From a teen in Egypt: I have noticed that I change my feelings a lot towards people around me, from family to friends, and it causes me problems with them and I just don’t know what’s the root of having to experience this. I sometimes love them too much and other times I just can’t stand being around them. When I start to feel irritated by my some of my friends I immediately decide that I won’t talk to them ever again, but I always feel guilty about these feelings because I have no real reason to feel this way. Lately, I have been trying my best to be positive but there’s always something that happens and just simply makes me feel negative again.Why Do I Change My Feelings about People?
Why Do I Change My Feelings about People?
Thank you for writing. The teen years are often a time of emotional instability and change. It can be very confusing and painful. But that instability isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The task of the teen years is to discover who you are, who you want to surround yourself with, and how you want to be in the world. Most kids “try on” different styles, different likes and dislikes, even different friend groups in their efforts to figure out what is most true to themselves. Even though it is disturbing to you, what you are describing may be that normal process.
Although Borderline Personality Disorder is also characterized by emotional ups and downs and unstable relationships, I am reluctant to diagnose teenagers with that disorder. It’s difficult to tease out what is normal “abnormal” teen behavior and what is a mental health issue. That’s not to say that it is impossible for a teen to have BPD. It does mean that a clinician needs to take care when assigning that diagnosis to an adolescent.
If this continues to upset you, I suggest that you talk to a counselor who can get to know you and perhaps help you sort out if what you are experiencing is normal, but sometimes painful, adolescent self-discovery or if in fact there is reason to be concerned that there is an underlying mental health issue.
I wish you well.