Borderline personality disorder is a complex and still largely misunderstood condition. Dealing with its myriad of ups and downs is a complicated and sensitive matter for those afflicted and the people close to them. Fortunately, there are ways to live with borderline personality disorder, whether you suffer personally or know someone who does.
If You Have BPD…
- Know that having borderline personality disorder is a double-edged sword. Yes, you will feel emotions more deeply, but you will also FEEL EMOTIONS MORE DEEPLY. Positive AND negative emotions will play very strongly in your life.
- Understand that not everyone is strong enough to “handle” a person with BPD. It is likely that you will lose at least one friend or family member who can’t hang with your disorder. It may not be okay, but it is to be expected. It will be hard, but cut your losses and move on to people who are better prepared.
- Don’t read too much into things. This one is EXTREMELY difficult. It requires going against everything your brain is telling you. BPD means that you literally read too much into every situation.
- Accept help from your loved ones. Your family and close friends know you best and have probably been around for a while. They generally know your idiosyncrasies and can adapt accordingly. These are the people who will talk you down at crucial moments.
If Someone You Know Has BPD…
- Be sensitive. Understand that this person is NOT trying to make your life more difficult. If anything, they need you to help them process the extreme emotions they are feeling.
- Take everything with a grain of salt. Borderline patients’ intentions are almost never malicious in any sort of way. If they are lashing out, take a step back and give them a moment to process their feelings.
- Don’t take things too personally. Remember that borderline patients have trouble distinguishing real emotions from perceived ones. If they are pushing you away, it usually means that they need you more than ever.
- Communicate. This is the most important aspect of having a relationship with a BPD person. Keeping the lines of communication open is crucial to their well-being and yours.
- Educate yourself. Do some research, ask questions, and talk to their doctor, if possible. The more you know about BPD, the better you can empathise with your loved one.
Borderline personality disorder is a serious mental affliction that affects not only the patient but everyone around them. Where appropriate, research into what private therapy services are available. With patience, compassion, and a lot of love, you can achieve a meaningful and healthy relationship.