From a teen in Scotland: I’m a 16 year old female, and I’m worried I might have some sort of personality disorder. I lie for no reason, to make people feel bad or to make myself look better. I have no problem lying to get myself out of trouble and don’t feel bad about it. When my friends are upset, I do comfort them and give advice, but I don’t actually care about their problems. For example when a friend’s mother became very ill, I comforted her and helped her through, but inside I was bored of it and i didn’t actually feel bad or sorry for her.
I can get people to do what I want easily, either by lying to them or manipulating them, and although I know it’s wrong, I don’t actually feel bad. When I was younger I would be incredibly mean to my young sister, making her feel awful. Nowdays I would never deliberately hurt anyone, but when i accidently do make people feel bad, I realise I don’t actually feel bad for hurting them, I feel bad for making myself look bad.
I get obsessed with people a lot too, and I get jealous when other people have their attention, although I never show it. My mood can also go up and down very fast and I feel like I can be quite unpredictable. I feel constantly bored, and lying is the only way i have found to feel something. I’ve hidden this for as long as I can remember. Now I’m worried their may be something wrong with me, and I want to know, if there is something, can I get help? I don’t want to feel like this anymore.
Of course it’s possible that you have a personality disorder. It’s equally possible that you are a normal teen who is trying to figure out who she is and how to be with others. The problem with diagnosing personality disorders during the teen years is that it is perfectly normal for teens to have characteristics of all or some of the disorders while growing out of childhood and into the adult person they will be.
A personality disorder is an inflexible and enduring set of characteristics. An unhealthy pattern of thinking, functioning and behaving causes a person with a personality disorder to have trouble perceiving situations accurately and relating appropriately to other people.
The way to find out is not through an advice column. You are concerned enough about yourself to write to us so I hope you will get the help you need to answer your questions. I hope you can find a mental health counselor who can do a thorough assessment. If you are a normally stressed teen, you will find out which will give you peace of mind. If you do have the makings of a personality disorder, you will be given that information along with a treatment plan for how to address it.
I hope you will get such an assessment to answer your question. It must feel terrible to be always wondering about yourself.
I wish you well.