Amber Portwood’s mental health deteriorated in the months leading up to her assault on her boyfriend, Andrew Glennon. In the latest episode of Teen Mom OG, Portwood described herself as a ticking timebomb that was on the verge of sabotaging her relationship.
Only months before Amber Portwood wielded a machete at her boyfriend and son James, she sat her psychiatrist’s office to discuss her mental health decline. According to Portwood, her moods were all over the place. Additionally, she noted that she had been feeling more depressed and anxiety-ridden.
During the episode, she attempted to share her concerns with her boyfriend, Andrew Glennon. As the couple sat on the couch, they discussed her doctor’s recommendation that she move to a state that has better weather. Amber confided in Andrew that she is always happiest when she’s in California or Florida because she can spend more time outside.
However, the Teen Mom OG star said she isn’t willing to move due to her daughter Leah. Amber’s ex-fiance, Gary Shirley, has primary custody of their daughter and live in Indiana. Amber shared with Andrew that she wanted Leah to know that she would never leave her.
During the same conversation, Amber is set off by her son, holding a cup of water and barking dogs. Her agitation and short fuse are evident in the shortness she uses to address the dogs and her son.
Later Amber decided to see her psychiatrist to discuss her current struggles with her mood. On the way there, she opens up to Andrew about her struggles. She shares that her mental illness makes her feel “crippled.” Amber wishes that she could be more dainty and proper. In response to Amber, Andrew says that she should “act dainty.”
Portwood is not happy with Andrew and accuses him of not taking her seriously. The two begin to argue about Andrew’s inability to listen and help her. When Andrew admits he tried to lighten the mood, Amber says it’s like talking to a clown.
By the time they arrive at the psychiatrist clinic, Amber is irritated and on edge. When she sits on the couch, she tells her doctor that everything sets her off. Additionally, she says she can’t sleep or eat. When the doctor asks Portwood about her mood, she confides that everything annoys and enrages her.
Her doctor appears concerned and attempts to walk Amber through her emotions. As she opens up more, he asks Amber if she will sabotage her relationship with Andrew. Amber admits that mentally, she believes that she will find a way to ruin her relationship. With tears running down her cheeks, Amber said, “it would be horrible” if her behavior resulted in Andrew leaving.
As the episode wraps up, Amber calls herself a “ticking time bomb” and on edge about to explode.
Sadly, her meeting with her doctor foreshadowed the events that happened next. In July, she blew up at Andrew Glennon. During a fit of rage, she hit him with a shoe and wielded a machete at him.
Andrew Glennon filed a petition with the court for full custody of their son. He’s spoken publically about his attempts to help Amber in the months leading up to the attack. In interviews, he’s said Portwood refused to take her medications prescribed by doctors.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder can experience intense and shifting emotions. Additionally, they can be extremely impulsive which can lead to dangerous behavior. Due to shifting moods, personal relationships can be extremely challenging. Individuals can intensely love someone and then swiftly move to hate for the person.
NAMI states that people with Borderline Personality Disorder benefit from psychotherapy. Treatment includes Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and psychodynamic psychotherapy.
At this time, there is no known genetic cause for the disorder. However, individuals that experience sexual abuse or trauma during childhood are at risk of developing BPD. According to NAMI, BPD and bipolar can occur at the same time.
Treatment can be challenging for individuals with BPD and bipolar. For Amber, she appeared to take some steps to help herself. However, she also refused help in other ways.
Amber Portwood will be in court later this month for a pretrial hearing. The final episode of Teen Mom OG airs next week.
*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles related to trending topics and crime on her column.
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