Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is when people have difficulty managing their impulses, emotions and the way they relate to others and themselves. This can cause significant problems with functioning in daily life, as BPD occurs in the context of a person’s relationship with others.
BPD can be extremely distressing for not only the individual, but their family and friends as well. In BPD there is an intense fear of instability or abandonment, and it may be difficult for them to be alone. However, impulsiveness, constant mood swings and anger may cause them to push others away, despite wanting to have long lasting relationships. This can be confusing as BPD is easily misunderstood, however it is very treatable.
Some of the symptoms, but not necessarily all, that can be experienced by individuals with BPD can include:
This condition appears to be worse in young adulthood, however it may get better with age with the appropriate treatment. If someone in your family shows some of these symptoms or has previously been diagnosed with BPD, it is important for them to seek help so it doesn’t impair their daily living any more.
However, it is also important for the people who are close to them to get support if it is needed. It can be difficult to understand and accept these drastic emotional mood swings, and it can be very difficult to watch someone you love go through so much pain because of something that they cannot control.
You may start to experience an inability to support the individual with BPD or others in your family, feeling constantly down or stressed because of the associated difficulties, the issue is beginning to affect other areas of your life such as your relationships or concentration at work. If having a family member with this disorder is beginning to take a toll on your own wellbeing or ability to function, it may be beneficial for you to seek help as well.
If you are not coping and the stress of having a person in your family with BPD, many of our psychologists are specialised in assisting in this area in a number of ways, including: