Answers to frequently asked questions to spread borderline awareness and help warriors & loved ones better understand BPD.

For Borderline Awareness

Is BPD Recovery Possible?

Yes! Recovery is possible for people living with BPD. In fact, recent research & studies of BPD have confirmed that treatment is not only possible but that BPD also has a high recovery success rate. According to Perry D. Hoffman, Ph.D. of the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder, research conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health shows:

  • After two years, more than 50% patients recover. 
  • After 10 years, more than 80% recover.
  • 88% remain in recovery.
Why Blog About BPD Recovery?

“I debated for months whether to launch a BPD blog (which has since grown to something much bigger than “just” a blog). I wasn’t sure if I wanted to put my story out there. I worried about the repercussions and of the possibility of my narcissistic parent or a professional contact finding it. I worried about my family’s privacy. In the end, I created BPD Beautiful (using a pseudonym) for a handful of reasons. They are…

  • to support other people struggling with BPD and to share what I’ve been learning & what’s been working throughout my treatment.
  • to inspire those with BPD to take time for themselves and be mindful.
  • to give loved ones a better idea (but not the end all, be all) of how to cope with borderline personality disorder and to help them in understanding BPD.
  • to help raise borderline awareness and do my part in ending the stigma.
  • and the last, more personal reason was because blogging has always been something I’ve enjoyed doing. My last blog was eating disorder recovery related. This was back when my eating disorder was my most prevalent mental illness. Blogging—and the network of bloggers I had met along the way, played a big role in my recovery (9+ years with no relapse) and helped hold myself accountable.

I don’t have all the answers. I won’t claim to. I’m not a mental health expert (see our disclaimer). But I’ve been learning as I go with the help of my therapist, DBT skills, the support of my family & friends, the motivation I get from raising my son Bobby and of course, my Lord & Savior.”

-Audrey Harper, creator of BPD Beautiful

For People with BPD

How Do You Know if You’re in a BPD Episode?
How Do I Calm Down My BPD Episode?

Answer coming soon. Updated: 4/11/24

What Not to Do with BPD?
How Do You Deal with a Favorite Person with BPD?
How Do I Detach From My FP?

For Loved Ones

What is a BPD Favorite Person and How Do I Deal with Being One?

A BPD favorite person is someone a person with BPD admires and feels fulfilled by the most. They frequently idealize and obsess over them.  A person with BPD usually splits on their favorite person (“BPD FP”) more often than others – going from idealizing to devaluing them when their fear of abandonment is triggered.  A favorite person doesn’t have to be a romantic partner – they can be a friend, family member, teacher or even a celebrity. People with BPD can’t choose their favorite person or immediately choose to stop having one. Being a favorite person may be fun & flattering, if you like that sort of thing, but it can also be intense & overwhelming.

Is it Possible to Have a Healthy Relationship with Someone who has BPD?

Yes, it’s possible! But it’s not easy (no relationship is, but BPD can definitely complicate things). The caveat is—you can’t fix someone else’s borderline personality disorder and they can’t magically change overnight.

It also largely depends on whether each partner even wants to put the work in to change certain parts of themselves in order to get to a point where they can have a healthy relationship (remember actions speak louder than words). It’s no easy feat for either partner.

Recovery and the success of recovery is up to the person with borderline personality disorder. It’s a long road and it takes self reflection, willingness to face deep rooted fears, swallowing pride, lots of skills building, open communication, mindfulness, taking accountability and most importantly, therapy.

As for the other side of the coin—a romantic relationship with a girlfriend or boyfriend (or spouse) with BPD can be a rollercoaster. It takes an immense amount of dedication to fight the BPD battle with a diagnosed loved one (it should be couple vs. BPD, not partner with BPD vs. partner without BPD). It takes patience, unconditional love, empathy, stress management and learning new ways to communicate. I’d suggest therapy for the partner without BPD as well since getting educated on BPD and learning new skills (to cope with a loved one’s BPD) are both essential to support their recovery.

It’s up to each partner to take care of their own wellbeing while providing love & support to the other. Like with any relationship, it’s a two way street. Refusing treatment or refusing to get educated on BPD (or even worse, pretending it doesn’t exist or playing into the stigma) can be (and should be) a deal breaker. And of course, abusive behavior (from either partner) whether it be emotional abuse, verbal abuse or physical abuse is never okay. 

How Do You Help a Loved One with BPD?

To help a loved one in the middle of a BPD episode, you should ask pointed questions like: “what are you feeling?” “what started this?” “how long have you felt this way?” Then validate their experience by repeating back what you think you’ve heard. Be open to their clarification. During BPD episodes, it’s best not to argue logic or reason. Don’t dismiss their feelings by trying to talk them out of them. Just listen and ask what you can do to show support. Offer up a distraction or a hug. If your loved one with BPD pushes you away, tell them you’ll be leaving them alone out of respect for their feelings but that if they change their mind, you’ll be willing to talk. Then give them space.

What Not to Do with BPD?

When managing a loved one with BPD’s crisis – you should NOT take offense to wild or false accusations, be argumentative, try to make intense feelings go away, deny or dismiss your loved one’s feelings (even when they’re distorted based), try to talk them out of their feelings or reinforce harmful or alarming behavior.

How Do I Know if My Loved One with BPD Will Change?

Someone with BPD who’s ready to make changes will dedicate A LOT of time and effort into their recovery. They’ll make calls, schedule appointments, take time doing therapy handouts or recovery journals, do their research and learn everything they can about borderline personality disorder. They’ll join online communities and make therapy a huge priority – rarely missing a session. BPD treatment is incredibly hard (but not impossible). And it takes time. Lots of time. If your loved one isn’t doing any of the above, it’s worth considering where you stand in the relationship and if it’s something you can realistically keep doing. As sad as it is, there’s nothing wrong with throwing in the towel if it means taking care of your own mental health.

Need more answers?

Sometimes it helps to talk to someone who understands borderline personality disorder firsthand. Book a coaching call with Audrey Harper of BPD Beautiful.

* Coaching cannot replace therapy.

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