Identity crisis is a mental condition caused by the frustration from incapability to implement internal necessities of life – motives, values, accompanied by the violation of emotional, mental, emotional balance. There are processes and life situations, insoluble by practical and cognitive activity; therefore, they can be solved by experience, which is understood as a special activity for adjusting to the environment in critical situations. Identity crisis is associated with feelings of inconsistency of own condition to the changing demands of the environment. Available personal resources do not allow the person to realize significant, fundamental for him goals, interests, and needs.
Those who write research paper on identity crisis should know that a person can assess the situation as a problem, but to be unable to cope with it in familiar ways and therefore faces the need to develop new abilities, new meanings, new goals, of which he has rather vague ideas.
Therefore, the crisis is a way of our development, and the price we are paying for the development.
The origins of identity crises and age dynamics have been studied by many authors. For example, Eric Erikson identified eight stages of psychosocial development of the individual.
At the stage that Eric Erickson called “average maturity,” what happens is usually called “midlife crisis.” There comes a time to score the first significant part of a person’s life. Re-evaluate and revise a person’s life achievements and prospects. Often they seem small and insignificant, besides unachieved goals and unfulfilled. They cause anxiety, a feeling that you do not live your life strive to foreign targets. Outwardly, everything is fine, but there are no sense of happiness and fullness of life. You begin to wonder: what are you living for? Does my life bring me a satisfaction? Why and where do I strive to?
The appearance of such doubt means that the person has entered the crisis, and his previous experience is not suitable to address the problems of the second half of his life.
There are several destructive ways out of the crisis:
- Regression – infantilism that allows us to overcome the problem by passing the buck to others.
- Denial – the perception of reality in a distorted way that the problem seems to disappear, leading to reduced activity, reduced scope of interests. Extreme variants of denial are psychosomatics, neurosis, psychosis.
- Repression – an idle state based on the belief that in this situation, nothing can be done, and any action is doomed to failure.
These ways lead to the reduction or avoidance of psychological discomfort and anxiety without the solution of the crisis, promote evasion from dangerous situations, but do not solve the problem.
The constructive way out of the crisis is the formation of a new relationship to the environment, new values and meanings, awareness of the problem and the redefinition of the situation, the development of new behaviors, willingness to accept responsibility for the consequences of your choice.
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