If I was to ask you to name three things that make up apart of your identity, could you?
What is Identity?
When trying to self identify, it is a little more complicated than showing your I.D card or passport. Sure, they identify you have a name and an age, but what about the other layers of what makes you the person you are today? You know, the identity that you give yourself? Questioning Identities by Woodland helps us to understand how our own identity becomes shaped and formed.
Woodland explains that the way we see ourselves is also joined by the way others perceive us. The questions, who am I? And what am I? Are very much due to influences, pressures and opportunities that come available to us. Material, social and physical constraints keep individuals from effectively presenting themselves as their own true personal Identity. A persons Identity can change over time with new life experiences such as; changing schools, new jobs, moving towns or cities and meeting new people while losing contact of people you have known for a long time.
Identity can be formed by the way we would think someone else would see us. For example, wearing different clothes to feel apart of a specific group, listening to the music your best friend likes only when they are around. Despite that the initial decision was made by the individual to dress or listen to the friends music, outside impacts shaped those decisions and in this way turns into identity.
We would often act differently around different groups of people, instead of being ourselves. Don’t think so? You wouldn’t act or talk the same in your family life compared to your friends, sporting groups, school and work would you? Sure that person in those situations is you, but a slighter different version.
Where We Can Lose Ourselves
Being influenced into an identity is not a bad thing. We can only learn and observe to be able to form our own opinions and thoughts. But what happens in this day and age when we become so over loaded by social media, strong characters you became friends with, parents who don’t agree with your choices, confusion of your sexuality and wanting to fit in only to be felt obligated to do things you normally wouldn’t do? We develop an Identity Crisis which can make you feel over whelmed and become depressed and anxious at a very young age.
More often than not, you revert into an introverted shell and start to wonder why people are starting to not be very nice. I personally believe high school can be cruel in that respect. I have experienced it for myself. Got bullied, abused, traumatised all for trying to be someone I felt everyone needed me to be. I share all this in my personal story starting at All Over The Place.
Teenage Suicide Is At A Higher Rate Than We Think
It is very important that we learn to talk about everything that is bottled up, have strategies put in place, before you go so deep down in depression that you start having suicidal thoughts. Did you know the statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Website shows that teenage suicide is at a higher rate than if we were to count all deaths including, car accidents and illness for that age group. It’s rather quite scary.
Crammed Mind has recently become a Non Profit Charity Organisation to raise funds through donations, sponsorships and soon to be events. We have been drawing up programs and services to help teenagers who are facing Identity Crisis. To help build resilience against the negative influences, and to help provide tools to become their true self within their identity. To help them become a confident individual and not let the typical bully or social norm overtake who they truly want to be. There is still along way to go to build something truly amazing for these kids and to start saving lives. Fundraising and getting people to understand the purpose is hard. However we are determined.
Keep what is important to you. If you feel you cannot talk to anyone about these issues, in Australia there is Headspace to help talk things through. Or if you are having suicidal thoughts contact beyondblue or lifeline. You are not alone, together we will find ourselves.