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It's natural to feel impulsive or get emotional sometimes, especially during your teens and early twenties.

But when these kinds of emotions are affecting your daily life and relationships, it may be a sign of a mental health issue.

You may have been told that you have a 'personality disorder', 'emerging personality disorder' or 'significant traits' of a personality disorder, where you share some common symptoms but not enough to be diagnosed. The cause of personality disorders is unknown but it may be the result of difficult experiences in childhood.

These types of condition can cause a lot of distress and you may have problems at home, work or school, or in friendships and relationships. If this is the case, don't worry, support and treatment are available.

Young black woman on phone

How it can feel

If you have a personality disorders or personality disorder traits, you may experience:

  • Overwhelming emotions that change very quickly and are difficult to control;
  • Behaviours and feelings that affect your everyday life, such as being 'painfully shy', disliking being on your own, always falling out with friends or wanting things 'just so';
  • Difficulties with identity, self-esteem or feeling different to other people;
  • A pattern of emotional difficulties;
  • Being in difficult or damaging relationships;
  • Feeling wary or suspicious of others even if they're trying to help you;
  • Self-harm or other self-destructive behaviours, like substance misuse, getting into fights or getting in trouble with the police.

When to seek help

Many of us experience some of these difficulties from time to time but if they happen regularly and in many areas of your life, then you may need support.

What support is available?

The teams in our community hubs offer a range of support for young people with personality disorders or personality disorder traits. This might include psychological therapies, medication and mental health support.

Our Crisis team is also available if you are experiencing a mental health emergency.