How to avoid an identity crisis

What is an identity crisis?

‘How to avoid an identity crisis’ involves knowing and understanding, what having an identity crisis actually means. If, or when, a person fails to achieve an ego identity during adolescence, it is referred to as an identity crisis, according to Erik Erkckson.

At this time, (usually during adolescence), a person is going through a period of very intense, self-analysis, as he or she begins to seek ways to understand himself or herself. An identity crisis may occur duirng the identity cohesion versus role confusion stage.

When there is no cohesion of identity role confusion results. In this kind of a scenario, the person does not know who he or she really is and may make the following statement. «I don’t know who I am!» Many times, with appropriate parenting, professional guidance and counseling, an identity crisis can be avoided.


Step 1

Recognise the cry for help

The statement, «I don’t know who I am!» by an upset adolescent, may represent a serious cry for help. It should be regarded as such by others, because this kind of a scenario can turn into a family emergency, or a life-threatening identity crisis, very quickly.

Step 2

Be aware that having an identity crisis is a painful experience

Going through an identity crisis, can be a very painful, as well as a highly emotional, personal experience for an adolescent. It can also result in a lot of pain for others, including parents, siblings and friends, if it is not dealt with immediately and appropriately.

Step 3

Know that there is a high degree of confusion

A person going through an identity crisis may feel very confused, as well as depressed, lost and alone. He or she may be trying to find himself or herself, by seeking directives from you and others.

Step 4

Begin to build and maintain positive and constructive relationships

Beginning to build and maintain positive, constructive relationships, with someone who is going through an identity crisis, is very important, as this person can be led astray very easily. He or she may also be suicidal, or become involved with negative and destrucitve behaviours, in an attempt to establish some kind of an identity. If you are the one who is going into an identity crisis, seek positive and constructive directives from professionals, immediately.

Things Needed
• A strong set of personal and family values.
• The desire and ability to build and mantain, as well as to expand your horizons of life, in a positive and constructive direction
• An ongoing awareness that you are a person of worth, with a high degree of love, self respect and integrity, rooted and grounded in the love of God and one another
• The ability to choose new, day-to-day pathways carefully, always striving to achieve the highest possible goals in life
• The realization that you are who you are and that no one can ever take your identity away from you
• The courage and committment to continually improve your life
• A notebook or diary, to document your on-going progress wit regard to your self identity discovery, so that you can your share your experience with others
• An awareness that your identity is not determined by your interests, occupation or hobbies

Tips & Warnings
• Avoid the abuse of alcohol, nicotine and drugs, as well as substance abuse exposure that could cause you to lose your orientation and this lead into the loss of your identity.
• Avoid being abused or bullied, as these kinds of situations can lead towards identity issues and result in an identity crisis. Post traumatic stress can also lead to an identity crisis. Seek immediate help from a professional, ie. doctor, counselor, psychiatrist, etc.
• Do not confuse an identity crisis with memory loss, amnesia, Alzhiemer’s disease, etc. These are medical condtions that need to be treated appropriately.
• Learn the difference between an identity crisis and identity theft. They are not the same thing. When identity theft occurs, it has to do with the loss of documents, credit card numbers, bank account information, etc.
• Don’t wait if you are experiencing the loss of identity in yourlife. Be aware that many others go through is same kind of experience in life.
• «Above all else, to thine own self, be true’, a famous quote by Shakespeare


Comment: 2
    Hogston  14.11.2015 03:31

    Excellant Guide Diane..You covered a large area of problems our adolescents face.
    May I suggest you try to promote this guide and direct it to teen sites.

    Keyte  26.02.2016 11:40

    Excellant Guide Diane..You covered a large area of problems our adolescents face.
    May I suggest you try to promote this guide and direct it to teen sites.

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