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caitielady Offline
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Question I think I have a personality disorder, what do I do? - July 18th 2010, 03:59 AM

I have had a feeling for a long time that something was wrong with me. I have recently figured out that I may have Avoidant Personality Disorder. I fit several of the criteria. I am not sure how to tell my parents or if I should. I haven't told anyone yet. I tried to hint it to my mother a couple of weeks back, I told her that I may have some sort of anxiety problem and she just shook it off, like I was joking or something. I am terrified to try again. How do I let my parents know that this is serious? That I'm not joking at all? I am scared that I won't be taken seriously (Norm of people with this disorder..). There is a history of anxiety in my family, so I think that my parent's would try to deny that there may be something wrong. I am the oldest of three children. Both of my younger siblings have issues. Should I wait until I go to College in the fall and talk to a counselor or should I drive myself crazy trying to figure out how to tell my parents that something may be wrong? Given my family dynamics and my fear of not being taken seriously, I have no idea how to handle this. Any advice?

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Re: I think I have a personality disorder, what do I do? - July 18th 2010, 05:52 PM

Hey there!

Welcome to the forums. It's great to have you - glad you felt as though you're able to open up to us. (: We're always willing to help, so if you ever need someone to talk to, I'm sure you know where you can find friends!

My very first piece of advice for you would be to try try try try tryyyy your best not to self-diagnose. Essentially what happens a lot of the time is that people will read something that they relate to even slightly, and then read more of the symptoms. By the time they've processed these symptoms, even if they didn't fit the description of the person before, the person will almost start to subconsciously and unknowingly develop these symptoms. I'm not saying there's not something going on with you, I'm just suggesting that you be careful with the details of what is going on. You don't want to accidentally make yourself feel worse.

As far as your parents go, have you tried writing them a note? I know it sounds cheesy, but I think it might actually work pretty well for you in terms of portraying how serious you are about wanting help. If they still don't take you seriously? Well, the good thing is that you are back to school in the fall and you'll definitely have counseling services readily available to you if you need them.

Hang in there!



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Re: I think I have a personality disorder, what do I do? - July 19th 2010, 12:12 AM

Thanks for the advice! I don't know for sure that is what's wrong in particular, but it seems to be the closest conclusion I have come to. Nothing else really seemed to fit. I am trying not to self diagnose because I know the dangers of it, but I just have that gut feeling that something is not quite right with me and I should see if I can put a name to what is going on with me. I always knew I was different and when I started college and started learning more about myself, its been nagging me even more. There were so many times where I was so angry and frustrated and just couldn't say or figure out why. I think I am going to wait and work up the courage to talk to a counsellor when I go to college in the fall. I don't think I can handle talking to my parents right now. I just can't form the words. They are in my head, but they come out all wrong and I can't bring myself to write my whole problem down. I can try to write something down and I have. I'm willing to give it a shot, but when I go to start, I can't. I don't know how or where to start. Any suggestions on where to start or how?
   
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Re: I think I have a personality disorder, what do I do? - July 19th 2010, 08:58 AM

I'm not going to say self-diagnosing is bad and can do more harm than good as it's already said. I'm going by experience here on this site in saying that whenever someone says they think they meet the criteria, they usually don't know what the criteria is and the psychological theories that go along with it. They usually look on a little summarized list and say "hot damn, I got a bunch of these, I must have ________" because they mold themselves to the criteria. If the criteria says something about anxiety, then the person who may have anxiety will say "yep, I got that all right" without much consideration and without being objective.

In your case, for any personality disorder to be diagnosed, you must first meet the criteria for personality disorder. Once you do, then you move on to suggesting which one it may be. You also would need to form a differential diagnosis as there are several disorders as a differential diagnosis for avoidant personality disorder.

If the symptoms are becoming severe and distressful for you, given I think you're in high-school, talk to a school counsellor. If it's quite severe and others would notice it if you had it, consider seeing a crisis nurse at a hospital or an early intervention program. Both will involve a psychiatrist and/or psychologist and a therapist.
   
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Re: I think I have a personality disorder, what do I do? - July 20th 2010, 03:08 AM

I actually am not in high school. I have gone to college for two years already and I am now starting at a new college in the fall. I have been doing some research on several disorders, because of what I am studying in college. Over the past two years, I have learned more about myself and have been on quite a journey. Like I said in my previous post, I have always had a feeling that something is wrong. I wouldn't say that I think I MAY have it if I only looked at a tiny little list of criteria that may or may not have been explained. This is not a final conclusion, or a conclusion that I have come to in 5 minutes from some kind of bogus online quiz. It has been a process. Anything could be wrong, this just seems like an option, just like other things I have considered.

My symptoms have not been extreme to the point of psychological intervention, but I think that whatever IS wrong affects my social life and my relationships with people in my family. It also affects how I cope with embarrassing situations, self-esteem issues, and scenarios I am not familiar with. I am just trying to understand what is going on with me and why I am the way I am. At times, my actions cause my family a great deal of frustration, which in turn makes me upset. I am trying to figure out how to tell my parents that I feel like there is something wrong with me and that maybe I should see someone who can help me improve and maintain social relationships and help me change or alter my way of thinking. Just someone to talk to may do.

Thank you for your post and advice! I probably should have been more clear about my age category and how I came to thinking about the possibility of me having a particular disorder.
   
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