First of all, this post is going to be very, very long…and I totally understand that I cannot be diagnosed via a forum. I'm going to my GP very soon to get a referral to a mental health expert. I guess I'm just venting and I'm looking for answers…
For the first 15 years of my life, I lived in a bubble. I nearly died of meningitis when I was young, and had other close encounters with death too, so my mother was very worried about me. I was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder plus dyspraxia, which meant that I'd often walk into roads, which means I'd never go out on my own. I remember feeling different from everyone else, and sort of angry, but I was okay. Because of my issues, I couldn't face going to secondary school, so had to go to a special group where I could learn a couple of subjects and take 3-4 GSCE's, which I coped okay with. A taxi would take me there and back.
Then when I was 15, my mother was ill with terminal cancer. I had no idea at the time - my family kept me in the dark, although it was clear as day that she had it after visiting her in a cancer hospice…people just seemed to not want to talk to me. When she died, I remember being sat in my sisters just staring at the floor - I didn't even cry, neither did I at the funeral. I was sort of numb that the very person who has protected me for 15 years is now dead. My family was torn apart, and contact was slowly lost between most of them.
My elder sister became my legal guardian, but I started to fend for myself in life. Within a couple of weeks I was going out everywhere on my own, even till 10-11 at night, and made some friends at my school as I didn't feel different. I felt awful that I was happy not even a year after my mother died, but it didn't quite hit me - I was very secluded and never, ever talked about it. I even let my friends believe that my mother was still alive as I'd never correct them. I started being best friends with a very shy girl at school, and developed an attraction for her.
I treated my sister no different, I would not treat her like a mother and simply kept myself to myself in our house. I'd just come in, go upstairs and only venture downstairs to cook for myself. I never, ever mixed my home/family life with my social life - my family/sister never knew where I was even going when I went out, and they've never met any of my friends.
I'm now 21 and me and that girl are together, and have been for 3 years. I've been to college and just graduated University with a 2:1. But I think back to how I was just just 6 years ago and I have no idea how I've got this far on my own. But, within the last year or so I've realised that there's something wrong with me…I feel like I'm nothing. Inside, I just feel empty and I have to be like someone to fill it because I'm not good enough. With all my friends, I try my best to be like them - I even adopt their sense of humour and their traits. I don't think my friends notice this, and just assume I'm like them - which is great, because I feel like they wouldn't like the real me. If there is a real me, because I have no idea who I am - I'm whoever I need to be depending on who I'm with.
The main problem I have now is intense mood changes throughout the day - it's normal for me to have about 6 mood changes throughout a day, and usually for trivial reasons - such as someone who's a bit stressed telling me something in a stressed tone of voice, which makes me think that it's my fault etc. Also, my mood greatly hinges on my relationship. My girlfriend's very unconfident and insecure, so can't show her feelings very well. She also has hang ups about her body, so when she doesn't like to do sexual things I interpret that as 'oh, she hates me, she'd be fine with someone else…' etc. When I'm depressed about my girlfriend is when I'm worst - I cannot help myself perk up at all and end up going from angry at her to apologetic throughout the course of the day.
I suffer from a lot of anger too - in crowds I get very, very angry for no reason, same if I'm walking with someone who's a bit slow. Even if I'm in no rush I still get angry, which I know is wrong. I try not to show my anger and I'm usually good at hiding it, but sometimes I have angry outbursts, although I try to keep these to myself.
In my bad moments, suicidal thoughts rage through my head and I imagine ways of doing the deed. But I've never been close to doing it which I guess is good, which I think is because knowing that I'd inflict trouble upon my relatives (I.e. My student debts, funeral costs, etc).
My self esteem flip flops - some moments I can look at myself and think I look good, but the next moment looking at myself in the mirror is painful. I also sometimes feel I can get a job without any worry, then other times the thought frightens me.
I know this is a bit long and confusing but I hope someone can tell me what's wrong with me and what I'm going through
vitaminz - you could really have a lot of different things going on here.
First of all, I'm sorry about your mother. I lost my father last year and it is very hard to lose a parent.
Now, a few of the things you talk about hint at borderline personality disorder. I'm not saying you have it, but a few symptoms are similar. You could also have a mood disorder (think depression). That can cause people to feel empty.
