How to Help Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder

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How to Help Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder
Help Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder

It's a challenge to deal with someone who has borderline personality disorder. They react aggressively in situations that others would be able to handle calmly. Your feelings of anger and hurt can interfere with your wish to help, especially if you're protecting little ones. Follow these steps to support your loved one.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Educate yourself about what borderline personality is. Understand his anger outbursts aren't about you. BPD Central is a reputable Internet site that has information and links about the disorder (see Resources below).

  2. 2

    Practice empathy with your partner. Imagine what she's feeling when she behaves badly. Understand her distress and fear.

  3. 3

    Be patient at all times. When his opinion of you swings from good to bad, let him carry on until the episode is over. Recognize his impulsive behavior is beyond his control and let it run its course.

  4. 4

    Create a stable environment. Follow routines and take care to prepare her for changes when possible. Reschedule business trips and day-long outings until she's worked through her separation issues in therapy.

  5. 5

    Help him get support. BPD Central has message boards both for him and for you. Search for local groups. Suggest that he start one if you can't find one in your area.

  6. 6

    Encourage him to get help. Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) was developed specifically to treat borderline personality disorder. The technique helps sufferers deal with their intense emotional swings.

  7. 7

    Ask her doctor or therapist about medications such as a mood stabilizers, antipsychotics or antidepressants. They should, however, be used along with therapy.

Tips and warnings

  • By supporting yourself, you also support your borderline personality loved one.
  • Avoid getting caught up in her moods.
  • Don't tolerate abuse in any form.

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