Borderline Personality Disorder

Coping with BPD can be very challenging. But if you, a family member or friend is struggling, there is help. NAMI is here to provide you with support and information about community resources for you and your family.

Contact the NAMI HelpLine at 800-950-NAMI (6264) or info@nami.org with any questions you may have about BPD.

Helping Yourself

Although you may recognize that your behaviors are destructive, it may still be difficult to control them. Effective treatment can help you. Here are some other ways to help manage your condition:

  • Connect with others. Find emotional support from others experiencing BPD. It’s helpful to share your thoughts, fears and questions with others who have the same condition. Use online message boards or groups found through social sites like meetup.com or Facebook. We also like the peer-hosted chat room at Healing From BPD.
  • Take care of your body. Eat well and exercise. To relieve stress, try activities like meditation, yoga or Tai Chi.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol. These substances can disturb emotional balance and interact with medications.

Learn more about managing your mental health and finding support while living with mental illness.

Helping a Family Member or Friend

The support of family and friends is critical in the treatment of BPD, as many people with this condition may isolate themselves from relationships—even when they need them most.

  • Look for warning signs. BPD often presents in erratic behavior, like shopping sprees, sexual or substance binges and fighting/arguing. If your loved one is open to it, discuss their behaviors with them, so they can recognize the signs early.
  • Encourage treatment. Family and friends can be helpful in encouraging someone to begin and engage in proper treatment for this complicated and frustrating illness.
  • Understand treatment. If your loved one is in a skills-based approach like DBT, learn the language of this treatment and use it to help provide support.
  • Speak honestly and kindly. Don’t ridicule your friend of family member for failing to be in control or making bad choices. Instead, make specific offers of help and follow through. Tell the person you care about him/her. Ask how they’re feeling.
  • React calmly. Even if your family member or friend is in crisis, it’s important to remain calm. Listen and make them feel understood, then take the next step toward getting help.

Find out more about taking care of your family member or friend (without forgetting about yourself!).

 

Reviewed December 2017