What is an identity crisis and how to get out of it?

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What is an identity crisis and how to get out of it?
What is an identity crisis and how to get out of it?

When does an identity crisis occur? His psychology, stages and types. How to overcome this difficult mental state?

A personal crisis is a critical situation in mood and feelings associated with hard thinking about how to overcome it in order to reach an acceptable standard of living. It is often perceived as a hopeless state when a person cannot find a way out. This leads to psycho-destructive experiences, which only a psychologist can help get rid of.

What is an identity crisis?

A man can't do his job
A man can't do his job

Personal crisis is a psychological concept that implies a critical moment in the spiritual development of an individual. Let's say a young man strives to get a good higher education, sees himself as a brilliant lawyer, but cannot enter a prestigious educational institution. For him, it becomes a real tragedy. The desired specialty, with which one dreamed of going through life, turned out to be unattainable. The young man is at a loss, does not know what to do. There are thoughts: how to live on?

Not every person can cope with a critical situation; at such a turning point in life, emotional decisions are often made that do not help resolve the problem, but only exacerbate it.

If the crisis of personal development is perceived as a dead end, when all hopes for the future are crumbling and there is no way out of this situation, the help of a psychotherapist is needed. Otherwise, a person may get lost in the stormy sea of life and not get out on a solid shore - he will not stand firmly on his feet.

Personal crisis forces a person to adapt to the changed external and internal conditions of life. If he manages to adapt to the new mode of his being, his state of health will not suffer. Otherwise, a crisis state, accompanied by a prolonged negative emotional outburst, can lead to a serious mental disorder.

All extraordinary experiences of a personal nature fall under the definition of "personality crisis". This should include age-related crises: childhood and adolescence, middle and old years.

It's important to know! Personal crisis is a natural stage in a person's life. It is characterized by an alarming psychological breakdown. However, this is not the end of the world! A strong, strong-willed nature, seriously working on himself, will be able to "settle" his emotional experiences in order to further confidently go through life.

The main psychological causes of personality crisis

In psychology, a personality crisis is considered as an event that disrupts the normal course of life, when there is a strong psycho-emotional stress, and the soul becomes vulnerable. The factors provoking such processes can be external and internal.

Internal causes of personality crisis

Woman in stressful situation
Woman in stressful situation

The internal factors of a personal crisis include circumstances that force a person to be frustrated, that is, to experience a feeling of anxiety and dissatisfaction, and sometimes despair, when a feeling of powerlessness arises, the inability to achieve the desired goal.

Internal reasons include:

  • Psychological barrier … The critical situation seems insoluble. The personality begins to worry very much that it turns out not at all as it would like in life. This poses a threat to life values that you do not want to change at all. For example, a young man dreams of entering a military school, but does not pass a medical examination. The military profession does not shine, and so dreamed of becoming a pilot! Strong experiences lead to a psychological breakdown; not everyone is able to get out of it on their own.
  • Stressful situation … A problem has arisen, the person cannot solve it and considers himself helpless. This state is depressing. In fact, a person is afraid to change his stereotype of behavior in order to radically change his life. This further exacerbates the stress. A way out of it can only be suggested by a psychotherapist.
  • Destructive emotions … Instead of calmly contemplating resolving their predicament, the person becomes addicted to their emotions. He falls into a rage, a strong frenzy accompanied by unbridled anger and aggressiveness. The critical situation is not "resolved", but only aggravated. There comes a dead-end situation when the psychophysical state sharply worsens, suicidal thoughts arise. In this state, not far from a rash step.
  • Constant dissatisfaction with yourself … One of the main reasons for the crisis of personal growth is considered to be the "engine of progress". When they do not stop at the achieved success, but believe that more can be achieved. To do this, you need to change your attitude towards the already existing life situation, that is, change your stereotype of behavior.
  • Perceiving yourself as a person … When dissatisfaction with oneself borders on an inferiority complex, a person lives with low self-esteem, his own possibilities are seen by him “below the plinth”. He constantly compares himself to others and comes to the disappointing conclusion that he is the worst of all. Such a person is constantly in a crisis situation and does not see a way out of it. This is already a disease that needs to be treated.

Most people deal with the problems of their personality crisis on their own. However, in order not to delay it, you need to contact a specialist. This can be a psychologist, psychotherapist, or even a psychiatrist.

