We Arent Dangerous Or Manipulative Just Need A Little Bit Of Extra Love
Theres still a huge stigma surrounding BPD. Many people still believe that those living with it can be manipulative or dangerous due to their symptoms.
While this can be the case in a very small minority of people, most people with BPD are just struggling with their sense of self and their relationships.
Its important to note that were not dangerous people. In fact, people with mental illness are more likely to harm themselves than they are others.
Recognize That Misdiagnosis Is Common
With BPD, information is power, and if the person doesnt realize he or she has the disorder, and the people around them dont know, they dont understand why their loved one is acting the way he or she is.
Because it frequently co-occurs with other diseases such as depression, bipolar disorder, substance addiction, eating disorders, and anxiety disorders, BPD is known as a misunderstood disorder.
If your partner is being treated for another disorder and that disorder does not fully explain the parameters of her behavior, have the doctor investigate the potential that she has BPD.
How To Love Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder
The way to love anyone is to love them truly and with your whole heart. In order to truly love someone, you have to accept them for who they are. You have to accept their shortcomings, their successes, their bad habits and their humor.
When loving someone with borderline personality disorder , acceptance is one of the most important things about that love.
Accepting a person and their BPD diagnosis can sometimes be a difficult tast. Ive found these people have to possess three qualities: patience, compassion and perseverance. Having these qualities wont make loving someone with BPD a flawless experience, but it will make it possible, and easier than it would be if those qualities werent in hand.
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Reassurance May Be Necessary
Research shows that living with borderline personality can make it difficult to trust that people wont leave.
Your partner may spend a lot of time looking for clues about how you truly feel, like analyzing text messages, ruminating over conversations, or testing you.
You may be asked to provide extra reassurance through your words, actions, or physical affection.
When it feels natural, its a good idea to openly express how you feel as often as you can.
When A Therapist Or Couples Counselor Can Help
If your partner is struggling with symptoms of BPD or is displaying self-harming or suicidal behaviors, seeking professional clinical care is crucial. There are a number of effective treatment options for borderline personality disorder, such as dialectical behavioral therapy or mentalization-based therapy, which can help your partner can learn to better regulate their strong emotions, reduce impulsive reactions, address troubled areas in the relationship and more. The first-line treatment is psychotherapy with many individuals reporting the most improvement within a year.1,6
While there is no cure for BPD, those who maintain a treatment regimen with a clinician experienced with personality disorders show great results and long-term benefits.9 However, what matters the most is that your loved one can find a therapist they can connect with and trust.2,4,10
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Learn To Embrace The Fear
Relationship expert says fear is the biggest obstacle for her clients. She believes part of the solution is in acknowledging that dating isn’t easy in general. After you’ve done this, she advises people to “engage in activities that help you release negative thoughts,” she adds. “Pay attention to your coping mechanisms, but also your defence mechanisms too.” These, she tells me, will help you stay grounded in the present.
For example, I have a habit of internalising and avoiding my emotions. When this happens, I disengage from the situation completely. For dating, this is impractical as it can lead to a lack of communication. These days, when I feel this way, I use my emotion wheel to name my experience. Once I’ve done that, I make myself aware of why I am feeling this way doing so helps ground me and it’s been an effective self-soothing method. It helps me notice what’s true right now versus what you’re afraid might happen in the future. Should I date and get negative thoughts, I know to use this method to cope.
Unlike me, Navabi has had a healthy dating history since being diagnosed in July 2020 and has been using any negative experiences to inform her next steps. “My desire for companionship overcame my fears around dating successfully,” she says.
What Are Borderlines Good At
Borderlines excel in quickly and easily shifting between intense emotions. This makes them very good at intuition and Intuition is seen as a very strong suit for people with a borderline personality disorder. People with borderline personality disorder often have a strong sense of intuition about their emotional states, what other people are feeling, and the future.A key difference between borderline and narcissistic personalities is that borderlines arent always satisfied with themselves. They often feel inadequate or flawed, which can lead to feelings of insecurity or anger. Narcissists, on the other hand, usually feel superior to others and believe they are entitled to everything they want.
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Emphasize Your Desire To Understand
Many people with BPD feel painfully isolated within themselves. They often go through life feeling misunderstood, and that chronic feeling can trigger unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Aim to be clear with your loved one in letting them know that you want to understand their experiences and emotions. Do not make assumptions about how they feel. Let them speak openly and validate their feelings as much as possible. Consider saying, That does sound hard. It makes sense why you feel angry.
Gaining More Knowledge On Borderline Personality Disorder
Dialectical Behavior Therapy: This includes individual or group therapy that is specifically designed to treat borderline personality disorders. It utilizes a skills-based approach that teaches patients how to tolerate distress, manage emotions, and improve their relationships.
