Saturday, November 9, 2013

Most existential theorists, such as Rollo May and Irvin Yalom, believe that much of human behavior is motivated by an underlying sense of anxiety. According to them, what drives or creates this anxiety and do you agree with their theory? Why or why not?

     As for anxiety, Rollo May, American existential psychologist, referred to it as an individual's subjective state of becoming aware that his or her existence may be destroyed, whereas he or she may become nothing (Feist & Feist, 2009). When events or experiences threaten an individual's psychological or physical existence then he or she experiences existential anxiety. The strongest threat to an individual's existence is death. May and Irvin Yalom, American existential psychiatrist, argued that when an individual deals with the terror of death it is a major developmental task (Feist & Feist, 2009). Life is but a process of confronting and coping with an individual's death, which brings about anxiety. I do agree with their theory because some individuals suffer or go through a midlife crisis when dealing with anxiety when it comes to aging. Aging threatens an individual's psychological or physical existence and the result is that some individuals behave or are driven to behave in certain ways. Although, a midlife crisis does not affect every individual I still agree with their theory because at some point and time in life individuals experience existential anxiety. Specifically, when an individual asks him or herself or answers questions that concern personal and professional fulfillment in life or if a individual lacks or thinks he or she lacks the ability to fulfill personal and professional goals. These state of uncertainty can raise existential anxiety.  
Feist, J., & Feist, G. J. (2009). Theories of personality (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

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