Q: About a year ago I went to my doctor and told her how I was feeling, she told me I had symptoms of BPD and to maybe see a therapist. I never ended up going but I did look it up and a lot/almost all of it related to me. I never thought much of it because I just thought I was a normal teenage girl who liked to party a little too much, didn’t really know who I was, and was sad & insecure sometimes.
I recently got into a relationship, about 4 months ago, I’ve never been in one before. I don’t even know how to act in a relationship because I usually push the other person away in fear that once they get to know me they’ll leave me, so I leave first. He’s the first guy I’ve ever had any sort of real connection with but we fight a lot. For the most part we usually fight because of me, I get these feelings and emotions that come out of no where and I freak out about. For some reason they made me look up borderline personality disorder and I relate more then ever. I don’t know if it’s all coming out because I just have no idea how to function in a relationship or because something really is wrong. I just don’t think it’s that hard to learn how to be in a relationship and I don’t think most people go through this. I constantly need reassurance that he likes, that he thinks I’m pretty, that he likes my body, that I’m important to him. When he’s not around, all I can think is that I could be single, that it would be better that way. When he’s with me all I can think is that I never want to be alone again. Every little detail I found myself getting upset over, I start fights over stupid things. I also find myself thinking; If he’s not with me and he’s not texting me I think he’s cheating because why would someone like him want anything to do with someone like me? But then sometimes I think I could get a way better looking guy then him, that I’m too good for him.
I’m sure I could go on but this is the gist of whats going on. Everything just seems so black and white. Either I think things are perfect or everything has going to shit. Is something wrong with me, I keep wondering? Maybe I’m too insecure or jealous or something. I don’t know whats going on, I don’t know why I can’t let things just be. I just wanted some advice on this, thanks in advance.
A: What an insightful young woman you are. I’m glad that you are reaching out for help with your confusing and painful emotions and trying to figure out what to do to feel better. I agree with you and with your doctor. What you are describing does sounds like characteristics of Borderline Personality Disorder. The fact that you are in your first relationship, and with someone you have a connection to is likely heightening your fears and insecurities, but is probably not causing them.
Please reach out to a psychotherapist in your area who specializes in working with BPD to get an official diagnosis, and to get help to understand and manage your intense emotions, change what you believe about yourself, and to learn more effective ways of relating to others. The good news is that treatment is available and can be very effective, but it will take a long-term commitment to healing on your part. Dialectical Behavior Therapy is among the most effective treatments for BPD. I urge you to contact your doctor to get a referral to a therapist or to click the Find Help link at the top of this page and find a therapist who specializes in personality disorders and begin your journey of healing.
Take good care of yourself.
Self & relationship expert Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW is wife of 22 years and mother of 4, a licensed therapist, a popular media contributor, and director of Wasatch Family Therapy. Listen to Julie’s podcast You and Yours , on B98.7 radio as the Bee’s Family Counselor, and read her national advice columns on Psych Central! and Latter-day Woman Magazine
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