Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by unstable relationships, volatile mood swings and an unstable sense of identity. People with borderline personality disorder are prone to impulsive behavior, extreme bouts of anxiety, intense anger and suicidal or harmful behavior. Because of the unstable nature of borderline personality disorder, it can be a difficult condition to live with–both for the person with the illness and her loved ones.
Living with Borderline Personality Disorder
People with borderline personality disorder experience self-destructive thought patterns. They have difficulty establishing a strong sense of self, and their careers and relationships tend to be tumultuous. If you have borderline personality disorder, it’s important to seek treatment from a medical professional. Certain types of therapy can help you cope with the destructive thought patterns and behaviors behind borderline personality disorder.
Once you begin therapy treatment, stick with it. Many people with borderline personality disorder stop treatment because they have a real or perceived issue with their therapist. But to fully benefit from borderline personality disorder treatment, you must attend all therapy sessions and stick with the treatment plan. BPD therapy may last for up to a year, depending on the severity of the disorder. It may also be helpful to seek out borderline personality disorder support groups and talk with people who are experiencing similar problems.
Finally, realize that the fact that you have borderline personality disorder is not your fault, and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. By seeking therapy, you can learn how to cope with borderline personality disorder, and you’ll learn your triggers for impulsive behavior and outbursts of anger. If your borderline personality disorder coexists other problems, such as substance abuse or a gambling addiction, be sure to seek treatment for those issues as well.
Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder
Loving someone with borderline personality disorder is a unique challenge. People who suffer from borderline personality disorder tend to have volatile personal relationships. They may idolize a friend one minute and be furious with her the next. Often, there is no apparent reason for the dramatic shift in attitude. This is because people with borderline personality disorder often cannot see the world in anything other than black-or-white terms. A real or perceived slight or minor misunderstanding can cause them to turn on their loved ones completely.
Being in a relationship with someone who has borderline personality disorder is also difficult because you may find yourself watching the person you love engage in self-destructive behaviors. People with borderline personality disorder are prone to substance abuse, risky behavior and suicidal tendencies. They are also terrified of being alone or abandoned, which can create stress in a relationship.
If someone you love has borderline personality disorder, encourage her to seek treatment. However, it can be difficult to persuade someone with BPD to see a therapist or continue with current treatment, since personality disorders represent the person’s way of coping with the world. Remember, you can’t force someone to seek treatment, but you may join BPD family support groups or seek out therapy for yourself.
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Melton, R. (2010). How a borderline personality disorder love relationship evolves. Retrieved August 10, 2010, from http://www.bpdfamily.com/bpdresources/nk_a101.htm