Life and identity crises
Most people experience a life crisis at some point in their life, and these have as many different faces as we are people on the planet. No two lives are the same, no two crises are the same.
You may be experiencing an acute and concise crisis, but you may also go through a crisis of more prolonged and existential character, like an identity crisis.
When crisis hit and you find it overwhelming, I can help you find your equilibrium again.
In simple terms, identity is a question of who you are. Though these are important factors of identity, it is not just a question of gender, ethnicity, personality, sexual orientation, and profession; it’s also your values, your integrity, and your beliefs. All of these guide you in making choices in life. Due to brain plasticity, our identity isn’t a fixed measure, but is developed throughout life.
Adding to the development in our identity, events like death, divorce, having children, falling ill, being sacked from a job, or moving from an active working life into retirement are transitions which can cause for a crisis to arise. At such times, you might seriously consider the meaning of life as well as your place in it.
We all respond to different life events in different ways and can experience crisis in all phases of life. Crises vary in length, and because of the stressful physiological and psychological consequences for our bodies, it’s important to seek professional treatment if support from yourself and your immediate network doesn’t help you find a way forward towards a calm and stable foundation. Untreated crises can lead to anxiety, depression, and stress.
Identity crises and life crises are existential in character. We will all experience such at some point; and they are necessary for us to cope with life’s challenges as well as to undergo personal development.
How therapy can help with life and identity crises
To have a healthy sense of self, it’s important that your different identities are aligned with your narrative and authenticity. Therapy can help you integrate the various parts of yourself when you feel lost, confused, and with little agenda in your own life.
Whether your crisis is around expat life, loss of identity, or something else entirely, a crisis can manifest itself as stress, anxiety as well as depression, and it’s important to have support whilst dealing with it.
In therapy, we will work on enhancing your sense of self and agenda in life. Also, we will explore how you would like to live your life and what might be keeping you from it. Over time, you will feel empowered to live a life more in tune with your values, integrity, and dreams.
Identity crisis as an expat
As an expat, it’s natural that you would be questioning your identity. Like others, you have multiple identities (like parent, friend, spouse, child, employee/employer), and expat life is bound to stir these. There can even be a sense of losing your identity when living abroad.
All you know and rely on is based on your previous experiences and may not be applicable in your new environment. It’s easy to become confused and feel as if you have lost yourself.
Furthermore, the shift between your previous life and the life ahead of you can feel meaningless, hopeless and even frightening. It’s easy to become confused and feel as if you have lost yourself and your grounding in life.
Read this blogpost on how expat life can alter your identity.