Personal Identity Disorder

Personal Identity Disorder

Introduction for Personal Identity Disorder Nursing Diagnosis

Nursing diagnosis is a process used by nurses, healthcare professionals, and medical workers in all areas of practice. Personal Identify Disorder, also known as PAD, is an important nursing diagnosis that must be correctly identified and addressed in order to provide quality care. In this article, we will discuss key elements of PAD, including the NANDA Nursing Diagnosis definition, with associated risk factors, related problems, and assessment, interventions and evaluation.

NANDA Nursing Diagnosis Definition

NANDA Nursing Diagnosis definition defines Personal Identity Disorder (PAD) as “an inner confusion and/or distress caused by an inability to know one’s self or living role, which may lead to reduced personal satisfaction, physical and psychological adaptation to life activities, and coping mechanisms.”

Defining Characteristics


  • Uncertainty regarding life roles, identity, and/or meaning of life
  • Anxiety about self-image, relationships, and/or life purpose/goals/ambitions
  • Difficulty taking pride in accomplishments
  • Ongoing feelings of guilt and/or sadness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Behavioral symptoms that interfere with functioning


  • Depressed or anxious mood
  • Feelings of loss, hopelessness, helplessness, emptiness, and/or despair
  • Lack of involvement or interest in activities
  • Difficulty making decisions or forming opinions
  • Sense of alienation and isolation
  • Negative self-talk and criticism
  • Unmet personal goals and expectations

Related Factors

  • Cognitive deficits: Difficulty understanding the self due to cognitive limitations may result in poor self-identity.
  • Cultural influences: Unfamiliarity with cultural values and norms may lead to difficulty forming an identity.
  • Developmental influences: Failure to meet individual expectations for success and development can lead to difficulty with self-identity.
  • Gender discrimination: Prejudice against a certain gender can lead to feelings of powerlessness and lack of self-worth.
  • Social exclusion: Individuals who feel isolated or outside of their social groups may find it difficult to form an identity.

Risk Population

The risk population for PAD are those individuals who have experienced trauma or abuse, lack of attachment/secure relationships/positive reinforcement, or any combination of these. Other factors such as poverty, racism, chronic illness, gender roles and conflicting cultural values can also put an individual at risk for PAD.

Associated Problems

Individuals with PAD may experience a wide range of associated problems, including maladaptive behaviors, social isolation, depression, substance abuse, anxiety, eating disorders, relationship difficulties, and other mental illnesses.

Suggestions of Use

Careful assessment and monitoring of individuals presenting with PAD is essential to ensure a successful outcome. Treatment should focus on identifying and addressing underlying causes, providing support, and increasing coping skills. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is often a recommended intervention for PAD.

Suggested Alternative NANDA Diagnoses

Some alternative diagnostic labels to consider when assessing a patient with PAD are: Disturbed Thought Process, Coping: Death Anxiety, Coping: Family Conflict, and Coping: Violence Risk.

Usage Tips

  • Assess for presence of inadequate family environment, unresolved trauma, and cognitive impairments.
  • Encourage discussion of feelings surrounding rights, roles, and responsibilities.
  • Foster feelings of safety, security and worth.
  • Encourage positive statement of self-esteem.
  • Support client’s efforts to assert independence.
  • Discuss adjusted expectations for achieving personal goals.

NOC Results

  • Self-Esteem: The patient’s ability to identify, express, and maintain level of self-worth.
  • Life Satisfaction: The patient’s ability to perceive a meaningful, satisfying life.
  • Adaptation: The patient’s ability to cope and make adjustments in order to function effectively in life.
  • Positive Thinking: The patient’s ability to think positively, interpret events in a constructive manner and set realistic expectations of themselves and others.

NIC Interventions

  • Identity Enhancement: Facilitation of exploration of therapy; help to promote identity formation.
  • Trauma Resolution: Assistance with relieving dysfunctional behavioral patterns resulting from unresolved trauma.
  • Emotional Understanding: Guidance in developing understanding and acceptance of emotions.
  • Recovery Support: Assistance with rebuilding self-image through encouragement, problem-solving, and goal setting.


Personal Identity Disorder is a serious disorder that affects many individuals. It is important for nurses, healthcare professionals, and medical workers to be aware of the signs and symptoms of PAD and be prepared to provide much needed care to patients suffering from this disorder.


  • How Is Personal Identity Disorder Diagnosed? – PAD is usually diagnosed using a combination of clinical interview and observation of behavior.
  • What Is the Prognosis for Patients With PAD? – The prognosis depends largely on the severity of the disorder and the patient’s willingness to participate in treatment.
  • What Treatments Are Available For PAD? – Treatment typically consists of cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, medications, and lifestyle changes.

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