An existential crisis can happen at any life stage because people can experience similar life situations at different ages.
Still, it’s important to categorize existential crises according to age groups to determine the appropriate approach to the problem.
Existential Crisis in Teenagers
Adolescence is a phase where a lot of changes—physical, emotional, and mental—occur. While some kids mature physically faster than others, they’ll still need to go through many life experiences to reach emotional maturity.
Some teenagers may feel like the transition to adulthood is happening too fast. They struggle to figure out their identity and what they want to do in life.
While developing independence is often a bumpy road and a normal part of growing up, it can be harder for some children.
If your child is starting to question their life, you should seek professional help. Otherwise, neglecting the issue can lead to depression.
Quarter-life or sophomore crisis occurs in the late teen years to mid-20s. Struggling with problems like choosing the right career path or not having a plan are common reasons to trigger an existential crisis.
Interestingly, individuals who are high achievers experience existential crisis the most—which makes sense because high achievers often worry about not reaching their highest potential.
Typical behavior of someone going through a sophomore crisis would be withdrawing from life activities and constantly missing and failing classes. It can also lead to anxiety and panic attacks.
Adult Existential Crisis
Similar reasons that trigger the sophomore crisis, like the wrong career path and self-identity, can also happen in the mid-20s to late 30s and lead to an adult existential crisis.
However, complex topics like one’s political and spiritual outlook are more noticeable in adult existential crises than in sophomore crises.
Adult crisis doesn’t have to be something negative. You can turn it into an opportunity to restart and be the best version of yourself. List down the reasons you’re feeling this way.
Then, rank them from the most to the least significant. Having a clear image of what triggered your adult crisis will help you take the right steps to fix it.
You can join group therapy with people suffering the same as you. Surrounding yourself with those who resonate with you will make your journey to overcome an adult crisis much easier.
Late-Life Existential Crisis
You might expect someone who figured out his/her self-identity, found the correct career path, and formed a successful relationship is existential-crisis-proof. However, that’s not true.
People in their later years may experience an existential crisis. Their struggles involve issues like illness and forthcoming death. Losing a loved one can also cause a lack of meaning in life.
Still, not all issues causing late-life existential crises are related to illness or death. Some individuals worry about their achievements and legacy. They want to leave the world knowing they had a positive impact and try to reach those goals before death.