How Having Borderline Personality Disorder Can Affect Your Friendships

If your loved one is experiencing a lot of overwhelming emotions, allow them voice them in a non-aggressive way. Relay how you are experiencing them. If you are experiencing anger, tell them. Use non-inflammatory language, such as “when you… I feel…” For example, “When you speak to me like this, I feel scared/hurt/afraid/upset…” Steve addresses the fact that BPD sufferers are often accused of transgressing boundaries in relationships, and says that setting clear boundaries and expectations is a must.’

‘If your loved one is feeling insecure about rejection, or worried about being left alone, you may find it helpful to firstly understand what they can expect from you, and then make it clear what you can offer. If boundaries are consistently broken, there need to be non-punitive consequences, otherwise behaviours will not change.’ More: Mental health Demand for private counselling soars due to long NHS waiting lists Anxious to ultramarathon: How one runner went from anxiety-induced paralysis to 100k How do NHS staff protect their physical and mental health?

One in four children say that how they look is one of their main worries in lifeSteve encourages the ‘broken record’ method, where friends and loved ones will repeat the same phrase calmly, warmly and with empathy, until the message is received and understood. BPD can be well managed with a combination of therapy and medication, and it doesn’t have to get in the way of a fun and mutually supportive social life with friends.

Brendan is 32 and has been diagnosed with BPD for five years, and says he’s only lost acquaintances rather than long-term friends due to his illness. He says: ‘I find it harder to make friends but I tend to not have lost the ones I’ve already got. I’ve always been pretty guarded about showing how bad I can get and I limit the people I’m 100% open with. ‘The thing I struggle most with is the feeling that nobody actually wants to be friends with me.

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