From the Netherlands: Hi! I am a 19 year old girl. I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, anxiety and depression. My life has been very difficult, painful and lonely. I have a gap year right now. When I am not working as a cleaner I sit at home trying to distract myself by watching youtube videos and movies.

I hate myself a lot. I never had any real friends besides a childhood friend who I was separated from at the age of 11 because I had to move to another country. Now I am back in the country I was born in – which is Holland.

I find it hard to make friends. People generally don’t want me. So I learned to use my sexuality as a way to be less lonely by hooking up with a lot of people – if I was ‘lucky’ they would want to be my boyfriend.

I was raped by my long term ex boyfriend. Even after that I clinged on to him for dear life. He treated me very badly. I went sex binging to get him out of my mind, to find another comfort zone… It never really worked, if only things got more complicated and messy because I was treated badly by all the other guys too. Not really shocking, I know…After all I brought it upon herself.

Anyways, right now I am at the point in my life that I start to feel like I am going insane. I feel insanely lonely and I dont have any purpose. I cry all the time, sometimes I scream on my own or start laughing while I was crying a minute ago. I get extremely anxious to the point that I feel like I cant breath anymore because I feel so dumb or ugly when I am with others. I get anger outbursts when I am with my loved ones and isolate myself in my room most of the time to prevent people from seeing how ugly I am – this feeling of ugliness just came back when I started to have acne again, probably from excessive weed smoking.

To top it all of I had sex with my uncle. The guilt of that and many other things I did are destroying me slowly.I want to kill myself badly but I dont have the balls to do it.

A: I am very glad you wrote. It is a sign that you want to make your life better. It’s a good first step. Now for the next steps.

First, you really have to stop smoking weed. Yes, it helps you feel better but it also depletes your motivation to help yourself. And you need all the help from you you can get.

As you have already discovered, sitting in your room by yourself and feeling bad isn’t helping you a bit. The solution, as difficult as it may sound, is to get out of your room and do something, anything, that is productive and with healthy people. Instead of isolating, find someplace in your community that needs help and offer to volunteer.

Being a cleaner probably isn’t the answer, unless it is with a fun group. Instead, find a senior program or a program with kids or a charitable organization that can use some help. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes such programs just need help sorting stuff or help with clerical work or a fundraising campaign.

The advantage of volunteer work is that it puts you in regular contact with other people who share an interest. There is no pressure to be an instant friend. Everyone is there to get a job done. Friendships develop gradually and organically.

I do think you need some therapy to help you deal with your guilt and with trauma from sexual encounters like the one with your uncle. The treatment of choice in the U.S. for Borderline Personality Disorder is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). See if there is something like it in your country. You can also research it online. If DBT isn’t available in the Netherlands, get a referral from your doctor to a therapist who specializes in personality disorders and trauma.

You need and deserve therapy to help you make a new start in your emotional life. You are only 19 with the potential for a long and productive life ahead. Take care of yourself — please. Get the therapy you need. You are worth it.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie