Do I have borderline personality disorder?

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I am 13 and I’ve noticed lately how depressed, irritable and hopeless I’ve felt, with many mood-swings and overreactions for certain situations. I often have suicidal thoughts, and though I know I’d never go through with it, they still haunt me. I used to cut, and did so for a year, but now I’m seeing someone and have stopped. The guidance counselor I’m seeing, though, does not think anything too serious is wrong, but she is monitoring the situation. I, though, am not convinced and think something more than teenage hormones is affecting me. I can go from being super hyper one minute to super low and depressed the next. I also find myself very unsteady with every close relationship I have…maybe I’m scared of what happens after perfect? Like, when the friendship seems too good too be true, I start looking for all the flaws in that person and suddenly they’re so much more amplified and I get irritable with that person a lot quicker.

I do get irritable quickly anyway, for with my family but also with friends and teacher and peers. I’m also not too crazy about working in groups when it comes to projects because I like having everything done my way and am convinced my ideas are better. My opinions change every so often, and I try to change up my style once in a while to get attention. For example, for a few weeks I wore my shirts tied up high enough to show mid-drift, and then I wore sweatpants and shirts during a very low period. Lately I like wearing black…you know, portraying the pain on the outside. I have some rocker boots that lace up all the way to my knees and I wear black nail polish and dark clothing.

If there is one thing certain about me, though, it’s that I THRIVE for attention. With my clothing, my attitude and how I do things. I love getting compliments and need people’s approval for some things. I’m not saying I act conceited in front of people, but inside, I sort of am. I need the comfort of my friends to get me by, though I am quite independent.

A: I am glad you are seeing your guidance counselor and are willing to talk about what you are feeling. I think you may want to ask your parents to find a psychiatrist to hear all of this. The intensity and range of your reactions needs to be reviewed by someone with experience in understanding your symptoms and their possible causes. Suicidal ideation, cutting, narcissism, and self-sabotage are difficult issues to cope with on a regular basis.

I recommend you keep talking with your guidance counselor, and ask your parents to find a psychiatrist to give you his or her opinion. This will be the easiest way to know exactly what is going on.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Dec 2010

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2010). Do I have borderline personality disorder?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/12/21/do-i-have-borderline-personality-disorder-3/