Mentalization-Based Therapy: This form of talk therapy helps patients identify their feelings and thoughts at any moment, creating an alternate perspective on whatever situation. It teaches how to think before you react.
Schema-Focused Therapy: This type of psychotherapy can also be done in a group or individually. Patients will learn how to pick out unmet needs that have subsequently lead to life patterns that are negative. These life patterns can sometimes be useful for survival but harm other areas of your life. It teaches patients how to meet their needs in a healthy way.
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Learn Better Communication Skills
Practicing open communication is crucial for a healthy relationship. To prevent miscommunications and your partner from getting defensive, you and your partner must develop trust and insight into each others feelings and experiences. Rather than accusing your partner of overreacting, make sure you listen actively and try to understand where your partner is coming from.Book Online Our Therapists
If Youre In A Relationship Or Have A Loved One With Bpd Its Important To Do Your Research Into The Condition And Be Wary Of The Stereotypes You May Come Across
Chances are, if you read something about borderline personality disorder that you wouldnt want said about you, a person with BPD wont benefit from having that assumed about them, either.
Working to gain a compassionate understanding of what theyre going through, and how you can help both your loved one and yourself cope, can make or break a relationship.
If you feel like you need some extra support, open up to someone about how youre feeling bonus points if its a therapist or clinician! so they can offer you some support and tips on how to improve your own mental well-being.
Remember, the best support for your loved one comes from taking the best possible care of you.
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What Might Trigger A Splitting Episode
A split is typically triggered by an event that causes a person with BPD to take extreme emotional viewpoints. These events may be relatively ordinary, such as having to travel on a business trip or getting in an argument with someone.
Often, triggering events involve minor separations from someone they feel close to and sparks fear of abandonment.
You can identify splitting most commonly through the language of a person with BPD. Theyll often use extreme words in their characterizations of self, others, objects, beliefs, and situations, such as:
- never and always
Here are a couple of examples:
Be Prepared To Offer Validation
Its easy for people with BPD to feel insecure about themselves and their relationships. They often experience abandonment sensitivity as well as a tendency to withdraw from relationships due to a fear of intimacy.
If your partner has BPD, they may constantly watch for signs that you might leave them, experience intense periods of jealousy and interpret even a minor event as a sign that abandonment is imminent. When your partner communicates their feelings, make them feel heard and show compassion for what they are experiencing regardless of whether you agree or disagree.
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Loving Someone With Bpd Can They Love You Back
Romantic relationships involving someone with BPD can be considered dysfunctional for several reasons. A few of the issues that might arise are:
- The person quickly feeling smothered
- Sudden withdrawal
- Impulsive and aggressive sexuality
- Public outbursts and arguments
While these behaviors can make a relationship rocky, people with BPD can also bring a lot of joy. People affected by this disorder are known to be fun, exciting, and passionate. This makes them very devoted and caring partners who are physically affectionate and enjoy spending time with their significant other.
People with BPD tend to have shorter-lived relationships because of their behavior but successful and long-lasting partnerships are possible. In fact, their partners stability might have a positive impact on them as the relationship progresses.
What Are The Differences Between Borderline Personality Disorder And Narcissistic Personality Disorder
There are some key differences between borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder . BPD is characterized by extreme erratic mood swings, intense feelings of anger and betrayal, and sensitivity to rejection. Individuals with BPD often have difficulty maintaining relationships and may be highly impulsive. NPD is significantly more common than BPD, affecting about 5 percent of the population. People with NPD have a pattern of exaggerated self-importance, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others. They tend to be very aggressive and domineering in interpersonal relationships.
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What Challenges Do Loved Ones Experience
Loved ones may experience a combination of frustration, sadness, fear, and confusion over BPD behaviors. The phrase walking on eggshells has become synonymous with loving someone with BPD. In fact, Stop Walking on Eggshells, written twenty years ago,is still one of the most popular books on the topic.
You may relate to this infamous eggshell effect by feeling like youre always tiptoeing around, trying to avoid rage or confrontation. You might not know what mood your loved one will be in on a given day. You may second-guess what you say or worry that doing the wrong thing will trigger an emotional backlash.
Here are some other challenges you might encounter:
Feeling either loved or hated: People with BPD often cycle through idolizing their loved ones and then devaluing them. During the idolizing phase, it may seem like you are invincible or like you two are soul mates. But the change often happens quickly, and then it can suddenly seem like you do nothing right. If you ask them what happened, they may become defensive or deny it outright.
Needing to provide ongoing reassurance: BPD can coincide with trust issues and paranoia. People with BPD often have histories of betrayal, infidelity, and abandonment, and they may project these fears of repeat offenses onto you. Unfortunately, it may seem like no amount of reassurance you provide is enough.
