If you know someone who is struggling with borderline personality disorder, one of the best things you can do is to offer your support. Sometimes, people with borderline personality disorder don’t yet have emotional regulation, or they haven’t developed the coping skills they need to handle some of the significant symptoms of the disorder.
They might also not realize that they need to ask for help, or perhaps they need to learn how. For many people, they avoid asking for help because they just don’t know what kind of help they need or they are struggling with:
- Enforced helplessness
- The feeling that you aren’t worth it
- Uncertainty about how you see yourself
- Fast-changing feelings toward others
- Emotional uncertainty
- Intense mood swings
You can offer your help, nevertheless.
Coping skills can be a great way to deal with things like mood swings, uncertainty, and fast-changing feelings. If you have someone in your family or someone with whom you have a relationship or even a friend who struggles with borderline personality disorder, you can offer BPD support by encouraging specific coping skills.
When an individual with borderline personality disorder is feeling restless, frustrated, or angry, you might encourage them to:
- Listen to loud music
- Rip up paper or break down cardboard boxes
- Hit a pillow
When an individual with borderline personality disorder is feeling depressed or lonely, suggest that they:
- Wrap up in a blanket and watch television or a comforting movie
- Write down negative thoughts and tear up the paper
- Listen to comforting music
- Writing a letter to yourself as though you were comforting a close friend
- Cuddle with a pet or stuffed animal
- Cry or take a nap
When an individual with borderline personality disorder is feeling anxious or tense, try to help out by suggesting that they:
- Make a hot cup of tea or coffee and mindfully notice the heat, weight of the mug, smell, and taste
- Take a deep breath for four seconds on the inhale, four seconds at the top of the inhale, four seconds at the exhale, and four seconds at the bottom of the exhale, and mentally count each second
- Write down everything that is in the current environment, including sounds, dates, colors, furniture, smells
- Take a warm bath
When an individual with borderline personality disorder is feeling spaced out or disconnected, offer the following coping skills:
- Chewing a piece of ginger
- Drinking cold water
- Clapping and focusing on the physical sensations on the skin
These coping skills may or may not be things that you can do with your friend or family member who is struggling with borderline personality disorder.
If they are particularly sensitive to the concept of help or assistance, you could learn to take notice of things like anger and ask them for help gardening or ask them to come with you to an exercise class.
If they are feeling depressed, you might watch a comforting movie with them or listen to music.
If you notice they are anxious, make a cup of tea for both of you or draw them a bath.
Sometimes, people are more likely to participate in an activity if they believe that they are doing it for the sake of someone else rather than for the sake of self-care.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
In addition to these coping skills, the best way you can support someone living with borderline personality disorder is to encourage them to get professional help where necessary. Dialectical behavioral therapy is one of the most popular forms of treatment for borderline personality disorder.
Dialectical behavioral therapy can help individuals reconcile differences between their perception of reality and reality. This can help with cognitive dissonance, emotional mood swings, and emotional regulation.
Moreover, professional treatment can offer individualized coping skills and emotional regulation skills that may be better acquired and practiced with the help of professional guidance.
Get BPD Support from Water Gap Wellness Center
If you have someone in your family who is struggling with borderline personality disorder, you can find professional BPD support with Water Gap Wellness Center.
Our Pennsylvania mental health treatment center offers a continuum of care for mental health and dual-diagnosis situations. We provide flexible programs, including partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient programs, and traditional outpatient programs, to help clients find a flexible form of BPD support around any other personal or professional obligations.
Our facility offers access to individual, group, and family therapy programs as part of treatment. We have a psychiatrist on-site five days a week, and every week, clients can enjoy two one-on-one sessions with clinicians. Group therapy is a daily part of treatment, and recreational activities, as well as holistic therapies, are regularly incorporated into treatment plans where necessary.
To learn more about our BPD support, reach out to our team today at (877) 414-3281.