From the U.S.: I recently was looking at a page about Borderline Personality Disorder and I could relate to everything. From the self injury to the mixed feelings 24/7. I can feel joy and the next second I could hate the very thing I was joyous about. I never really had a clear picture of who I really was and I’m still not sure. I always feel a sort of emptiness and I always feel like I should leave because I’m deathly afraid of abandonment.

This is the first time of been open about it and I’m scared to tell my parents that I might have it.

A: I understand your concern. It’s scary to think you might have a mental illness. Although it is possible, of course, I think you can probably relax. At 13, most girls’ have emotional states that can look like BPD. Shifting hormones and the normal stresses of early adolescence are often hard on kids.

My advice to you is to do your best to take care of yourself physically and mentally. Get enough sleep. Eat right. Limit your time on screens. Get out and get some exercise every day. In addition, find something to do that you are passionate about — like a sport, art, theater, or volunteering at a cause you believe in. If you do those things for 6 months and still think you relate to the symptoms of BPD, then it’s time to talk to your folks about getting a mental health evaluation.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie