How to Help a Friend or Family Member with Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD is a difficult disorder to diagnose and treat. If you have a family member or friend that has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and you’ve decided to help them, here are some tips that can help.

Learn About Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

The best thing you can do is arm yourself with information about Borderline Personality Disorder. Instead of getting into a yelling match, you can find solutions by learning how to speak to them. Understanding the symptoms and how to respond to those with Borderline Personality Disorder can make the experience of engagement a productive one.

Rules for Engagement

When it comes to dealing with a person with Borderline Personality Disorder it is important to learn how to engage. The most important things to remember are- you didn’t cause this person to behave this way, you can’t cure this disease, and you most certainly can’t control the outbursts. During this type of engagement, it is best to simplify your statements. Remember emotion is likely to be so strong, so make each sentence short, simple, and direct. Leave no room for misinterpretation. By remembering these things, you can keep a level head.

You can also practice a method called Delay, Distract, Depersonalize, and Detach.

  1. Delay: Delay engaging in an outburst with a Borderline Personality Disorder, with a calm voice, and by telling them to give you more time to think about what they are saying.
  2. Distract: Try suggesting the two of you do something else like run errands or go out.
  3. Depersonalize: What they are saying is not real and you should not allow yourself to feel the sting of their words. It’s just another outburst.
  4. Detach: Refuse to allow yourself to caught up in an emotional response to their words during an outburst.

Support Yourself

When a situation becomes too hectic or chaotic and you are finding it difficult to disengage, it is best to leave in order to take care of yourself and deal with your own feelings. Seek counseling for yourself if necessary, or join a support group. There are therapists in your area that deal specifically with Borderline Personality Disorder and their family members or can point you in the direction of a group therapy session.

Never Ignore Comments about Suicide

If someone with Borderline Personality Disorder is threatening to take their own life, harm themselves or bring harm to someone else, immediately call your local suicide support line at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or 911. Under no circumstances should you leave this person alone.

Seek Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) from a Licensed Therapist in Utah

If you feel that the situation has exhausted you and other family members, you should seek professional help from a licensed therapist that specifically specializes in treating Borderline Personality Disorder patients. Pathways Real Life Recovery offers Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) treatment in Utah. Call us anytime day or night. One of our caring advisors will be there to help answer any questions.

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Michelle Amerman
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