From a teen in Italy: (All the things written started more or less 2 years ago but now they’re going worse and worse) I’m an almost 16 years old girl and I don’t know if what I feel is normal. I know that adolescence is a difficult period for most teenagers but I think that for me it’s a little bit too much. I’ve got a lot of problems that my friends don’t have or that at least don’t show.
First of all I’ve got a lot of relationships issues (especially romantic ones): I don’t trust anyone, I think that they will abandon or leave me when i’ll need them, I think that everybody hates me even if they tell the opposite. For example if my bestfriend doesn’t answer to a message I immediately assume that he’s going to leave me because I’m a mess and that he hates me. I know that it’s irrational but I can’t help it.
I love too much. I know that I’m only 16 but if what I feel isn’t love I don’t want to know what real love is. When I love I do it with every fiber of my body. If my boyfriend left me I would kill myself. Unfurtunately I’m not kidding. I just can’t even imagine what I would feel if someone that I love left me. When I love you, you’re my world, my life. After a break up I couldn’t even sleep or eat. That’s what happens everytime I fall in love with someone: at the beginning I love him. I want to spend every single minute with him. When I’m without him I feel so empty or sad, I feel like my life doesn’t have a reason. I’m very possessive and really jealous. He must love me unconditionally like I do, he must be everytime with me, the largest part of the time there isn’t space for friends or other people. I’m suffocating but I can’t control myself.
After few months I convince myself that he wants to leave me because he’s fed up with staying with me or that he has never loved me at all or things like that. And I don’t know why but I start hating him. I really hate him. I want him to die. I’m always mad to see or be with him. I’m constantly angry with him. He disgusts me. And I want to break up. But I expect him to love me and not to leave me even if I reject him. Sometimes I love and hate someone at the same time.I think that I’m crazy…
Another problem is the fact that I don’t know who I am and what I want. I know that’s a normal thing for teens but I have already changed school 3 times, I don’t know if I’m bisexual or straight, I don’t know if I love only black or all the colours except black, If I love myself and I’m the best or if I’m the worst person in the world, If I’m introverted and shy or extroverted and always happy, etc etc. I have mood swings everyday, and I never understand the reasons.
My emotions overwhelm me, I can’t control them in anyway. I can be happy, laugh and joke one hour and cry in the bathroom the next. The more I’m happy the more I will be sad after. Most of the time I’m depressed. I feel hopeless, tired, very sad. I don’t want to go out, to see my friends or to do things that I like. I just go out if there’s alcohol or drugs. I know that it isn’t good for me but when I’m blue and lonely or when I don’t feel anything at all (that’s even worse) forget about everything seems a good idea. I feel almost always empty, as if I had a big black hole in my chest or stomach,especially when I’m alone.
At least twice a month I have a “break down” which is a day when I’m too much sad and I think about suicide continously. In these days I cut myself (I have done it since I was 12), I cry all the time and I stay alone at home. I selfharm (cut/burn/scratch myself) also when I feel an emotion too deeply or when I’m totally numb. Another thing that I can’t control is my anger. I’m always angry. I haven’t patience at all, I lose my temper everyday on stupid things. When I get mad I’m out of control. I can go from screaming to throw and break things to hit everything and everyone around me to burn down things. I’ve fighted many times, even at school.
Lately I’ve been having nightmares almost everynight. Sometimes I wake up 4-5 times per night, especially when I’ve got something important the next day (either good or bad). Could it be anxious? I suffered from a mix of anorexia and bulimia (anorexia binge/purge) for about 6 months last year. When I was about 7 years old I went to a psychologist because I missed someone and I didn’t know who. When I was 10 I got lost on a mountain with my mum and dad (not really, there was fog and we took the wrong ski slope and we didn’t know how to go back, but I thought that they were leaving me alone in the snow).
Is there something wrong with me? Does every teen feel like me? Is it just adolescence? Should I see a psychologist?
Sorry for the lenght of this text but I had to write a lot
I’m very glad you wrote. You are a sensitive person who seems to be highly atuned to other people. It makes sense to me that you are often overwhelmed.
There is too much to respond to in your letter. I can only give you a few ideas to consider. I hope you will follow up with appintments to both your medical doctor and to a counselor for a more thorough evaluation.
The first stop is to your doctor. There are a number of physical problems that can contribute to the emotional ups and downs at your age. Just make sure that something medical isn’t going on. Do keep a food diary and a sleep log for a few weeks prior to your appointment and bring them with you to your doctor. There may be a nutrition issue. Or a sleep disorder may be contributing to your difficulties.
If everything checks out okay medically, please consider seeing a therapist who specializes in teen issues and who has training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). DBT is based on the idea that a person’s problems are often caused by insufficient skills in dealing with emotions and relationships. A DBT therapist will help you learn new skills for coping with feelings as well as new ways to manage relationships.
I do think you are expecting too much from yourself and from relationships. You have plenty of time to discover who you are and who you want to be with. What’s your hurry? It is normal and appropriate to be asking the questions you are asking about yourself. It is normal and important to try out a number of relationships in order to figure out what kind of person is the best “fit” for you – both for friendships and for romance.
Please relax. Take care of your body as well as your mind. You made an important step by writing to us here at LifeHelper.
Now please follow up by seeing your doctor and a counselor.
I wish you well.