Supporting a friend who has borderline personality disorder? First seek to understand
Helping a friend with mental health issues isn’t always easy. If you’re doing it, have done it or are even researching how you can in future then shout out to you, because it’s proven that support from friends and family can not only help recovery but can sometimes even be life saving. Supporting someone with borderline personality disorder (BPD) can be a rocky road. By the illness’ very nature those of us with BPD are not always the easiest people to try and support. BPD is a psychiatric illness characterised by intense emotions and chronic feelings of emptiness, these disturbances of self often lead to anxiety, depression and self-harming behaviour. People with BPD can sometimes come across as very reactive. Something that may not bother you could affect them profoundly and, as such, provoke a strong reaction. The first thing to understand if you’re trying to support someone with BPD is that they do not choose to be like this. Of course I cannot comment for every person, but the majority of people with BPD who I have met suffer deep shame and crippling guilt about the outcomes of their reactions when those reactions are influenced by their illness.