenting your daily experiences, writing down events you’re grateful for, or sharing your deepest thoughts, journaling can help improve how you feel.

Discover New Hobbies

You may be undergoing an existential crisis because you’ve had a vision for how your life will pan out, but suddenly, it doesn’t go as planned. Discovering new activities you enjoy can help inspire creativity, expand your social circle, and open yourself to new possibilities.

Set Attainable Goals

Failures and shortcomings can give rise to an existential crisis. When this happens, you might be more hesitant to set life goals for yourself, and that’s okay. Start small. Learn how to set feasible goals that you can accomplish short term.

Take your time and explore what works best for you. If you find yourself wanting to pursue therapy for an existential crisis in NYC, feel free to reach out.

Interested in therapy for an existential crisis?

Get in touch today.

Get in touch with us and we’ll find an existential crisis therapist that can help you learn to cope and regain your sense of purpose. 

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Amy Schell, LMHC
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Ariel Zeigler, Ph.D
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Caryn Moore, LCSW
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Christina Mancuso, LCSW
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Courtney Cohen, LMHC
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Dimitri Mellos, Ph.D
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Elena Beharry, Psy.D
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Eliza Chamblin, LCSW
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Fanny Ng, Ph.D
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Gary Brucato, Ph.D
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Gavin Shafron, Ph.D
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Jen Oddo, LMSW
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Joanna Kaminski, LMFT
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Josh Watson, LMSW
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Justin L.F. Yong, LMHC
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Kristin Anderson, LCSW
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Logan Jones, Psy.D
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Lucas Saiter, LMHC
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Melanie Palmietto, LMHC
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Monica Amorosi, LMHC
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Peter Gradilone, LMSW
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Salima Ndoye, LMFT
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