From Italy: I’m a sixteen years old girl and I’m not english, so I apologize for any mistake in this text. I have been thinking I have bpd for more or less one year now and I did many research on this mental illness.
First of all I have always had problems with relationships, especially with romantic ones. I need to feel always loved and accepted. When I meet a person for the first time and we become friends or we get engaged I’m always like “I love you, I love you so much, you’re the best person in the world, you deserve everything, you’re my life!”.
I want to spend every single minute with them but I’m really afraid of stifle them and made them tire of me. I’m really afraid of them leaving me. If they don’t laugh at my jokes, I think that they hate me and that I’m really stupid. If they don’t reply to a message it means that they hate me and that I annoyed them. I’m really jealous of my significant others and I don’t want them to stay with other people and they must have only me as best friend, because or I have everything of them or nothing, no in between. But after a while I start to hate them. I’m always cold and angry towards them even if they don’t do anything. I don’t want to see them, talk with them or stay in the same room with them.
Another problem is my mood swings. The largest part of the time I don’t know why it happens. I can be happy and joyful one moment and the next minute cry on the floor of the bathroom for no reason. Or I can be sad and tired and after 5 minutes I can be angry. And almost always I feel empty (so I don’t feel nothing) and I feel like I have a black hole inside my chest.
Anger is another really big issue. I rage I’m scary: I yell, scream, I say really offensive things, throw stuff, fight… I can’t control it and it’s always a destructive rage.
And the last problem is self harm. I cut, burn with cigarettes, scratch until I see the blood. When I’m sad I often drink alcohol, chain smoke or smoke weed. Sometimes I think about suicide (it’s more like thought as “what happen if now you jump throw the window?”) but I’ve never attempt it.
A: Thank you for writing. This all sounds very painful. I’m glad you reached out.
I can’t give you a diagnosis on the basis of a letter. But I can tell you that what you are describing is difficult to sort out. It is normal for a 16 year old to be over-concerned with relationships. It is not unusual for a 16 year old to not yet have had a romantic relationship. It is normal for teens to have moods that are all over the place. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t a painful period of life for many kids. It does mean that we shouldn’t be quick to assign a mental illness diagnosis to something that may be equally attributed to life stage, physical stage, and/or lack of information and experience.
For that reason, I always recommend to teens like yourself that they first visit their medical doctor for a complete physical evaluation. There are hormonal shifts that occur at your age that can make mood unstable. Be sure that you take a sleep and nutrition diary with you to your appointment. A sleep disorder can also cause instability.
If you are physically fine, then make an appointment with a mental health counselor for a complete and thorough evaluation. The counselor can do what I can’t — hear your entire story. She will then make recommendations about what to do to take more charge of making your life and your relationships happier.
You are more in control than you maybe you are willing to acknowledge. Yes, you throw away your temper at times but you also draw a line somehow between some self-harming behaviors and suicidal behaviors.
You already know that avoiding your pain by smoking tobacco or weed or drinking alcohol isn’t going to make things better. What is far more likely to be helpful is to make those appointments. You deserve the practical help and support that professionals can provide.
I wish you well.