The benefits of weight loss are well-documented. People enjoy better health, self-esteem rises, and a new lifestyle begins. The satisfaction can be enormous, but there are some who struggle with the adjustment. They are strangers to themselves and not at all the “me” they once knew. The triumph of self-improvement turns into identity crisis and may lead to depression, anxiety, or other low moods. Read: Finding Self-Acceptance After Weight Loss
With Weight Loss Comes Change
Change is challenging. Familiarity is lost, and all that is new and different can be scary. We may find comfort in old and harmful behaviors simply because they are familiar.
Although our recent and improved selves may be superior, some of us grapple with the newness of it all. Read: Positive or Negative Body Image
Identity and Identity Crisis
Making a commitment to an identity after exploring possibilities is how we achieve identity. Those who have a strong commitment to an identity are usually happier and healthier than those who have not. Identity crisis happens when we cannot commit.
People sometimes experience identity diffusion. Those with identity diffusion feel out of place and do not seek some sense of identity at all.
We all experience psycho-social changes and must successfully address conflicts in order to build healthy personalities and basic virtues. Failure to successfully complete a stage of change can disrupt subsequent stages in the chain and result in a less healthy personality. Questions about self-identity and our role in life after dramatic weight loss can result in a identity crisis. Read: Negative Emotions that Accompany Weight-Loss Surgery.
Weathering the Storm
When in need, seek help. If you find that your confusion has become a burden and you are having difficulties, get professional guidance.
Identity crisis can stem from expectations that have not been realized. Were these expectations unrealistic? Perhaps you were you trying to live up to some other person’s expectations about you. Ask friends for their perspectives. Sometimes we become tangled in our own vision. Getting some help to assess what we are seeing can be useful. Read: Body Image After Weight Loss
In good health,
Content is the opinion of the author and does not constitute or is a replacement for medical advice.