Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental condition impacting one’s thoughts and feelings about oneself. Thus is greatly impacts one’s quality of life because the individual will likely experience fear of abandonment, impulsive and frequent mood swings and also experience problems within relationships. It is a condition which manifests in early adulthood but is known to get better with time (“Borderline personality disorder – Symptoms and causes”, 2021).
When a loved one is diagnosed with BPD there are a number of things that one needs to keep in mind.
- Their behavior does not make sense – when it comes to individuals with BPD, decisions are not based on logic or reason. Rather, they take decisions based on their emotions and since emotions vary from time to time, these individuals come across as being impulsive and inconsistent. Furthermore, trying to be logical with them usually will only create further distress (Carter, 2021).
- Emotional triggers – when living with someone with BPD some describe the experience as walking on eggshells because the individual is susceptible to having a meltdown at any time. The problem with this is that the individual with BPD usually senses that there is something off and perceives this as though one is being lied to or something is being hidden. This is because they automatically assume the worst. Hence, it leads to further emotional triggers (Carter, 2021).
- Feeling that you are constantly under attack – those living with BPD are usually very defensive as they feel that they are constantly being attacked. Nevertheless, this is usually not the case as the individual is usually unaware of the tone of voice being used and other non-verbals. Therefore, with such individuals it is more important to pay attention to the content rather than the non-verbal communication (Carter, 2021).
- Stop trying to fix them and their problems – although it is nice to have someone solve one’sproblems, this discourages the individual with BPD to find ways and solutions to life. Thus, in reality it has the opposite effect of helping as the individual might feel helpless when in crisis. Rather than trying to solve their problems it is better to simply support them, provide emotional comfort and validate them (Carter, 2021).
- Live in constant crisis – individuals with BPD perceive everyday problems to be life-threatening. Additionally, they are said to have low stress tolerance which is why every situation turns out into a crisis (Carter, 2021).
The important thing to know is that BPD can be treated and these symptoms can be controlled. Hence, quality of life would be greatly improved (Carter, 2021). Nevertheless, it is advised to lose the expectation that one’s loved one with BPD will achieve a permanent sense of stability (Carter, 2021).
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Yasmine Bonnici graduated in Nursing and also completed her Masters in Counselling. She has worked with victims of domestic violence, clients dealing with suicidal ideations, bereavement, separation and anxieties. She is currently working with Willingness Team as a counsellor seeing clients who would like to explore their own identity and deal with any surfacing issues.
Borderline personality disorder – Symptoms and causes. (2021). Retrieved 11 August 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/borderline-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20370237
Carter, S. (2021). My partner was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, what should I expect?. Retrieved 11 August 2021, from https://saltcitycounseling.com/my-partner-was-diagnosed-with-borderline-personality-disorder-what-should-i-expect/#:~:text=%20My%20partner%20was%20diagnosed%20with%20borderline%20personality,behaviors%20don%E2%80%99t%20make%20sense%20%E2%80%93%20I…%20More%20