Diagnosis is impossible over the internet, but I can provide some insight into the problems you have described. It’s always necessary to consult a mental health professional in person to acquire a diagnosis. They would be in the best position to know what may be wrong.
When you were a child, you created a fictional character in response to an extremely stressful situation in which you were being bullied. Unfortunately, in our culture, the experience of bullying is common. National statistics indicate, that among students, at least one third report regularly experiencing bullying. Research indicates that females often report a higher rate of bullying than males, in certain circumstances. Cyberbullying is particularly prevalent among female students. In one study, nearly 37% reported having experienced online abuse at least one time in their lives. Interesting, only 10% admitted to bullying others.
At first, you reacted by creating a fictional character. That was likely your way of mentally escaping the pain associated with being a victim of bullying. You then started plotting to kill the perpetrators, in a variety of ways. Your desire to harm the people who were harming you is understandable (but also wrong). Thankfully, you never acted on your fantasies.
You also wrote that you thought someone else had been controlling your homicidal fantasies. The fact that you “eventually realized that it wasn’t normal or healthy,” and were able to make positive changes, would suggest that no one else was controlling your thoughts. Those were your thoughts, in response to a difficult situation. It is important to acknowledge that you, on your own, decided against homicide as a solution to this problem. Once you realized the errors of your thinking process, you made the proper correction. That’s a very positive outcome and it shows your ability to make positive changes.
Once you cut that homicidal “person” out of your life, you turned on yourself. You grew depressed, started harming yourself and contemplating suicide. Think of this as your third attempt to deal with your strong and painful emotions.
The examples you have provided perfectly describe maladaptive coping responses. People engage in maladaptive responses when they simply lack better ways of coping with the problems in their lives. If you knew a better way, you would have utilized it. In all likelihood, you lacked a role model or someone in your life who could teach you what you needed to know about effective problem solving.
As you stated in your letter, you’ve never gone to therapy but you were diagnosed with ADHD. I’m wondering how you were diagnosed ADHD without ever having consulted a mental health professional. Now would be a good time to consult a mental health professional.
The best solution to this problem is counseling. That is where you can learn useful coping skills. We are not born knowing these skills. If no one teaches us, and we don’t learn them on their own, then we simply never learn them. The good news is that you can learn what you need to know in counseling. Good luck and please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle