Have you ever thought who are you, what are you doing, what is purpose of doing this? All these questions come to our mind once in a while and then suddenly we are confused on what we should do. This usually lasts for a day or two and then you move on, but sometimes it lasts for much longer that could create a problem with their identity. People frequently questioning themselves on their identity, behaviour and purpose could be suffering from identity crisis. This is very common in middle aged people and teenagers. Therefore today we will discuss about this important topic and know more details about it.
What is Identity Crisis?
Many people have heard this term a lot but everyone knows what it actually means. We spoke to Psychologist Dr. Ishatva Mehta from SVH Hospital, Bangalore to know about identity crisis in detail. He told that this term was developed by Erik Erikson who introduced ideas of adolescent identity crisis as well as mid-life crisis. This basically means to question your self-existence and confused about your identity. Identity crisis occurs between 15- 30 years of age most of the time but it can happen to anyone. It could be because of some stress at work, school or in personal life. There are few symptoms that can help you determine that you are having an identity crisis of not.
Symptoms of Identity Crisis
- If you are going through or having an identity crisis, then you may have these following symptoms.
- Questioning your ability and who you are, this can be in regards with relationships, age or career.
- Experiencing great personal conflicts or not able to understand what role you want to play in society
- Big changes in personal or social life that has affected your sense of self-conscious and esteem
- You are constantly searching for meaning, passion, love or reasons for no reason
- Questioning about your own values, spirituality, beliefs, interests, etc constantly and unable to find answers to your questions
Is Identity Crisis Serious Issue?
Well, any type of crisis means that it is serious. It may not affect you physically but it can be very challenging and problematic for your mental health. It may also affect your cognitive functions and decision taking ability. Identity crisis can make your vulnerable to depression and severe anxiety issues. You must seek medical attention if you feel you are having above mentioned symptoms of signs of depression. You may also have these symptoms if you get identity crisis-
- Loss of interest in things you loved
- Depressive mood
- Feeling worthless
- Change in appetite
- Sudden weight loss
- Loss of concentration
- Reduced energy levels, motivation
- Lack of sleep
Causes of Identity Crisis
It cannot be determined that identity crisis happens for what reason, but there are a few reasons because of which identity crisis can occur. This could be because of major life stressors. These stress givers are basically situations or conditions in life that are part of the event. Because of that unfortunate event, you start to question yourself and lose your identity. This could also be because of certain situations happening in your life such as-
- Getting married
- Separation for partner
- Experiencing an trauma
- Losing a loved one
- Severe long lasting health issues
- Losing a job
This type of stress givers can impact your life for quite some time and you would need help of someone to show you your real path. You can also take help of a counsellor or clinical psychologist to get out of some trauma or bad experience. In this condition social support is also important in order to feel that things are moving in a positive direction and there is no need to question your-self.
How to Treat Identity Crisis?
There is no surgery or physical treatment that is required if you are going through an identity crisis. There are a few things that need to be kept in mind in order to treat identity crisis, you need to look into yourself and explore your achievement and efforts. Take some time out and try to understand different things that you have done for yourself in this while. Ask some questions about achievement, your growth, and see the change.
Remember the time where you could figure out what you need to do. Also try to remember times that could help you get better and help you overcome self-doubt. You can take help of therapies and counsellors for extra support.
Try to indulge in activities you loved to do, take out time for your hobbies and relax your mind. This will help you get back and concentrate more towards positive aspect in life. Try to remember things and focus of major life changes. Eat simple diet and follow your passion. You will get through your identity crisis soon.
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