Great news: I can finally attach a word to how I am feeling.
I am experiencing an existential crisis.
I was reading some posts on the subreddit r/infp and one of them was about INFPs and existentialism. I really wasn’t sure what existentialism meant, so I clicked the link and then clicked a couple more links and suddenly I was neck deep in articles about existential crisis. If you’re not familiar with the idea of an existential crisis, here are some details:
In existentialist philosophy, the term ‘existential crisis’ specifically relates to the crisis of the individual when they realize that they must always define their own lives through the choices they make. The existential crisis occurs when one recognizes that even the decision to either refrain from action or withhold assent to a particular choice is, in itself, a choice. In other words, humankind is “condemned” to freedom.
I also read that an existential crisis is often caused by:
Major depressive disorder
Dissatisfaction with one’s life
Major psychological trauma
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;
Searching for the meaning of life;
Shattering of one’s sense of reality, or how the world is;
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
Well…that pretty much sums up how I’ve been feeling lately.
Now I just need to figure out how to get through it. According to an article about existential depression, it seems that things like understanding, human touch, reading, and building our own personal philosophy of beliefs and values can be helpful. I have sought out friends who understand me. I would like to get more hugs. I have been reading more. And when it comes to building my own philosophy of beliefs and values, I was thinking about what I find to be truly meaningful in life and I recalled the “Unsung Hero” video that I saw earlier this year. The theme of the video was “What is it that you desire most?” The answer to that question, which played out in the video, was thus:
Reach a deeper understanding
Feel the love
Receive what money cannot buy
Make the world more beautiful
I think that focusing my time and efforts on those activities will help me to get out of this funk that I am in.