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Diagnosing a Parent with Borderline Personality Disorder

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Diagnosing Parent with BPDBorderline Personality Disorder (BPD) can be very difficult for people suffering from the BPD symptoms of excessive mood swings, unstable relationships, and suicidal thoughts. It can also be difficult on those who are closest to people with BPD, including their children.

Children can often be as affected by Borderline Personality Disorder as the parent diagnosed with the psychiatric disorder. Children of parents with BPD must learn to tolerate the often complex symptoms of BPD and navigate possible BPD treatment options. 

The first step to helping a parent get needed Borderline Personality Disorder treatment is to determine if your parent actually has BPD.

Signs to Determine whether your Parent has BPD

Borderline Personality Disorder has a set list of diagnostic criteria that must be met before a proper diagnosis is made. Here are some of the BPD symptoms that might indicate your parent has BPD: 

  • Intense mood swings. People with BPD can fly on the highest of highs one day and then drop to the lowest of lows the next. These mood swings often lead to harmful coping behaviors, including substance abuse and eating disorders, to cope with ever-changing emotions.
  • Abandonment issues. People with Borderline Personality Disorder will go to great lengths to avoid abandonment, whether perceived or real. This may show up in the form of your parent making you feel guilty for moving to a new city or becoming overly dependent on you.
  • Self-harm. People with BPD often engage in self-harmful behaviors and suicidal thoughts. If you find your parent is cutting or burning, or talking about committing suicide, that may be an indication of Borderline Personality Disorder.
  • Problems maintaining relationships. Whether with spouses, friends, or co-workers, people with Borderline Personality Disorder often have great difficulties maintaining good interpersonal relationships.
  • Anger issues. Borderline Personality Disorder can result in your parent having problems controlling their anger. This may result in your parent taking out their anger on you, verbally or physically.

These are just some of the BPD symptoms you can look for in your parent if you think they have Borderline Personality Disorder. If you believe your parent has BPD, BPD treatment should be sought immediately.

Getting BPD Treatment for Your Parent

Depending on your situation, approaching the topic of Borderline Personality Disorder treatment with a parent can be a delicate and complicated matter. If you can enlist help — from your teachers, therapist, or friends (of yours or your parent’s) — then do so as soon as you can. Having support in dealing with this issue and helping your parent deal with it will be invaluable.

If you feel your parent has Borderline Personality Disorder, have them seek BPD treatment as soon as possible. BPD can drag everyone down, and as a child of a parent with BPD, their ailment shouldn’t drag you down as well.

Remember to look for a BPD treatment program that includes family therapy as part of treatment so that you can address and work through issues related to you, as well as your parent.

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