How Does My Identity Affect My Mental Health?

Have you ever wondered how your identity affects your mental health? We often think of identity in terms of the roles we play or the positions we achieve, but it’s much more than that. Identity impacts our mental health, our relationships, and how we relate with the world.

Insight by Counselor Dan Bates

“Identity: the beliefs we use to understand ourselves and understand others.”

One way that we can distort identity in terms of our relationships with others is when we “reduce identity to one behavior, one event, or one bad choice and take a multi-dimensional person and make them one dimensional. We can do this to ourselves, our spouse, our child or to someone else.”

Are you over functioning as a parenting? Your identity is wrapped up in your child’s success. You might be “The sage on the stage, removing any consequences from their child’s behavior. It’s too much pressure for the kid. On the surface, it looks loving and relentless, but it’s not.”

“Your relationship with God provides you a stable, consistent definition of your identity. Putting your identity in something other than God is subject to flux.”

“Who you are determines what you do.”


“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 (NLT)

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” Psalm 139:14 (NIV)

Recommended Resources

For More Information or Counseling

Dan Bates, LMHC, MAML website or counseling services