I’m having an existential crisis. Crazy things go in my mind. Like are we even on earth? Is everything just an illusion? Is the Quran even real? What about aliens? What if everything is a lie?
What if we are being controlled by something or someone? What if the Quran was sent down was a lie and maybe heaven and hell will be part of the illusion and we just live there in a life of lies? What if that perfect life is a false paradise? What if it is an illusion and the world outside is in complete chaos?
I know I sound absolutely insane but these questions come to mind and I don’t know why. I can’t live life. I’ve lost my connection to God and I question reality.
What even are we, what’s our place in the universe? I can’t even pray anymore. I feel depressed. Do we even exist? Are we just some creation by another life form? I know it’s all crazy and I feel like I don’t believe in God anymore. It scares me.
What if we just die and there is nothing? What if everything is a lie and we wouldn’t even know?? How do we even know anything for sure? How am I supposed to live normally after this? I can’t find peace. I feel like I’m losing myself. Like I function normally I seem normal but my thoughts aren’t.
I can’t let go of these thoughts. I don’t know if I can tell my parents or anyone else. I feel like I really need help but I want to talk with a Muslim physiologist or therapist.
I feel like I need some serious mental help. What should I do? I’m lost. I would seriously appreciate the help please answer quickly, I’m afraid I’m losing my mind.
In this counseling answer:
Allah wants us to question and ponder upon life. How many times He says in the Quran to look around and ponder.
If you experienced trauma that triggered this existential crisis, or in any other case, I would suggest you seek help from a psychologist in your local area.
My second suggestion is learning more about Islam and life.
If you do not feel comfortable sharing your thoughts with your parents, look around your family. Find someone who is knowledgeable. Or you can send your questions to our Ask about Islam section.
Know that Being Intellectual is a Strength.
Salam Aleikom sister,
Thank you for writing to us.
I am sorry to read that you are going through this hard period in your life when you feel you cannot take control over your thoughts about the meaning of life and our reality. I am sure it is frustrating to live with such thoughts that make you feel depressed.
Sister, you must know you are not alone. People do go through phases in their life when they feel unsure and insecure about reality, just like you. They might have questions like you have.
However, these thoughts might not be ultimately bad. Allah wants us to question and ponder upon life. How many times He says in the Quran to look around and ponder. Think critically, use your mind and learn. He says in the Quran, for example:
“Indeed, the worst of living creatures in the sight of Allah are the deaf and dumb who do not use reason.” (8:22)
So, if we think from this angle, these deep thoughts and questions at such a young age could be sign of an intellectual Muslim – someone Allah has blessed with a critical thinking.
“Is the Quran real?” “Does God really exist?” are valid questions. You need answers for them that make you feel convinced! There is nothing wrong with this.
However you feel frustrated from these thoughts to the extent that you feel depressed. Your existential crisis brings you away from Allah, as you stated.
Understanding Existential Crisis
Healthlie states about existential crisis: “It’s not uncommon to search for meaning and purpose in your life. With an existential crisis, however, the problem lies in being unable to find satisfying answers. For some people, the lack of answers triggers a personal conflict from within, causing frustration and loss of inner joy.”
The page further states that “Everyday challenges and stresses may not provoke an existential crisis. This type of crisis is likely to follow deep despair or a significant event, such as a major trauma or a major loss. A few causes of an existential crisis may include:
– Feeling guilt about something
– Losing a loved one in death, or facing the reality of one’s own death
– Feeling socially unfulfilled
– Dissatisfaction with self
– History of bottled up emotions.”
Sister, does any of these points apply to you? Since when do you have such things? How has it started? Did any trauma from the list happen to you?
If so, please seek help from helplines to the youth or a professional counselor to overcome your trauma.
If no trauma happened to you that has triggered such a crisis in you, this might be a phase many teenagers experience.
“Teenager Existential Crisis”
A famous psychologist, Erik Erikson described that we go through different stages of psychosocial development during our life. During adolescence, the stage we go through is called “identity vs. role confusion.”
In simple terms this is when young people like you start searching for their identity. They have questions such as “ Who am I? What do I want from my life?” They explore personal values, beliefs, and goals, and ask lots of questions.
Simplepsychology states that “During this period, they explore possibilities and begin to form their own identity based upon the outcome of their explorations. Failure to establish a sense of identity within society (“I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up”) can lead to role confusion. Role confusion involves the individual not being sure about themselves or their place in society.”
So it is possible that you have these thoughts in your mind because you are in a period when you are discovering the world, the society you live in, and you try finding your own place, your own identity.
Check out this counseling video:
What’s the Solution?
If you experienced trauma that triggered this existential crisis, or in any other case, I would suggest you seek help from a psychologist in your local area. It might be a good idea to go to your school counselor.
My second suggestion is learning more about Islam and life. Write down all your questions. “Leaving them” on a paper inshallah will release some of the stress you experience. Focus on one question at a time. Ask your friends if you have such questions as well, how they answer it. Or ask your parents about it. Look up some books in the topic, use the Google search.
It is unfortunate that among many Muslims having questions on Islam is considered shameful or even sinful. Allah wants us to be convinced that Allah is our Lord, The Prophet is our Messenger, and what we should do as Muslims is the right thing. We need to understand these, and not just follow it because “that’s what Muslims do.”
If you do not feel comfortable asking questions from your parents, look around your family. Find someone who is knowledgeable. Or you can send your questions to Ask about Islam section who will surely help you clarify many things in regards to Allah and our existence.
In any case sister, I highly recommend you seek one to one counseling. Reach out to your school counselor, or you might want to contact one of our counselors who offer one on one online sessions.
Of course, however, the most important is that you seek help from Allah and make dua. Dua has a very special power. Make dua that He grants you peace, relieves you from such thoughts and gives answers to these questions. Make dua that he gives you conviction in Islam.
You know, He told us that if we walk toward Him, He will run towards us.
“Whoever comes to me walking, I will come to him running.” Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2687
We also know that there are certain times when the dua is surely accepted. So, do your part towards Allah and take advantage of these times inshallah.
Being Intellectual is a Strength
I sincerely hope you experience “Muslim teenager existential crisis”, and these thoughts are not the result or any trauma.
If so, Sister, look at these questions as a strength. You seem to be a young intellectual Muslim sister who is seeking the truth. This, because of social pressure and the lack of opportunity where you can turn to for answers, bothers you.
You seem to be a sister who is seeking to be fully convinced of her role as a human being, as a Muslim. This is something to be celebrated, but do not stop with the questions. Actively seek answers for them, one by one, so that your heart can find peace. It is ok to do it with someone else, maybe with your school counselor. You do not have to do this alone, sister.
I pray that you will soon find the peace you seek. May Allah help you and make you among those critical thinkers Allah praises in the Quran.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees are liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.