Identity Problems Counselling
People are characterized by the traits they possess. Some of our traits are fixed such as our race, gender, ethnicity, and appearance while others can be learned and improved with time such as religious inclinations and languages we speak. All of these traits play a vital role in the development of our identity. The development of this identity is an essential part of every individual becoming mature. Although everyone struggles when it comes to the development of their identity, there can be times when one may lose their sense of identity.
What are Identity Problems?
Also known as Dissociative disorders, identity problems involve experiencing a lack of connection and relevance between our thoughts, memories, surroundings, and ultimately our sense of identity. People suffering from identity problems often involuntarily lose touch of reality and this may interfere with their daily life functioning.
People with identity problems have multiple versions of personality that function without their awareness or control. When one or more of your core functions such as memory, consciousness, or perception, etc are disrupted, dissociative disorder symptoms can occur. Usually, these symptoms are mild, but in some cases, they can take over your thinking and cause problems in your personal and work life.
Often, dissociative disorders are short-lived and happened after a seriously shocking or traumatic event. They usually dissolve on their own after a few weeks or months. But others can last much longer.
How to find an Identity Problems Therapist
If you are looking to find the perfect Identity Problems therapist it is crucial to make sure that they have the appropriate qualifications, knowledge and experience. At Expat Therapy 4U we only accept therapists who have full professional proficiency in English and are highly experienced in working with people from culturally diverse backgrounds. The clinicians we approve share our values and commitment to provide high quality therapy to the expatriate community in the private sector across Europe and online worldwide. We strongly believe that therapy changes lives, and being accredited ensures all our therapists are qualified to a high standard. You can find an Identity Problems therapist who is insured to practice and accredited with a recognised membership body online here.
Symptoms of having Identity Problems
We act wild and crazy at social gatherings but have a more serious demeanour at work situations. This does not mean that we have an identity problem as almost everyone tries to adjust to their environment differently. But for someone with identity problems, they can be sometimes completely disconnected from themselves and the world around them.
Here are some symptoms of identity problems:
- Memory loss of certain time periods, events, people, and personal information. Even forgetting skills and reasons for being present somewhere. (also called Dissociative amnesia).
- Feeling as if people and things around you are distorted or unreal.
- Experiencing a significant amount of stress in your relationships, work, and other important areas of your life.
- An inability to cope well with emotional or professional stress.
- Changing in levels of functionality from highly effective to disabled.
- Dissociative identity problems in which you feel disconnected from your own thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and body. You feel like a stranger to yourself and start experiencing multiple personalities. Doing acts such as writing in different handwritings etc.
- Hallucinations in which you experience false perceptions such as hearing voices.
- Involuntary self-injurious behaviour such as cutting yourself.
What are the causes of Dissociative Disorder and Identity Problems?
There can be several reasons why one might undergo identity problems. Some of the causes are:
- Repetitive emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. People often start experiencing identity problems after they have undergone some extreme form of trauma.
- Sometimes, other than prolonged trauma, a short-lived but intense accident can bring on the symptoms of dissociative identity disorder.
- Having gone through a natural disaster where you experienced large scale damage or death can also lead to long term trauma and PTSD.
- Soldiers who have a firsthand experience of war are also at a high risk of developing post-traumatic stress and identity problems.
- The sudden or traumatic loss of a loved one can create inner turmoil. This is more likely to occur in people during childhood as it can leave a person frightened and traumatized.
- Children who experience extreme stress at a very young age are also susceptible to developing a personality disorder.
Treatments for Identity Problems
Fortunately, you can expect a full recovery from dissociative disorders with the help of therapy and medications.
Talking therapies are often recommended for identity disorders. The aim of therapy is to help you understand your condition. The first step towards the solution of a problem is the identification of a problem. People with identity problems may not fully comprehend their situation. Therapy can help them get a better understanding of their conditions and help teach coping mechanisms and tested techniques to help you manage the periods when you feel disconnected.
Depression is often followed with identity problems. Someone with depression might feel worthless, someone with codependency might start to rely on others to form their sense of self, while those with amnesia may forget altogether who they actually are. Therapy can help people step by step to cope with struggles and maintain a better sense of identity.
Often used in conjunction with traditional psychotherapy, brainspotting can help to uncover repressed memories, control some problematic symptoms that accompany identity problems, and find ways to integrate all personalities into one.
In some cases, we may shut off some parts of our personality to cope with trauma. This lack can cause further issues. Therapies such as EMDR can benefit people by helping them connect with different parts of their personalities and reactivating traits they shut-off to cope with trauma.
Although there is no specific medication for treating dissociation, medicines such as antidepressants can be prescribed to treat underlying causes such as anxiety, depression or panic attacks etc.
Other than medical help, you can also use the following self-help tips.
- Become more knowledgeable about your condition and be aware of your actions.
- Learn healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with painful emotions and learn how to distinct identities.
- Learn to control impulsive behaviour by using relaxation techniques whenever necessary.
- Inform your friends and family about your condition and form a supportive social network.
Identity problems can damage your quality of life if left untreated. Consult a therapist or get in touch with your doctor to understand the underlying causes of your disorders. Getting professional help and becoming more aware and knowledgeable about your condition can help you recover to a great extent and even experience a complete correction of your disorder.
Further Readings on Identity Problems
About Expat Therapy 4U
Expat Therapy 4U is the result of 5 years’ experience running The International Psychology Clinic, the first private therapy service based in London specialized in multilingual and multicultural therapy.
The platform is run by Dr Martina Paglia. Dr Martina is a leading dual qualified Clinical and Counselling psychologist who helps patients by providing bespoke psychological services including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Counselling and Psychotherapy in London and online worldwide.
Our network comprises highly qualified and experienced private therapists who have made a positive difference in the lives of thousands of expats worldwide. All members of our community are highly experienced working in cross-cultural environments.
We are passionate about delivering first-class patient-centred, safe and effective care. If you would like to work with a warm, inclusive, caring and professional English-speaking therapist in Europe or online worldwide you have come to the right place.
If you are looking for the perfect expat Therapist in Europe or online worldwide, our team is dedicated to help you find your best match. We offer a client guarantee where clients can re-book with a different therapist if they are not satisfied with their first therapy session.
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