Liz: Borderline Personality
Amber, age 11, lives with her mother and her 16-year-old sister Liz. Their family moved from a small town in New York to a city in Michigan because Amber’s parents are getting a divorce.
Lately, Amber has noticed Liz coming home from school in a bad mood. When Amber or her mom asks Liz if anything is wrong, Liz explodes with anger. She tells them to “mind their own business” and to “stay out of my life” before shutting herself in her room. Amber feels confused and hurt because she doesn’t understand why Liz gets mad and so quickly. Later, Liz will come downstairs to say sorry and acts very guilty and quiet for the rest of the night.
Amber has also noticed that Liz has stopped talking to her friends. Liz says stuff like “none of them really like me anyway." She talks about how they are all going to end up “forgetting about” her. Their mom tries to tell Liz that she might be jumping to conclusions, but Liz gets very angry and starts to yell and cry. When this happens, Liz says things like “no one ever believes me. I’m just sooo crazy, aren’t I?!” Later, she says sorry and acts very guilty again.
Liz shows the signs of a mental illness called borderline personality disorder. She has very dramatic mood swings that she does not seem to be able to control. She also has trouble with relationships due to her fears of being forgotten or ignored.
Amber and her mom feel sad because they don’t know how to talk to Liz. They are also sad because they can tell Liz has feelings, she doesn’t seem able to control. Amber also wonders what she can do to help Liz calm down and think more clearly when she is having a bad day.