How to Talk to Your Loved One about Their BPD Diagnosis

Talking about BPD diagnosisGetting a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) isn’t something most people want to hear. While it may bring some people relief that they can put a name to their symptoms, others may be unwilling to admit that they have a psychiatric disorder. 

People who fall into the first camp will likely have no problem talking to you about their BPD diagnosis. They may very well be excited at the knowledge that there is Borderline Personality Disorder treatment available that can finally help them overcome their suffering. 

“They may experience great relief that what they are experiencing is real, and even greater relief that there is treatment available to help them,” says Alina Gorgorian, Ph.D., clinical director of Clearview Women’s Center for Borderline Personality and Emotional Disorders in Los Angeles.

Where you may run into resistance is talking to those people who have trouble accepting that they have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder such as Borderline Personality Disorder. 

“Sometimes, they are not there yet,” Gorgorian says. “They want to figure out what their problems are rather than have a diagnosis.” 

If your loved one received a BPD diagnosis but is not ready to admit to it – whether it is because they are embarrassed, ashamed, or just not ready to have a diagnosis of a psychiatric disorder – it can be hard to talk to them about getting needed BPD treatment. Instead of ignoring the diagnosis, you’ll need to find ways to talk to your loved one about Borderline Personality Disorder so that they can get the help they need. 

Talking to Your Loved One about Their BPD Diagnosis

Here are some things to consider if you are finding it difficult to talk to your loved one about their Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis: 

  • Provide Validation. When your loved one is upset, down, or moody, the last thing you should do is blame it on their Borderline Personality Disorder. Instead of forcing their diagnosis on them, provide validation by letting your loved one know that you understand that they are having a difficult time and are listening to their concerns. Doing so may make them more open to getting BPD treatment sooner rather than later.
  • Be Supportive. If you’ve never been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, such as BPD, you may not realize how difficult it can be to hear. Be understanding of the fact that it may take your loved one some time to accept that they have a BPD diagnosis. Let them know that you are there to offer support, and that you will be there for them when they are ready to get BPD treatment.  
  • Don’t Force the Issue. If your loved one isn’t ready to accept their diagnosis, you repeatedly reminding them that they have one isn’t going to help. Don’t always bring up Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD treatment when they are going through a rough time. This may only make your loved one more resistant to admitting to their diagnosis.  
  • Be Patient. You may want your loved one to finally admit to their diagnosis, but they may not be ready on your schedule. It can often take people awhile to be open to the idea that they have a psychiatric disorder, and that there is treatment available to help them. Letting your loved one come to the realization on their own time may require a lot of patience on your part, but they will have to do it on their own in order to get the treatment they need.
  • Don’t Enable Their Behaviors. While you are offering your support and understanding, stay away from actions that will enable their behaviors. Hold your loved ones accountable for their actions and teach consequences to their bad behaviors. By enabling their behaviors, they may never be willing to admit that they need BPD treatment because they would have no real reason to get help.
  • Have BPD Treatment Options Ready. When your loved one is ready to get relief from their Borderline Personality Disorder symptoms, have BPD treatment options available for them. That way, you can encourage them to get treatment that you know can help them without your loved one having to be intimidated by the task of finding a good BPD treatment center. 

Getting a BPD diagnosis isn’t always easy, but having loved ones who are supportive of where you are and ready to help you get BPD treatment can make it easier to accept.

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