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How Borderline Personality Disorder Affects Families

Updated: Feb 5




Borderline personality disorder, or BPD, is a mental illness that causes unstable emotions and behavior. Individuals with this condition may act impulsively and experience a number of challenging mental health symptoms. Borderline personality disorder can also make it difficult to maintain relationships, especially with family. However, behavioral health services can help families heal and reconnect while facing mental illness.


BPD’s Impact on Families

When one family member is living with borderline personality disorder, their loved ones can feel the strain. Individuals with BPD often have a deep fear of abandonment, which can result in moments of closeness that quickly turn into moments of anger. This instability can take a toll on spouses, children, siblings, and parents of those with this condition, resulting in emotions like:


  • Stress & Worry: The family members of someone with BPD often feel stressed or worried about their loved one on a consistent basis. They might be worried that their loved one will self harm or engage in high-risk behaviors like substance abuse. It can also be difficult to stay steady through the general changes in behavior, and this can lead to avoidance.

  • Guilt: It’s common for family members of someone with BPD to feel responsible for their loved one’s mental and behavioral health. A parent, child, sibling, or spouse might feel guilty that they can’t help or “fix” their loved one. They also might feel guilty about enabling any of the behaviors associated with BPD.

  • Burnout: Supporting a loved one with BPD can be mentally and physically taxing, so it’s common for family members to experience burnout. Exhaustion can also result from a lack of boundaries. Overtime, family members might start to feel helpless or isolated.


While borderline personality disorder can become a weight on families, help is available. Behavioral health counseling services are available to help individuals with BPD and their families cope with the condition.


Seeking Help

If you or a loved one is living with borderline personality disorder, support is available. Individual and group counseling can provide guidance and coping mechanisms for families of individuals with BPD. And if you’re experiencing this condition, a licensed mental health professional can put together a treatment plan for your needs. This treatment may include services like individual therapy and medication.


Remember: While the effects of borderline personality disorder can be vast and overwhelming, you’re not alone. Treatment is available for individuals living with this mental health condition, and support is available for families. Through these resources, you can begin to heal and establish a more harmonious family dynamic.


The Collective is proud to offer Denver counseling solutions to support area individuals and families. Our licensed counselors are trained in a variety of specialties, and we offer individual therapy, group counseling, psychological testing, psychiatry services, and health coaching. Our holistic approach to behavioral health puts your needs at the center, so you can grow. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.


Does My Insurance Cover a Therapist at The Collective?

The Collective is partnered with several insurance providers to make our services more accessible to you. You can verify your insurance through our website before scheduling an appointment.

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