From a 18 year old girl in Sweden: I enjoy getting in relationships only to completely destroy the person later on. Or well, not really. I enjoy it in the moment. I get all gittery and giggly and I feel really good inside. It’s not a sexual thing either, it’s just fun. I feel like life without hurting others would be boring and mundane.

It’s almost like a mood I get in. It’s a different me than the normal me, cause when I get back to my normal self I can feel quite bad. Or can I? I don’t even know if I feel bad or not. I know it’s a bad thing and and I’m an outright scummy person. I should feel bad. I may feel bad sometimes but I don’t really care.

And then we have this side of it:
The “personality switch” also happens when I’m with my friends, but it’s different then. I can get very violent and I just can’t stop giggling. It’s like something out of a movie. I realize what I’m doing in the moment but I just can’t stop myself. It’s like something takes over.

My friend said my eyes get scary? That she was kinda scared of me when I got like that. The last thing I want is for people to be scared of me! I’m not a scary person! Or that’s what I’d like to think but I’m starting to doubt myself. I don’t actually wanna hurt anyone I’m just in the moment…

I do wanna stop this but I don’t know how. And I don’t wanna seem like an edgy teenager trying to be cool either, this is becoming a problem when my friends and even my dad at one point are telling me I scare them. And it’s a problem cause I can’t stop my violent tendencies, I don’t wanna end up in jail or anything!

And I’m so confused with my own thoughts on this, I’m all over the place as you can see.
Is there something wrong with me?
Is there some sort of personality thing happening here?
How do I stop myself?

A: When I read your letter, my first thought was “What happened to this person that created this problem?” Generally, people who want to hurt others have been terribly hurt themselves. If you were seeing me for therapy, I’d want to explore whether your thoughts of violence are a way you try to protect yourself. Thoughts of violence certainly give you the feeling of being in control or having the upper hand.

If that isn’t part of the picture (or if it’s only a part of it), I’d want to talk with you more about the “switch” — tracking when and how it happens.

Obviously I can’t do any of this. I do think what you are describing is serious enough that you should make an appointment with a therapist who can. You don’t like these feelings. You are concerned about them. You are scaring people you care about. Those are all good reasons to get an assessment from a mental health professional. It may be that you just need some reassurance. Or it may be that you need some healing. You and the therapist will decide the best way to help you.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie