Do you take drugs instead of improving your relationships?
Selling drugs is much more
profitable than healing relationship issues.
Continued from part 1: Recognize Identity Loss
What are Identity Issues?
Identification refers to
confusing yourself with a compensation personality,
refers to dissociated behavior and identity conflict
chronic conflicts or mood swings between two identifications.
refer to strong feelings of connection to other people.
Identification: I don't know what possessed me!
Most people learn life skills by identifying with role models,
and many people act as if they remain partially identified with one
or more those people. Identified people may feel normal
while acting in ways that most people would consider abnormal.
Do you sometimes think that you donít belong in the world? One
solution is to identify with someone else, perhaps trying to feel like you
belong by feeling other people's emotions. If so, you may behave in predictable ways. Three
common issues are:
My wife is always frightened.
She acts like all people are criminals.
I keep her away from my employees and my customers. Boston
I always felt that someone was close to me, directing my behavior.
I felt protected - but my sadness never
made sense. Toronto
to my husband started before I met him ...
my mother was a victim
of my father ... he was horrible
to her and I have always felt angry with men. Croatia
Identified people may say that they feel most alive when expressing the emotions
of their role models (recall your emotions while watching a
thriller movie). Identified people may deny reality and
say that they are right in a wrong world. Expressing their emotions may
be a massive relief, whatever the consequences.
During our last session
you asked me about my dead grandfather ...
yes, my dead grandpa
felt totally "me" - he felt more me than myself.
I always felt sad. You suggested
that I ask my mother if she had an
... she told me that she had three abortions before I was born ...
I cried all night! I always wanted an older sister. Vancouver
Identity Conflict - Split Personality
Do you sometimes experience deep conflict? Part of you wants to
- but part of you doesn't? If you have identity conflict, you may
feel normal, just and right, even when switching between two personalities,
each with different goals, beliefs and values.
Some people with extreme identity conflict may be diagnosed with
bipolar disorder. People who
forget their prior behavior when changing persona might be labeled
All my life I felt conflicted ...
I always tried to do too many things at the same time.
make decisions or promises in one mood, and change them in a few hours.
I know that drove people crazy. Thanks for helping me sort it out.
Identity conflict can be easy to recognize. Do you have strong mood swings;
or do you break promises? Are you unreliable? Do you deny or minimize statements
or decisions you made in your "other" personality side?
Deep conflicts are common - even normal! Do you switch from grumpy to
friendly ... and back? Do you avoid making
clear decisions? We help people end indecision, endless conflicts or mood swings.
Here's a transcript on
The Lights are On - Is Anybody Home?
Do you know people who are so preoccupied that they cannot make
decisions? (They may be a salesman's dream - they can be told what
they want.) We refer to extreme cases of emotionless, robot-like behavior as "Lost Identity".
People trained to be overly compliant when young may become obsessive-compulsive adults.
If they were punished for expressing emotions, they may avoid feeling them. Later, they may try
to fulfill their empty lives in therapy groups or
I just felt empty and
my work was robotic. My wife and I divorced but
marriage seemed pointless anyway. I don't really make
I just follow other people's orders, like I always have.
People who feel disconnect from their core values
(or sense of self) may feel disconnected from their families or
communities. This seems especially common amongst military personnel and
ex-convicts. We help people
find and reconnect with
themselves as a basis for connecting to other people in healthy
Identity loss is common - even normal in some groups. Do you know people who ...
- express no or few feelings
- have few interests and hardly participate in life
- are extremely reserved or generally preoccupied
- have little motivation - they must be
told what they must do
- are addicted to movies: anger, sadness and fear are luxuries!
- cannot define their own goals - they want to be told what
Recognize Identity Loss
Reclaiming your Personal Identity
Do you spread your life energy across too many projects and
difficult people? If you donít reclaim your energy, you may feel
overwhelmed, exhausted or over-extended.
Then, a crisis, disappointment or other loss may
push you over an edge into what is often called a nervous, mental
or emotional breakdown.
Do you lose touch with yourself? Are you caught between
busy schedules, family problems and other relationship challenges?
Do you feel lost occasionally? Why not use our guided self-discovery
as a way reclaim your personal identity?
We help people pull themselves together.
We help people recover
and integrate parts of themselves that they denied, hid or split off.
Do you want to manage unpleasant feelings and
transform unpleasant emotions into life resources?
Online Help: Relationship Counseling & Systemic Therapy
I thought you were just
another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.
Plagiarism is theft.
Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 2003-2017 All rights reserved.