Take Care Of Yourself First
Before you do anything else, âyou have to stop the person from hurting you in order to make progress in the relationship,â Lobel says. Trying to help them when youâre being treated poorly — being yelled at, living with passive aggressive behavior — isnât safe for you and isnât likely to help your partner.
Instead, he says, the first step is setting a boundary about your well-being. He suggests telling your partner, âI canât be with you unless I am well, and in order for me to be well, I have to stop you from hurting me.â
If your partner says they canât stop, theyâll likely need professional help before you can make any progress. The goal in this step, Lobel says, is to let your partner know, âyou have to stop abusing me or we have nowhere to go.â
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You Can Attend Couples Counseling
If you suspect your partner has BPD but they refuse to get treatment, couples counseling may be beneficial. Couples counseling can teach you how to communicate with your partner more effectively and manage your relationship more efficiently. This may persuade your partner to seek BPD treatment if they previously refused.Couples counseling, on the other hand, could be an excellent supplement to regular counseling and treatment for BPD. Many of these resources might help you discover healthy ways to deal with stress, such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing.
How Do You Know If You Have Borderline Personality Disorder
If you have a lot of self-destructive behavior and recurrent feelings of emptiness or low self-esteem, then you may have borderline personality disorder. People with a borderline personality disorder often exhibit intense emotions, impulsiveness, and instability. They also often have difficulty managing relationships and tend to be hypersensitive to criticism. Its important to note that not all people with borderline personality disorder experience all of these symptoms. Many people who dont have the disorder still struggle with these issues.People with narcissistic personality disorder are extremely confident and boastful. They typically think theyre better than others and view themselves as superior in every way. They often take advantage of others and expect constant admiration. Narcissistic personalities are rarely troubled by self-doubt or negative emotions, which makes them very difficult to deal with.
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When Is It Time To See A Professional
If you are experiencing any of the previously mentioned signs and symptoms associated with borderline personality disorder, please consult a mental health professional. This condition is common and treatable.
You should see a doctor any time your symptoms are triggered. If you are unsure of your triggers, try to think of a time in the past when you experienced raging and intense emotions, acted impulsively, or had a desire to harm yourself. The events before this emotion are likely your triggers.
Many who have BPD experience suicidal thoughts. These can include but arent limited to mental images and fantasies about self-harm and plotting suicide. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts and may harm yourself or someone else, call 911 immediately or visit your nearest emergency room.
Couples Counseling In Bpd Relationships
Even though there may not be sufficient data supporting the effectiveness of couples counseling with BPD relationships, many experts recognize the importance of family support for a loved one with this disorder. Thus, going to couples counseling may be a valuable addition to the standard BPD therapeutic plan.
Couples counseling can encourage you and your BPD partner to work together towards common relational goals and help to stabilize your relationship.2 While improvement in the relationship can be attained, it merits true dedication from both parties. If you and your partner are both motivated to embark on this journey, then going to couples counseling can be highly effective.
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They Can Be Deeply Empathic And Caring Parents
While some people with BPD pass on the intergenerational trauma they suffered , many have vowed to do the opposite. Since your partner has experienced a vicarious childhood, they will work hard to ensure that history does not repeat itself with your children. They can potentially be incredibly competent in turning their pain into a parenting gift if they are willing to work on themselves and heal through therapy and personal development. In the healthiest scenario, they will do their best to support your childs needs and give them the warmth they were once deprived of. They may be more insecure than other parents, but they can be very responsive to their childrens needs. In addition, your partner will likely prioritize your childs individuality, emotions, and ambition over typical societal expectations. Suppose they are artistic and creative and know what its like to go against conventional wisdom and tradition. In that case, your partner will likely support your childs desire to pursue artistic interests and make congruent career choices.
Six Stages Of The Bpd Relationship Cycle
The BPD relationship cycle occurs in the following six stag
- Stage one: In the first stage of a BPD relationship, the partner with BPD idealizes their significant other. They may even obsess over their new partner, convinced this is the perfect person for them. The relationship is mostly positive but can move quickly, given the impulsivity among people with BPD.
- Stage two: As the relationship progresses, the partner with BPD can become insecure as they convince themselves their partner does not love them. They may be especially sensitive to any feedback they perceive as negative from their partner. Fears of abandonment start to kick in, and the person with BPD grows increasingly anxious in the relationship.
- Stage three: During stage three, the partner with BPD will attempt to push away their significant other so the significant other has a chance to prove their love. They may accuse the partner of cheating or demand the partner prove their love someway. If the partner without BPD meets this demand, the person with BPD experiences less anxiety.
- Stage 4: Instability within the relationship continues during stage four. There may be increased levels of conflict, as the partner with BPD feels increasingly anxious and like their needs are not being met. The person with BPD may try to keep their insecurities inside but still feel fearful of abandonment within the relationship.
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