External causes of personality crisis

Family quarrel
Family quarrel

External factors of a personality crisis include circumstances that affect life from the outside. These can be:

  • Home problems … Doesn't go well in the family. The couple lived well, but then I found a scythe on a stone. The reasons why this happened can be very different. Let's say a child appeared, and suddenly it turned out that love had gone somewhere, the prose of life had come. And these are everyday duties not only to each other, but also to the baby. You need to get up early and cook breakfast, send the child to kindergarten or school. And He or She is not at all ready for this, living together was seen in a rosy light. And one of the spouses has a reassessment of previous life values, a personal crisis. It can proceed quietly when the spouses gradually adapt to new living conditions. If accompanied by vivid emotional breakdowns, this can lead to a breakdown in relations.
  • Difficulties at work … Let's say a quarrelsome nature does not contribute to contact with people. The work collective has a bad opinion of a person. Conflict with coworkers affects mood. As a result, labor productivity decreases, and comments from the bosses begin. The personality is nervous, the problems that have arisen depress the psyche, develop into a personal crisis, the way out of which seems insoluble.
  • Communication difficulties … Often there are people who are suspicious and narcissistic. This is how everything is seen in a false light, that they are misunderstood, that they are being tripped up everywhere. They stick out their "I", do not want to put up with other people's opinions. Such, sooner or later, remain alone with themselves, all friends and acquaintances turn away from them. When a person realizes that he is left alone, he begins to worry a lot. He will be able to get out of the state of personal crisis only if he can change his value orientations, rethink the problems of communicating with people.
  • Adolescence … During puberty (puberty), physical changes occur in the adolescent's body. The psyche is changing. Teenagers begin to think about the meaning of life. "Give me a foothold, and I will turn the whole world!" Many people believe that they came into this life to change it for the better. And when faced with the realities of life, disappointment comes. It turns out that not everything is so simple in the sublunary world. We have to adapt to it, and far from the way we dreamed. For most, this ends up with a successful adaptation to adulthood.
  • Average age … Such a crisis occurs in people in 30 years. It is caused not only by internal, but also by external reasons. Youth with its hopes and carelessness has already gone, not everything has worked out of the plan, but you need to live. Old age no longer seems so distant, it is quite real. And you need to take care of it now.
  • Elderly age … A person grows old, life gradually fades, the bright colors of life are inaccessible to most elderly people. We have to adapt to new external living conditions. You need to reevaluate your established stereotypes of thinking and behavior in order to successfully live through the years released by fate. This process is far from painless. With retirement, not everyone can overcome the crisis of their psycho-emotional state. For some, it ends in premature old age and death.

Note! Living conditions affect how a person feels. Therefore, the internal and external factors of a personal crisis are closely related. One cannot be taken into account without the other. This division is conditional.

Stages of a personality crisis in a person's life

Woman at the reception with a psychotherapist
Woman at the reception with a psychotherapist

Personal development is impossible without overcoming difficulties. No wonder it is said that "through thorns - to the stars." And "thorns" are difficulties on the path of life. There are 5 such critical states, stages of a personal crisis:

  1. Stage one … Emotional imbalance. A personal crisis, associated, for example, with dissatisfaction with one's social position, brings a person out of a balanced state, strong emotions (indignation, fear, dissatisfaction) push him to solve his problems.
  2. Stage two … The spiritual struggle between "good and evil", when the understanding comes that the discrepancies in personal life need to be solved, for this it is necessary to change your behavior. However, a person is not yet able to make such a decision. In fact, it is inactive.
  3. Stage three … The determination to act. An epiphany comes that if you want to live well, you need to do something. Otherwise it will be very bad. The desire to act is maturing, but it is still weak. The main thing here is to maintain self-confidence, not to follow the lead of weakness, when, with lowered hands, a person goes with the flow.
  4. Stage four … Awareness of the falsity of previous stereotypes. The personality clearly understands that the old concepts of life turned out to be false, they need to be resolutely changed. Perhaps even with the help of a psychotherapist. He will tell you how to do it easier without much damage to mental health. In a group of people who are looking for their own meaning in life. You need to be ready to change your behavior, circle of friends, all those negative moments that led to a personal crisis.
  5. Stage five … Change of stereotype of behavior. Not everyone can do this crucial step. It is necessary to show all the willpower to overcome the spiritual crisis and reach a new level of life, change your behavior, no matter how hard it is. Let's say a man liked to have a glass with his friends, and "business will wait." Friends began to chuckle, but he firmly decided that giving up mediocre pastime would help him to abandon life's failures. If you have enough strength and energy to abandon the previous way of life, everything will definitely work out.

Important! Anyone throughout their life consistently goes through all 5 stages of a personality crisis. If this does not happen, the personality "gets stuck" in his experiences, frustrates when desires do not correspond to the possibilities. This leads to difficult life situations. A person can sink, become an alcoholic or a drug addict.

