From a teen in the UK: Hello, I’m an 18 year old female and i’ve been really struggling in the past year. I dont have access to professional help yet and i really need guidance. My biggest problems at the moment are self-diagnosed Pure OCD as well as the effects of growing up with emotionally and physically abusive parents, who i’m still stuck living with (not to mention bullying at school). with the OCD, I’ve cycled through several obsessions which made me deeply depressed and suicidal, managed to get over cancer fears, paraphilia fears, schizophrenia fears, existential fears, etc.
but what i cannot for the life of me shake off is the fear of having NPD/ASPD, complete with checking and doubt and horrible intrusive thoughts about harming family (even if they’re abusive i wouldnt actually HURT them), friends, strangers, even animals which ive always adored. this is the obsession my whole fear cycle started with and it’s the only one that wont give me peace of mind anytime soon simply because i have, in fact, been a really nasty person in the past either to take my insecurities out or to get approval from others, and i have the childhood trauma on top of that. those behaviors were the worst in middle school. it really feeds into the anxiety and blurs the line between which thoughts are the product of my anxiety and which are my own moral failings.
even today i seem to fit most covert-narcissistic traits to a T which makes me wish id never been born at all. my OCD is generally super convincing and it typically doesnt take much to convince me of things… cue headaches, trouble sleeping, complete inability to relax &more. plus the topic is pretty much unavoidable, what with this widespread hype about supposed NPDers and sociopaths,
much to my (very much selfish) anger and hopelessness. what i want is some reassurance that that my personality isnt irredeemable and evil, that past wrongdoings dont define someone, that self-absorbed people with low self-esteem arent necessarily NPD, that people who have been horrible and entitled teenagers dont necessarily develop NPD. and maybe tips on how to make obsessions and intrusive thoughts subside without doing ERP (the thought of just sitting and letting my mind hit me with whatever horrible thoughts and feelings it can come up with makes me extremely uncomfortable, i’d rather just drop dead). thank you for listening.I Have No Access to Mental Health Services and Need Guidance
I Have No Access to Mental Health Services and Need Guidance
I’m very glad you wrote. Let’s start with your last paragraph: Your personality isn’t irredeemable and evil. Past wrong-doings co not necessarily define a person. Self-absorbed people, especially self-absorbed teens, do not necessarily develop a Narcissistic Personality. Exposure and Response Therapy is not the only way to manage Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Your letter tells me that you are insightful and intelligent. How you move forward in life is entirely up to you. You may not be able to access professional help, but you can start working on your various issues today — right now.
“Bibliotherapy” (reading) is available to everyone. There is plenty of information on the web about how to manage obsessional thoughts. There is also a great deal of information on the difference between the normal narcissism of the teen years and the abnormal narcissism of a personality disorder. There is also a ton of information about recovering from bullying. Use your considerable intellect to think about what you read and to try out suggestions.
You might find it helpful to join one of the forums here at PsychCentral. People from all over the world offer each other support and advice.
Don’t give up on getting some therapy. Talk to your school counselor or physician about whether there are programs in your city that offer free or very low cost therapy to teens.
In the mean time: I hope you are working hard in school so that you are eligible for further education or a well paying job. I hope you are either volunteering or working part time in order to develop skills that will make it possible for you to get a good job and to move out of your parents’ home when you graduate. You are not “stuck”. You are temporarily under your parents’ roof while you get yourself ready to enter the adult world. Make good use of this time.
I wish you well.