If one of your parents suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), you have probably faced an uphill battle to overcome some of the negative aspects of your upbringing. While not always the case, parents with BPD can have profoundly detrimental effects on their children’s emotional well-being and development that can cause many emotional and psychological issues throughout their lives.
Children of BPD parents often suffer with low self-esteem, poor boundaries, shame, and anger that go unresolved unless these issues are addressed effectively.
Whether or not your parent has been officially diagnosed as having Borderline Personality Disorder, their behavior toward you growing up may have been neglectful in some ways, be it emotional, psychological, physical, or all three. Many children of BPD parents benefit greatly from both individual and group therapy, as well as support groups for people with family members who have BPD.
But what about your mother or father? You may wonder if there is anything you can do to help them help themselves.
Starting a Conversation about BPD
It is known that approaching someone who has Borderline Personality Disorder about their symptoms and suggesting that they seek help is a harrowing task that may backfire or result in further conflict or distance between family members. Many people with BPD feel as if they are constantly under attack from others as it is, so having their loved ones confronting them about a serious mental health issue could end up in a catastrophic mess.
A big difference in how your conversation goes may have to do with whether or not your parent has been diagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder and whether or not they accept their diagnosis if they have had one.
Getting Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment
A parent who has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder but has not committed to recovery may be slightly more receptive to suggestions that they pursue a path to recovery. At the very least, the mention of BPD won’t be out of the blue.
You may try to approach them by saying that you hope to heal your relationship with them and move forward from a painful childhood, but that you feel little will improve without their involvement in a Borderline Personality Disorder treatment center.
If you yourself are seeking BPD therapy or support, it may help them to know that you are addressing your own issues as well. It could be that if they do not feel solely to “blame” for the problems in your relationship, they will be more receptive to joining you in getting help from a mental health professional. Be sure that if they demonstrate receptiveness to the idea of getting help, you have some information about Borderline Personality Disorder treatment centers available to share.
Focus on Your Own Healing
A parent who has never sought professional help or who has rejected a Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis may be impossible to get through to. They may accuse you yourself of being mentally ill or having BPD. They may rage at you, rejecting all of your concern and blaming you for all of the problems in your relationship.
When this is the case, you have only a slim chance of successfully ushering them into a Borderline Personality Disorder treatment center. It may, in fact, be best to focus on your own recovery and healing and let go of the notion that they will change. You cannot change another person, and people who suffer with BPD are especially resistant to the idea that they may have something “wrong” with them.
In the long run, caring for your own residual scars may be the best way to address your relationship with your Borderline Personality Disorder parent. Being pro-active about your own healing process is an important step toward coping with your BPD parent and deciding how to move forward with your relationship.