Hi Lilac1985, you sound worried and confused and scared. Am I right? Who wouldn't be when questioning yourself about possible mental illness? I understand you disliking talking to strangers about your personal life, it can make you feel unsafe. You've taken a big step by admitting that here and good for you for taking the risk! It means you care enough about yourself to hope for better experiences in your life. I would really encourage you though, to find a safe professional to talk to, as well. You don't have to tell the person every single thing about you the first time you see someone and it is very okay to say that it is difficult for you do it. Maybe someone you know and trust could recommend a good doctor or therapist. You can even call a crisis line (look in the front pages of your phone book) and ask them if they can tell you who to call to get help with finding one. At some point, a psychiatrist will need to be the one who makes a formal diagnosis.
You've been exposed to mental illness all your life. Try to hang onto your own experience, how you see yourself. There is wisdom inside of you about this if you listen closely and learn to trust it. Take things slowly and try to be gentle with yourself. I am sure you will find people here who will offer kind support so I'm glad you have joined us. One thing that I know has helped many people get to know themselves is through writing in a private journal. You can say whatever you want, whenever you feel like it and it doesn't matter if makes much sense at the time or if words are spelled right or the writing is completely messy - the only thing that matters is that you get difficult feelings outside of your body and hopefully that will be calming. You can go back and read what you wrote anytime, or never again. It's just a suggestion you could think about.
I hope you don't mind me sending you a hug, because it sounds like you could use one. If that's not safe, teddy bears can work, too. Take good care of yourself, Lilac1985.