Varieties of personality crisis

In psychology, there is no established division of the types of personality crisis. There are different grades of it, for example, age, situational and spiritual (existential).

Age-related personality crisis

Old man lost in thought
Old man lost in thought

With age, a person evaluates the previous period of his life in a different way, looks at the world and his place in it in a different way. All age-related crises usually end with a change in behavior and ideological attitudes, when the proper conclusions are drawn, which makes it possible to successfully adapt to changing living conditions.

Psychologists distinguish children's age crises of 3, 7 and 12-14 years. From the age of three the child begins to become aware of himself, gets acquainted with the outside world, the main thing for him is mom and dad - the family.

At the age of seven

the child begins to understand that the world is large and diverse, this expands the circle of his worldview. The crisis of this age is associated with school and a sharply increased load on the child's psyche. To successfully get out of it, the role of not only parents, but also a school teacher is important here.

Adolescent crisis (12-14 years old)

associated with puberty, when puberty occurs. Boys and girls begin to understand that they have different physiology, at first they behave in a closed and even demonstratively hostile attitude towards each other.

With graduation from school, you can talk about youth crisis (17-18 years old) … At this time, there is a pronounced interest in the opposite sex. However, the experiences associated with the choice of a further life path are the main ones. Actually, at this age, the foundation for future life is laid. Most boys and girls come out of a personal crisis with the right attitudes and successfully go through life.

And those who have not been able to understand themselves, have not found the meaning of their existence, often rolls downhill, becomes an outcast in society. Here personal and external factors play a role. For example, weakness or the adverse influence of the environment (dysfunctional family, bad friends).

After 30 years

there is a midlife crisis. Youth has already passed, it's time to take stock of the years lived. Often it seems disappointing, I wanted more, but it turned out very little. A person soberly evaluates his life path and makes adjustments in order to continue living with dignity.

With retirement

there is a crisis of adulthood. Life has been lived, old age has come, little health. Now you need to live with the accumulated baggage of life. And these are material values, a house, a family and already grown-up children. It's good when you have it all. Otherwise it will be sad. Old people understand this, adapt to such an existence and thus live out their days.

Situational personality crisis

Situational personality crisis
Situational personality crisis

It occurs when a person finds himself in a difficult life situation. If he can solve it, the personality crisis can be called a stimulant of such a process. This is its positive role. Failure to make the right decision indicates inertia of thinking and an established stereotype of behavior, which only exacerbates the problem.

Spiritual (existential) personality crisis

The husband saw the betrayal of his wife
The husband saw the betrayal of his wife

Comes in difficult moments of life. Let's say it can be the death of someone close, unsuccessful love or betrayal. In such a situation, a person is trying to rethink his life and is looking for a way out of the impasse. Strains all his strength.

If the crisis is successfully overcome, the person is spiritually reborn, a new scale of values appears, allowing him to live successfully and without conflict. Otherwise, all ideas about the world and oneself collapse, which leads to a stable internal conflict. Often it ends with a severe mental disorder, treatment in a psychiatric hospital.

Note! Any age, situational or spiritual crisis should bring a person to a new, higher level of life. If this did not happen, then the person did not work on himself at all. He regresses and becomes a failure in life.

How to overcome a personality crisis?

Drawing up an action plan
Drawing up an action plan

There are techniques developed by psychologists that will help you get out of a personal crisis. They imply the revision and correction of life goals. One of them involves the following 4 steps:

  • Step one … Restrain yourself. If something has changed in life, and you do not like it, do not throw out your negative emotions on everyone. They destroy, relations with neighbors deteriorate. Calm down and reflect soberly about what happened. You should not let your fate take its course, they say, where it will take it. And it can be nailed to a bad bank.
  • Step two … Understand your feelings and thoughts, why this happened and what needs to be done to get out of such an unpleasant situation.
  • Step three … Set a completely achievable goal and move towards it slowly, but steadily every day. To do this, you need to draw up a step-by-step plan of your actions and not deviate from it.
  • Step four … This is the most essential and difficult of the 4 steps. This requires serious psychological preparation. It is necessary to change the stereotype of thinking. You need to think positively. "The world is beautiful, thank God for giving me the opportunity to see it and enjoy life."

It's important to know! Only a positive attitude towards overcoming a personal crisis will help to successfully get out of it. This is the key to further prosperous life.

How to get out of a personal crisis - watch the video:

Personal crisis is a natural psychological process. If a person has managed to figure out in himself what does not satisfy him and how to act in order to become successful, then a critical situation becomes the catalyst that spurs to make the necessary decisions at this stage of life. Otherwise, faced with difficulties, not understanding what happened and moving away from solving urgent problems, he degrades as a person and becomes a failure.