Tips for Friends and Family of Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder

By Charles H. Elliott, Laura L. Smith

Part of Borderline Personality Disorder For Dummies Cheat Sheet

It can be difficult to deal with a friend or loved one who has borderline personality disorder (BPD). Use these tips to handle tough times and help maintain a safe environment:

  • Read as much as you can about BPD — knowing about the disorder helps you deal with it.

  • If you live with someone who has BPD, join a support group or consider therapy for yourself to help you deal with the issues you face.

  • Understand that BPD behaviors aren’t about you. Try to depersonalize what’s happening.

  • Even if you understand BPD behaviors, you need to know your own limits and stick by them — don’t ever allow yourself to be abused.

  • Understand your loved one’s hot buttons and try not to push them — yet know that you won’t always succeed.

  • Realize that sometimes the only thing you can do is leave the relationship when your loved one repeatedly runs over your limits or when your loved one refuses treatment.