The fact that you made it through college is wonderful. That shows you have the ability to stick to something and be successful. Way to go!
You could also just be adjusting to a very unusual childhood and the loss of your mother. It sounds like you did not have normal socialization when you were younger, and it's hard to try to develop that later in life if you didn't experience it as a child.
I think in your situation finding a good therapist would be very helpful. It is hard to pay for this if you don't have insurance, but if you are still enrolled in college, some colleges have counseling centers where you can get therapy done by students under the supervision of a licensed therapist. If the school has a psychology graduate program, you could also request a full psychological evaluation that could help shed light on what you are facing.
All in all, it's important to remember that so much of our personalities is created when we are young. These personality traits tend to remain very firm and are hard to change when you are older. However, if you are able to work with a therapist and gain insight into your upbringing and your way of interacting with the world, then that could really help you navigate life's difficulties. Maybe you could include your girlfriend in a couple sessions.
Good luck. I hope your GP make a good referral for you to someone who you like and who can really help.
Sorry I've took so long to get back to you. I've been to my GP and am seeing a counsellor in a few weeks (for free, I live in the UK) - but I told him I may have a personality disorder, and he said there is no treatment available for them, which is contrary to what I have heard before.
I've looked up BPD some more and I am nearly convinced I do have that. I watched some videos online of suffers describing how they feel and I am very much the same as them. I've realised my mood changes mostly revolve around issues with my girlfriend - albeit very, very minor issues or even complete non issues. I think deep down I'm scared even the most minor event is going to make me lose her, or make her realise she doesn't want me anymore. But, the thought of being alone isn't too bad and I can imagine being on my own - but I don't let myself see this and beat myself up and get depressed over stupid little things, like my girlfriend going out for her cousins hen night. The funny thing is I can imagine myself on my own and being happy, but I just can't face the possibility of losing her. If that makes any sense...
The good thing is I don't tell my girlfriend/others what exactly make me down, because I know how pathetic they are. I can disguise my emotions fairly well, except when my depressive moods is too extreme, so people don't see how I feel.
Out of curiosity, I logged all my mood changes from 8am to 8pm today, just to see how many times it changes a day...here is what the moods looked like.
8am - bad depression, I woke up feeling awful for no reason and suicidal thoughts went through my head a lot
8.30am - my mood went back to 'OK' here, I guess a small part of me felt down but I was focused on going to work and doing a good job
9am - depression got slightly worse when I was in work, and felt very lonely and disconnected from my girlfriend
11am - my mood stabilised again, and i could focus on my work
11.30am - Happiness! the first time i felt fairly happy all day
11.45am - Calmed down, mood went back to 'OK'
12.30am - I went on my lunch break here, and depressive thoughts started going back through my head
12.39am - Depression got as bad as 8am this morning, not good. Felt like just collapsing on the floor
1.20pm - Back in work, mood stabilised
1.39pm - Got fairly depressed again, not too bad though
2.25pm - OK again
2.47pm - Happiness comes back, for no reason!
5:12pm - Back to OK
5:52pm - Left work, got a little depressed again
6:25pm - Very depressed again - suicidal thoughts come back again
6:55pm - Mild depression
7:40pm - OK
Is it normal for your mood to change fairly intensely so many times a day? I feel like I'm going crazy, and that the only way out of this could be just suicide - although I haven't actually thought about *attempting* it yet, but the thoughts are getting worse and worse, and the thought of being free of these very depressive moments is tantalising...
There is nothing wrong with you. You are reacting to the things that have happened in your life so far. You have resentment towards family for feeling anihilated around the time of your mothers death. You were kept in the dark.. but you will in time realise that everything happens for a reason. It is most likely that they thought you couldnt handle it bcs you were sheltered for so long. You must look at the whole picture not just your version of events....Then, when you had more freedom, you embraced it and did well for yourself..so well done for that, theres nothing to be ashamed about.. so let go of the guilt...BUT...you must realise that other things were happening in other peoples lives....In time you will see that all it takes is communication..Dont give yourself such a hard time, you are a human being who has managed as best you could given the circumstances. So now, just try to be there for your family and let them be there for you. It will all make sense to you in time. Being strong means using all of your resources and that means letting people in. Best wishes