People with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) often have significant difficulties with relationships, particularly with those closest to them. Their constant emotional outbursts, frequent abandonment concerns, chronic anger, intense fear of abandonment, and extreme reactions to even the slightest criticism can leave loved ones feeling vulnerable, emotionally abused, and out of control. How then, can we best support someone with BPD? What are some helpful strategies for getting through the chaotic times in their lives? Here are four ways you can support someone with BPD:
– Learn how to recognize the symptoms of borderline personality disorder. Although some people suffering from BPD do not exhibit the classic symptoms, any person who has severe emotional problems will have the experiences that are listed here. If you are aware of your own emotions, this will help you to better understand those of others, as well. You may experience excessive anger when you are criticized. Other common emotional symptoms include a consistent pattern of self-harming behaviors (such as pulling your hair or biting your nails), persistent feelings of sadness or loneliness, persistent thoughts about death or suicide, uncontrollable crying or inability to control body movements, inflexible thinking patterns, frequent insomnia or oversleeping, frequent mood swings of depression or mania, frequent use of alcohol or drugs, frequent sexual fantasies or behaviors, and poor sense of self-worth or reliability.
– When a person you love becomes depressed, they may engage in self-harm behaviors (such as cutting themselves or punching a wall). This will often appear as a sudden shift in mood or actions. When a person with borderline personality disorder swings between different emotional states, such as elation or sadness, it is a clear sign that a person is experiencing low self-esteem and an unstable relationship. Your loved one’s behavior may change dramatically over time as a result of extreme emotions.
– Borderline Personality Disorder can often lead to problems within the family, too. If you suspect that your family member may be suffering from BPD, it is important to know and be aware that many people do not seek treatment for their symptoms because of shame or fear of social judgment. There are two reasons why people with BPD do not seek treatment: first, because they believe that they have no physical or mental problems that require medical attention; and second, they fear that if they do seek treatment, it will somehow make their symptoms go away. Many people with Borderline Personality Disorder fall through the cracks in the family system and do not receive treatment. This family member then continues to suffer, which only worsens the emotional and physical symptoms. If your loved one’s symptoms are making your life more difficult than it should be, it is imperative that you do not ignore them.
– Borderline Personality Disorder is often misunderstood by those around them. The struggle with getting better and maintaining a healthy and productive life can make it very difficult for friends and family members to understand. It is important that you understand exactly what your loved one is going through in order to provide the right support. If you know someone who has Borderline Personality Disorder, or if you are concerned that a loved one may have this disorder, make sure that you reach out for help and information.
Borderline Personality Disorder is a serious mental illness that requires ongoing, in-person support in order to get better and remain functional. If you, or someone you know, suffer from mood swings and other symptoms of BPD, reach out for information on how to get the treatment that is needed for your loved one. Borderline Personality Disorder is not something that should be ignored or set aside. Anyone can potentially have this mental illness, so reach out for knowledge on ways to combat the symptoms and start the healing process.