Personality disorders


Personality disorders


your avatar   Milany (23 year-old Woman)

I sometimes feel that I might have some sort of disorder. I've studied the different types of personality, mental and behavioral disorders, because I find the subject interesting (after PSY101). I'm a college student and a single parent of a 1st grader.

I know I don't have anything serious but I may be mild case. I have problems making friends and feeling comfortable at parties. I hate to say that because I like to think I'm an outgoing, fun person, but I'm not. I have problems staying focused in school, and I lack motivation to do my work.

I recently lost about 30lbs after my boyfriend broke up with me, but I just put 20 back on in a span of 1 month. We have been back together for about 4 months now, but I don't feel the same love as before because I resent him for breaking my heart. Before the break up I use to treat him really bad - I would embarrass him in public - but I still felt as though he would never leave me.

I'm disorganized and I let opportunities pass me by; then I beat myself up for it. I fear the dark and evil spirits, when I'm all alone. I have problems sleeping and know I shouldn't eat a lot of junk, but I still do it. I like attention and like to flirt, but I don't know how to act when meeting new people - especially people that I envy. I spend a lot of money because shopping is like therapy. I don't really know how to entertain myself but most of the time I rather just do nothing. When I get upset, I either rationalize my behavior or I blow up. I know I shouldn't do certain things but I still do it. I say things I don't mean. I joke around a lot at the expense of others but I make sure they know I'm just joking, even if I'm not. I make up stories about having certain types of friends because I want people to think I'm interesting.

I would have more friends if I tried. I act like a lot of things don't bother me but they really do. I use to think I was severely depressed but I think I was just unhappy with myself. I am rational and know right from wrong but I still feel like there's maybe something wrong with me. I'm saner than most people I meet.

Care to comment?


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

Dear Milany,

Clearly you are a highly intelligent and perceptive young woman, who has thought a lot about these issues. You have stated yourself that in your opinion, you are not mentally ill, but actually better off than many other people you know. I don't think you need a psychiatrist. However, you certainly would benefit from psychological counseling. Chances are the college you go to has a counseling service. Approach them and see what they can do for you. Also, in many places there is free or cheap counseling offered by religious or charitable organizations when children are involved, and you do have a little child.

Even if you have to pay for it, you'll find good counseling to be the best investment you have ever made. It will allow you to get rid of a lot of distress, help you be more confident, and empower you to move forward into a better life.

On reading your letter, my feeling is that you already have a good intellectual grasp of the issues, and what you need to do about them, but changing old habits is so hard! That's where a helper can be useful. You don't need to be fixed or changed. You need to get rid of some long-standing bad habits concerning how you relate to people, your use of food for comfort, and how you view others. Such habits can be changed - though it's hard work.

Look around at my web site, and you'll find a lot of material that could be helpful to you. You didn't leave an email address, so I can't communicate with you directly. Do send me an email if you read this, and let me know if my ideas have been helpful.

Have a good life, Bob.


This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit:

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