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Should I Go for a Personality Disorder Diagnosis?

Asked by on with 1 answer:

From a young woman in the U.K.: Although I know that online quizzes aren’t anything close to a diagnosis, I have scored highly multiple times for borderline and schizotypal. However, I don’t know if they interfere enough with my life to warrant using up a therapist’s time.

Although I currently have no employment as I am studying, I have proven to myself in the past that I am able to hold down a job. Impulsiveness is the one borderline trait that I don’t appear have, so I am able to take care of myself day to day – in fact, I’m quite a control freak in that regard, and that’s another issue with seeking diagnosis.

The idea that I need help makes me feel sick. This is an example of one of overblown reactions I have to little things. A family member once came into my place to clean while I was on holiday without my knowing – I pretended to her that I was just a little put out, but I was actually wildly furious, felt suicidal and once I was alone cried uncontrollably for about 2 hours. Then I was perfectly fine.

I try to stifle my inappropriate responses until I am alone, then all hell breaks loose (I have only ever been violent towards myself). Romantically speaking, I am a dom, and am comfortable with this as I only want it as part of a committed, loving relationship, but the idea of potentially having something wrong with my head makes me worry that I wouldn’t be qualified to take care of someone else or have them place that trust in me.

I’ve had two, short, cold romantic relationships – when they ended, although I let them go without a fight, I involuntarily threw up, couldn’t eat for days and was depressed for years. During the second break-up, done over text, I actually passed out. At the moment I also have no friends whatsoever outside my family.

I talk to myself pretty much all day, sometimes repeating words or phrases that feel good. Occasionally when I’m outside I accidentally mumble something to myself out loud.

I don’t know if I just think there’s something wrong with me, or if there actually is. I don’t know if I’d benefit from therapy, or if I’d just be wasting their time. I don’t know how coherent this has been, but any advice would be appreciated greatly.

Should I Go for a Personality Disorder Diagnosis?

Answered by on -

A.

Although you don’t want to admit it, your symptoms do interfere with your life. You are fearful of developing relationships. You were depressed for years after one break up and passed out after another. You say you are generally over-reactive and actually got suicidal when someone tried to do a good deed by cleaning your house. Although you are able to function at work and school and your basic self-care seem fine, you aren’t able to cope with social interactions that don’t go the way you thing they should. So, yes, I do think something may be “wrong.” So do you.

Please remember that online self-administered psychology tests are intended to be used for education and guidance only. They are not intended to be a substitute for in-person evaluation by a licensed mental health professional. A self-test can indicate that perhaps you should have such a professional evaluation.

Personality disorders are particularly difficult to assess on a self-test since there is a significant overlap in symptoms for a number of them. It’s also unclear whether the “test” indicates a mental illness or a lack of sufficient coping skills that can be caused by any number of reasons.

The best way for you to get your question answered is to go to a qualified mental health professional for a professional assessment. (Most schools have such services available.) An assessment will provide you with a diagnosis based on clinical judgement — or will reassure you that what is needed is coaching and support in developing some better social skills. You have nothing to lose but a few hours of your time. You have everything to gain by having a better understanding of yourself.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Should I Go for a Personality Disorder Diagnosis?

TALK TO A THERAPIST NOW:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2020). Should I Go for a Personality Disorder Diagnosis?. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 1, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/04/17/should-i-go-for-a-personality-disorder-diagnosis/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 16 Apr 2020 (Originally: 17 Apr 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 16 Apr 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.