Five of the first things you can do when you discover that someone you care for has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
I often have “newbies” or beginning non-BPD family members ask me some things they can do to get acclimated to the world of BPD. I have thought about this long and hard and have come up with these five things:
1. Watch “Back from the Edge”. This 48 minute documentary was made by New York Presbyterian Hospital and includes some of the world’s most knowledgeable experts in the treatment and understanding of BPD, including Dr. Marsha Linehan, the inventor of DBT. The video is available here: Back from the Edge
2. Read “When Hope is Not Enough: a how-to guide to living with and loving someone with borderline personality disorder”. When Hope is Not Enough is my book about the skills and attitudes necessary to develop a peaceful and effective relationship with someone with BPD. The book is available here: When Hope is Not Enough
3. Join the “Anything to Stop the Pain” email support list. The list is an email support list for family members and friends of those with BPD. The Anything to Stop the Pain List
4. Go to a DBT Family Skills Training class. There are several available, yet there might not be one in your area. It’s worth it to travel to another city for a week or a weekend to learn some of the skills that can be effective with your loved one.
5. Practice the Skills. Actually implement the skills and tools that you learn in your life. The goal is to make these “second nature”.