The Alarming Trend of Teens Self-Diagnosing BPD on TikTok

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The Alarming Trend of Teens Self-Diagnosing BPD on TikTok

Source: © by vdovin_vn | Shutterstock Apparently, teens on TikTok have been diagnosing themselves with borderline personality disorder.Obvio

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Source: © by vdovin_vn | Shutterstock

Apparently, teens on TikTok have been diagnosing themselves with borderline personality disorder.Obviously, anyone who thinks they have BPD should be evaluated and formallly diagnosed by a psychiatric professional.

Per the Child Mind Institute, “There’s been a lot of talk lately about psychiatric challenges that can emerge in the teenage years — especially borderline personality disorder. And it’s coming from a surprising place: TikTok. Teenagers, most of them girls, are sharing raw accounts of extreme emotions and self-destructive behaviors they attribute to BPD. Millions of teens are watching them. As a result, we’re hearing reports that a lot of kids are diagnosing themselves with BPD, even though emotional volatility is a typical characteristic of adolescence.”

I wasn’t diagnosed with BPD until I was 29 years old, in 1990. There was no Internet or social media at the time. Neither my family nor I had ever heard of BPD. I’d already been diagnosed with and hospitalized for anorexia, and been diagnosed with major depressive disorder. I was cutting myself and had attempted suicide twice. I had no sense of self and feelings of emptiness and chaos were my norm.

A recent Wall Street Journal article explored why “Doctors around the country say they’re seeing more teens coming in with self-diagnoses derived from TikTok,” including rare mental health issues like borderline-personality disorder and multiple-personality disorder.

Early diagnosis of BPD means early intervention and treatment which will hopefully lead to a positive outcome. If young people can avoid dealing with BPD and its effects on their lives and functioning throughout their adult years, that is the desired goal.

Being diagnosed so late in my life, I lost much of my thirties, forties, and fifties to BPD. It was only a chance referral to my former psychiatrist, Dr. Lev, who specialized in transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP), and the work we did together that saved my life and gave me a life worth living. That intensive treatment followed a 10-month stay on a long-term DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) inpatient unit specifically for people diagnosed with BPD. I’m not saying the DBT didn’t help me; it gave me a foundation of skills to be able to tolerate the intense emotions that arose during TFP. Even though I’ve been out of therapy for years now, I continue to use some of the DBT skills, such as Radical Acceptance, Wise Mind, and Mindfulness.

A Word to Parents: Borderline Personality Disorder is a frightening and heavily stigmatized diagnosis for a child, but get them treatment early. DBT is typically the first-line treatment, but if DBT does not seem to work for your child, don’t give up: Other treatments are available as well. Full and sustained recovery from BPD is most definitely possible and so is the potential to live a full and productive life.

 © Andrea Rosenhaft

Source: © Andrea Rosenhaft

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