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Ask Dr. SchwartzAsk Dr. Schwartz:
Psychotherapy and Mental Health questions

Is There Something Wrong With Me?

Okay, so since I was young I had a lot of social problems: trouble in school, fights with my parents, fallouts with my friends. Now that I'm older, I'm 16, and for the past 2 or 3 years, it has been really severe. I know I\'m a teenager and everyone always tells me that all teenagers have trouble controlling emotion, but sometimes I feel like someone has flicked a switch and I can't think anymore. I'm just driven by what I'm feeling.

I've been suspended from school four times for swearing at teachers and being highly disruptive. I have no attention span but I still got the highest grades in my school in the Junior Cert exams. This is another reason why people think I'm being cocky and innapropriate.

I have scars on my wrists from all the times I've cut myself. After a year of doing this I finally told my best friend and afterwards I felt so guilty I got sick and cut myself four or five more times and stole a bottle of vodka from a shop and drank until I passed out.

I ran away from home after a fight with my parents, and threatened to kill myself if they didn't treat me better. I'm on my final warning with the police for numerous assaults and shoplifting. The list of difficulties I have caused could go on and on.

I also get extremely bored and lonely and when I do I sneak out my window to smoke weed or drink spirits. Sometimes I do crazy stuff like when they were doing roof repairs on the Cathedral I climbed to the top on my own at 4am, 300ft above the ground in the rain in winter, and I jump off cliffs which people have died on.

Sometimes I know what I'm doing is wrong and unfair but, if I think about that too much it just drives me back to cutting my wrists.

I went to a behaviour therapist last week who spoke with me for an hour and concluded that 'poor emotional regulation' was normal for people of my age. However, I had been too scared to tell her about the cutting or the illegal stuff. Now I have no real way out. My parents say it's just 'poor emotional regulation' too. I have anxiety along with cutting and hating my girlfriend, who I broke up with a few times, over nothing. Then I started crying over to my family and friends.

All I want is to be able to be close to people around me without being uncontrollable.

Does this sound like any disorder or anything you know? Is there any way, other than counselling which I tried and it just angered and upset me, that I can get help?



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