From the U.S.: I’m 14 and for the past 5 years, I have had issues with ADHD, trichatillomania, compulsive lying, and compulsive eating, as well as self-esteem issues. Although my mother is a psychiatrist, my compulsive lying has turned all my family members against me. They all hate me and when I express that I need help they blatantly ignore me and even though I know I caused this myself, it hurts.
I am medicated for my ADHD, and I have my trichatillomania under control, but I still feel terrible about myself and it seems that I can’t fix my problems. I would say that I might have Borderline Personality Disorder, but I am not eighteen so I can’t be diagnosed officially. I often have moments of emptiness and I hate myself and my compulsive eating and lying. Any suggestions of what I should do?My Lying Has Turned My Family Against Me
My Lying Has Turned My Family Against Me
There’s an old saying: “The cobbler’s children have no shoes.” It refers to the idea that often enough people who are really successful in their jobs sometimes aren’t very good at it in their personal lives. It’s not at all unusual for people in the mental health professions to be blind to mental health issues in their own homes. Perhaps we’re so emotionally exhausted from listening so carefully all day to people’s problems that we turn those skills off when we leave the office. Or maybe it’s a case of not being able to see family troubles clearly when we are part of the family. All that is to suggest that although your mom is a psychiatrist, she may not be aware of how troubled you are. I have to wonder if at least some of your behaviors are attempts to get her to pay attention.
I say “some” because you are also 14, an age when there are many internal and external things going on that cause stress. Almost all adolescents share some of the characteristics of Borderline. The emotional dysregulation and unstable relationships of the teen years are a normal part of growing up. The challenge of the those years is to learn how to manage our emotions and how to successfully navigate relationships.
I do think you need some help. I don’t think the strategies you are using to get it (lying and over-eating) are working. I suggest a more straight-forward approach. Apologize to your mom for the lying. Calmly tell her what you told me — that you don’t like what you’ve been doing but don’t know how to stop on your own. Ask if the two of you can see a family therapist to help you make a better relationship. If she minimizes or disregards your concerns, consider talking with your school counselor or another adult you trust to get some help with that conversation with your mom.
Meanwhile: Self esteem doesn’t happen magically. You need to get out of your own problems and do something to earn it. Get involved with some activity or charity or cause that touches your heart. You will meet other people who care about what you care about. You will also have the opportunity to learn some new skills. Make a difference in other people’s lives and you will make a huge difference in your own.
I wish you well.