An identity crisis is when a person suddenly can’t answer who he is, and he fails to identify his beliefs, goals, and mission in life.
It can lead to depression.
Some people have it sometimes, others always. But it looks like everyone has faced it. WHY? You see, the world and humans are constantly changing, so complications arise.
10 symptoms of an identity crisis
* You often wonder, “So what’s the point?”
* You constantly question your identity, purpose, and place in the world.
* Doubts about your worth and value keep spinning in your head.
* Feeling dissatisfied with having no clear direction.
* Not feeling a sense of purpose or understanding your values.
* Lacking emotional connectedness (or difficulty regulating your emotions).
* Increased feelings of insecurity.
* Symptoms of increased anxiety or despair.
* Obsessive, non-stop worry.
Causes of an identity crisis
Many things can cause an identity crisis:
* A divorce or separation.
* Moving to a new city.
* Winning a big amount of money. (It can knock the crap out of you.)
* The loss of a loved one. (It can be a parent, spouse, child, sibling, family member, loved one, or friend.)
* A traumatic event. (For example, a car accident.)
* Physical health issues.
* Losing a job or getting a new one.
* Mental health issues.
* Birth of a child, becoming a parent.
* Hitting a major milestone birthday like 40, 50, or 65.
* Age-related problems, retirement.
* Political changes in the country.
How to put yourself together
Imagine that you are a tailor and you want to sew a garment. You take pieces of fabric and connect them with threads. Similar components are needed in creating a new self. Your tool is not a needle but self-development. Fabrics are values, and threads are time invested in yourself (effort).
Since not everyone understands metaphors, I will provide simple steps.
4 tips for coping with an identity crisis
When I faced an identity crisis again, I felt extremely bad. Obsessive thoughts were killing me, but I didn’t give up and told myself, “F*ck it! I won’t think about it today!”
I grabbed my guitar.
I played my favorite song. And I got better.
Relaxed, I looked at the problem again, but with a sober eye. I suggest you do the same. Because if you only think about bad things, you can end up in a psychiatric ward. So when you face an identity crisis, don’t try to overcome it overnight. First, calm down and try the following tips:
1. Dedicate time for simple things: a forest, walking near the lake. Try not to think about things—meditate in nature. Understand, it’s not necessary to solve the identity crisis in 2 minutes. Let it all happen organically!
2. Seek support. Call family members and friends. Relationships with friends help you survive an identity crisis.
3. Spend time on art and hobby. The guitar helped me. Playing helps you forget.
4. Try meditation or journaling. Avoid negative coping strategies since they are often used to avoid or escape the unpleasant feelings that crises might elicit. Don’t lose yourself to drugs, alcohol, or promiscuous sex; instead, concentrate on finding who you really are.
There are thousands of ways to calm down or distract your mind. However, you shouldn’t calm yourself down 24/7—AFTER RELAXING, SPEND TIME FOR IDENTITY CHANGES!
How to find an identity
1. Look at yourself from the side. Be honest with yourself. It takes time. I mean, I suggest you analyze yourself, your values, and your life. Answer yourself the following questions:
a) What have I been striving for over the past year, and why don’t I want it anymore?
b) What do I really want?
c) What is significant?
I have described these processes in greater detail in my article “How to reinvent yourself.”
2. Decide what you want to achieve.
Just concentrate on the essence. Because when it comes to goals, some people start to think about money, success, and relationships, but the most important thing is what kind of person you are and what kind of person you want to become.
Our identities are comprised of our past, present, and future experiences, as well as the people and things we care about, according to Psychology Today. All of these factors contribute to the formation of our personalities and our perception of who we are.
3. Choose a way to achieve your goal.
Q and A
What is identity?
Identity is a difficult term to grasp since it is fundamentally subjective. We often define it as an extra layer of complication ourselves (though external factors certainly have influence).
What is an existential crisis?
A person experiencing an existential crisis struggles with fundamental questions about the point and direction of their existence. Whether you call it an existential crisis or existential anxiety, the core issues are the same: you worry that life is meaningless and that you and everyone else will eventually die.
An existential crisis is common during times of change since it represents a person’s inability to adjust to the new circumstances they find themselves in. For example, it’s common for people to feel like their lives are collapsing around them when they undergo major life changes like leaving home for college or going through a traumatic divorce. As a result, they may begin to doubt their own life’s purpose.
Existentialism is a philosophy concerned with finding one’s place in the world. An existential crisis is seen as a process, an awakening, an important event, and a multifaceted reality by people who subscribe to this view. It results from realizing your independence and that you will die someday.
Developmental stages of identity
Once upon a time, there lived a very intelligent man, Erik. Erik Erikson studied identity and created his theory, which people call Erikson’s theory. This theory emphasizes eight developmental stages of identity. In a moment, I will list them:
* Basic trust vs. mistrust
* Autonomy vs. shame and doubt
* Initiative vs. guilt
* Industry vs. inferiority
* Identity vs. role confusion
* Intimacy vs. isolation
* Generativity vs. stagnation
* Ego integrity vs. despair
Is identity crisis a bad thing?
According to psychologist Erik Erikson, an identity crisis is not always a bad thing because it encourages a person to delve deeper into himself and his values.
When should you see a doctor?
There are several similarities between an existential crisis and other mental health conditions, such as sadness and anxiety. So identifying the root of your depression or anxiety without expert assistance can be challenging. When experiencing any of the following, pay close attention:
1. The sensation of drowning is overwhelming you.
2. You feel as if your existence has become consumed by meaninglessness.
3. Your emotions are getting in the way of your regular activities (including relationships, hygiene, or work).
4. You have experienced significant damage to your emotional or mental health.
5. As a form of “treatment,” you’re using drugs or alcohol.
6. You’re contemplating suicide and may even be making preparations.
Seek help from a mental health expert immediately if you can relate to even one of these signs. You should not go through this struggle by yourself.
Dial 800-273-TALK (8255) if you need to talk to someone right now because you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress or emotional exhaustion or because you’re experiencing a crisis. Every call is answered, and they’re accessible at all hours.
Every human being struggles with existential dread at some point in their life. Existential therapists are a subset of professional counselors. Your concerns may be better understood and your sense of life’s meaning restored if you talk them over with a trained professional.
Identity crisis test
Here are eight questions that can help identify if you have an identity crisis. Answer the following questions, and invest quality time in yourself!
* Is there a lack of direction in your life?
* Do you feel like you don’t belong anywhere?
* Do you have a void in your heart?
* Do you have a hard time focusing?
* Does it take long to decide what you want to accomplish?
* Is who you are based on a group’s idea of what you should be?
* Are you unable to relax when you are by yourself?
* Is what you post on Instagram a false reflection of your real life?
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