Brian86 wrote:If James Marcia's "identity states" that are an expansion of Erik Erikson's work are realistic, might "unstable sense of self" basically be the same as "identity crisis" and perhaps the result of a failure of the person to accomplish "identity achievement" or settle in the state of "foreclosure"? It was even said by Marcia, I believe, it might have been Erikson, that once a person leaves the state of foreclosure in search of a new identity, they can never go back to foreclosure, which might mean they're stuck in the "moratorium" identity state. I can kind of see this being true. What do you all think?
"unstable sense of self" is a part of a problem known as "identity diffusion".
"identity diffusion" is a failure to... yes... accomplish "identity achievement".
"identity crisis" is different from borderline "identity diffusion".
In "identity crisis" continuity of self across situations and across time is pretty much retained.
In "identity diffusion" a loss of capacity for self-definition, lack of integration of the concept of self and significant others, and resulting painful sense of incoherence
Thanks for the input.
About me, I'm not sure if I'm in the state of "identity diffusion" or "moratorium". I definitely have a social style I've always leaned toward and identified with. When I was in middle school I got labeled "preppy" by kids who were, I guess, less "preppy" than me, although I wasn't truly "preppy". I mean, I didn't even go to dances (maybe one) or prom or anything like that. I was kind of in the middle, but I kind of ran with the preppy label and have always dressed fairly conventional with clothes that fit, polo shirts, etc. I mostly liked popular music. I'm 27 now and the style of dress I like has gotten older and dressier. Kind of J Crew/Banana Republic/Brooks Brothers, loafers, Levi's. I like German cars, my first car was an Audi, my last a Mercedes. I like to dine out and I like to cook (like from scratch, good food). I like ethnic cuisine. I genuinely like all of these things, though, and enjoy them for what they're worth for me. In other words, they don't become affectations with me like they seem to with other people. I like premium/craft/foreign beer too, and wine, but I'm not afraid to have a Bud Light if that's what people are having wherever I'm at. I'm not afraid or ashamed to eat fast food on occasion. Also, even though I've just painted myself as a city guy, sort of pseudo-yuppie, I actually like country music, and always have, and I am not trendy. I tend to prefer classic, tried, and true, but am mostly not afraid to try new things that interest me. I also like being out in the country and while I ultimately think being in the city is probably best for me, I'd definitely like to have a second, cheap place out in the country, even a trailer (on it's own land, not in a trailer park). While I like the country, I ultimately identify with and would miss many things in the city. It might sound like I have a fairly good idea of who I am, and I think I do, but I'm still confused. Here's the deal - I didn't go to college, haven't started any kind of permanent/long-term job or career, and don't have any friends. I've never really had many friends. I feel like somehow I've gotten out and about and grown away from and expanded my horizons beyond my home community, and believe me, I have, and I've actually lost perspective with them...I used to kind of know where I left off, but now that line is kind of blurry. But anyway, so my concern is that I think I have to have friends or be able to date to really see what caliber of person I am, or if I just think I'm more than I am. I feel like I've expanded myself in all ways...culturally, educationally, etc., but that my level of social skills never caught up, which is weird, and I don't know if that's true or not. I may simply be held back by anxiety, but I just don't know. Is a man defined by the caliber/league of woman and friends he can attain? By the job he can attain? I don't need to make a lot of money, as I'm very thrifty. However, I don't want to work in a warehouse or factory and be defined by that and I mention those places because they're easy places to work because they require minimal social and interpersonal skills. I want to work in an office environment or at least something I can dress nice, step away for lunch, and preferably somewhere like downtown. I used to want to live where I could walk to work, and the idea is still appealing. I'm smart enough and should be capable, but the interacting with people just holds me back. So I haven't made some of these big defining decisions. I'm scared of interaction with people. I'm deathly afraid of attractive women. And I get confused about whether I'm capable of attaining the type of job I want or not. I did get an interview at the corp HQ of a major national company a couple years ago...the job was merely calling people providing them with necessary information concering their accounts, etc., but I was so terrified (of what? I don't know) that I blew it and just did not go to training, and that was even after group interviewing and passing! So I just don't know. I get really confused and want to achieve the goals I've stated, and at other times think I should give up and just get an easier/simpler job and just dress plain and not worry so much about having everything the way I want it. I go back and forth between which of these two ways I should go.
-- Sat Aug 03, 2013 5:58 am --
I also sit and wonder what is wrong with me. I used to think it was just social anxiety, and it may still just be that, but now I wonder if the social anxiety is merely a symptom of something worse, like Asperger's, and obviously I'm wondering about BPD too. I definitely think I'm ADHD too. I was diagnosed as a kid and think I still am. I might just have social anxiety and ADHD and be overplaying something being wrong with me, or I may not, I just don't know.