How Can I Understand My Loved One’s Borderline Personality Disorder Better?

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Being in a relationship of any kind with someone who lives with borderline personality disorder is a special kind of challenge. Loving someone who has an especially difficult time loving themselves is an ongoing commitment to acceptance, understanding, and healthy boundaries. Borderline personality disorder is defined by swinging emotions, erratic emotional reactions, negative coping habits, and an insatiable insecurity. Feeling completely out of control of their emotional reactions, which can be helped through therapy like DBT, they develop a sense of self-loathing which complicates their emotions. Desperately wanting to be normal, those with borderline personality disorder lament their lashing out, mania and depression, as well as the way their mood can affect those they love.

Fears Of Abandonment Have Nothing To Do With You

Part of the inspiration for the borderline insecurity is a deep and inconsolable fear of abandonment. As the partner, parent, or friend of someone with borderline you might feel an intense pressure to constantly soothe their fears and validate the fact you aren’t going anywhere. This is not your responsibility. Understand that most people with borderline experienced some event of abandonment in their lives which manifested into this disorder. You can remind them in healthy ways how much you love and care for them, without being controlled by what they feel they cannot control.

Suicidal Ideations And Attempts Are Part Of Borderline

Sadly, one of the ways someone with borderline personality disorder seeks validation for their insecurities and fears of abandonment is through extreme and manipulative behaviors. Discussing suicidal ideations, threatening suicide, or even making an attempt at suicide are all demonstrations of someone in a very unsettled state. With borderline, it is hard to know when they are serious. Most importantly, you have to set boundaries with what you are capable of and not. Running to their aide in panic with every threat will leave you exhausted. Your only role is to help them learn what behaviors are not acceptable. Keep the suicide prevention hotline and the number for your local suicide watch department nearby. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline Number is 800-273-TALK.

They’re Going To Feel Lonely, Empty, And Isolated, No Matter What You Do

Recovery with borderline personality disorder includes learning how to create their own happiness and take care of themselves in fulfilling ways. A common trap for those in a relationship with someone living with borderline is feeling as though you are responsible for their happiness. Due to the nature of the disorder, feeling lonely, isolated, and empty inside is inevitable depending on their mood. You can lovingly remind them that they are not. In this state, however, it will be hard to convince them. Keep in mind, it isn’t your job to do so.

Treating borderline personality disorder is best in a facility dedicated to primary mental health treatment. Avalon Malibu is one of California’s few certified mental health treatment facilities. Our beautiful estate on the iconic Malibu coast serves as the perfect place for healing. For a confidential assessment, call us today at 1 888-958-7511.

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