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What is this? An alter ego, an identity crisis?...

AnotherBillieJean

AnotherBillieJean

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Dec 13, 2014
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London, UK
Hello. I just joined the forum, after doing numerous Google searches for identity, alter ego, personality, etc, I found my way here. Hi. :)

OK, I guess I should start by saying that I'm 25, and I've been suffering from social phobia, agoraphobia, and generalized anxiety disorder for just over ten years. For a few years at the beginning I could not leave the house, and still, after all this time, I feel very scared, tense, and self conscious in public. When I shop I feel like the whole store is wondering what's wrong with me, as my discomfort is VERY noticeable! I have two friends, but otherwise I don't get out much and I'm fairly isolated. I live with my parents, no idea what to do as a career, but I avoid even being in a room with strangers so having a job would be a miracle at this point.

Right... so the reason I found my way here. For a few years now I've had this... picture in my head of a better self, a more confident, happy, peaceful, and attractive version of me. I refer to that version of me as "she", as someone else, because that is how I see her - as someone so completely different from me that it is essentially a different person altogether. I picture her wearing the same clothes as me, with the same hair, the same likes and dislikes, interests, hobbies (with a few more added) as me... but, because she is far more confident, sexy, independent, happy, and most importantly healthy (ie without fear, anxiety, depression, skewed perspective etc), she is not me. If I started to act like her, it would be such an enormous change in personality that it simply wouldn't seem like me... I can't imagine what my friends and family would think. The thing is, I can't carry on like I am... I'm extremely timid, guarded, with chronic low self esteem, zero confidence, and my social phobia/agoraphobia is so severe that it debilitates me to the point where I need a friend or family member with me in public to stop me freezing in a corner somewhere, overcome and overwhelmed with completely illogical, unnecessary terror. So I think about "her" a lot.

Is she completely normal? Is she a daydream that I've become obsessed with? (She does feature heavily). Is she actually entirely possible to become? Is she the real me, the girl I'd be if I didn't have anxiety? Is she an alter ego? A separate personality? Is this an identity crisis?

Should I quit referring to her in the third person and accept that she is me, or should I ditch her as an unhealthy obsession?

I've never really told anyone about this. Although a psychiatrist once suggested I take an acting class to "act" confident, which made me wonder if I could just act as "her" and eventually it'd stick, like the old saying 'fake it till you make it.'

:(

Well thank you for reading!
 
T

Topcat

Guest
I don't know, but there's a lot to be said for "fake it til you make it"
It's how I live my life a lot, and it gets me by.
 
D

Dottyone

Guest
Welcome to the Forum x

Maybe the alter Ego is a thought about your goals Goals and Current Achievements, you sound quite intelligent and if thats your Avatar your very pretty too.

I fake everything but I keep trying for improvements, some will always be a dream!

good luck with achieving your ambitions.:)

TopCat getting by is much better than taking a fall. :hug:
 

MarlieeB

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I think everyone has some sort of alter ego, a more confident side of themselves, the side that they dream off being. Some live that alter ego in certain situations, some only live them in their own minds.
 
Jaminacaranda

Jaminacaranda

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Aug 18, 2013
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I agree with what others have said. I have never been diagnosed with any MH problems and would not claim to have any although I have experienced depression and anxiety in the past and have also spent a period when I felt unable to leave my house. It's the severity of this stuff and how long it lasts and therefore how debilitating and how personally painful it is that matters. Some ups and downs and psychological shifts and problems are a feature of most people's lives as are doubts about one's 'identity', 'purpose' etc. and if they don't feature in your life, well, I'd say you were a very 2-dimensional, conventional and unthinking person - and you really don't want to be that! The media and the Government however - seek to portray people as being 'OK' or 'not OK', but you know they're just a bit dim.

I have suffered from extremely low self-esteem all my life and yes - I tried going down the 'acting as if' route and yes, it worked for me. I am able to 'perform' in all sorts of quite difficult situations both professional and social but it is just an 'act'. It gets me by even when I subsequently go home and cry and shake in a foetal position in the corner of a room. It does require some self-confidence however and also some understanding of social norms and niceties and not all people can grasp them - my partner can't, for example, because he has Asperger's.
 
AliceinWonderland

AliceinWonderland

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:welcome: AnotherBillie Jean
 
rasselas.redux

rasselas.redux

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As an expert-by-inexperience I am well-placed to answer this question.

Short answer is yes. You do seem to be going through some kind of identity crisis although as is often underlined on here, any two crises are often very unalike.
Sounds to me like you've made a kind of fantasy ideal self who is everything you want to be but feel you can never be.

I wonder how much this has become a Mexican stand off for you psychologically.

It's the kind of thing you might explore in therapy. If you get your name on an NHS waiting list you should be allocated enough time to not fully explore this issue within the next three or four years. Or go private.
 
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