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Identity Issues

In psychology, identity is “who you are.”  It is the self within every person that develops over the course of life.  An identity is made up of various characteristics, including religion, beliefs, values, sexuality, and relationships.  It takes time to fully develop a coherent identity and it is natural to struggle in the process.

Issues

  • Developing an identity can be a struggle
  • Anxiety over changes in identity is common
  • Depression about identity development is common
  • Questioning of an identity can cause a person to act out or engage in uncharacteristic or otherwise risky behavior
  • Sudden loss can cause a sense of a lost identity
  • Identity crises can occur when overwhelmed by identity development
  • The search for identity may involve “trying on” of different personas

Disorders

An identity crisis is not an inherently dangerous experience and is not an immediate cause for alarm.  If symptoms present in a way that pose a threat to a person’s overall wellbeing then there may be a deeper issue.  Borderline Personality Disorder is an example of a condition in which a person may struggle with a lack of a sense of self.  Dissociative Identity Disorder is a condition in which a person may have multiple identities, or personalities, and be unable to control which personality is present in a moment.

Treatment

If identity issues are a troubling factor but are not threatening a person’s wellbeing, short-term therapy can help them work through these issues by giving them an outlet to voice their concerns and find answers as they face difficult periods in life.  When more severe disorders are diagnosed, therapy is crucial in allowing a person to remain in control and continue functioning.  Specific therapies and training exist for each of these potential disorders.

We Can Help

Open Path’s therapists offer beneficial services that encourage insight, self-reflection, and healthy coping mechanisms. Our therapists furnish a supportive environment, providing healthy outlooks and understanding.

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