The holidays often mean travel, to visit family or for a fun weekend getaway. If the person you are travelling with has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), and you’ve never travelled together before, there are some things you should keep in mind to make your trip more enjoyable.
Get a Crash Course in BPD
Before you head out for a holiday with someone diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, educate yourself about the psychiatric disorder. Read through books and BPD websites to get information on BPD and tips for how to improve your relationship with someone with BPD. That way, you will have a better idea of what to expect. If needed, you could even consult with a therapist who has experience treating people with BPD.
Have a Heart-to-Heart Talk
It will be useful – and productive – to have a conversation with the person you’re travelling with. It is not a secret that they have Borderline Personality Disorder, so it is a good idea to discuss how this could be a problem during the trip. It’s not just your responsibility to make the trip a success, so make sure they do their part to keep their BPD symptoms under control.
Maintain a Validating Attitude
Travel can sometimes be stressful, and you may feel cranky, despite your best intentions. Keep in mind that people with Borderline Personality Disorder often feel invalidated about what they are thinking or feeling. No matter how frustrated you get during your trip, whether with them or because of something else, remember to be validating of their experiences and feelings. This will help to ensure a good time is had by all and reduce the risk of their BPD symptoms being triggered.
Know What Topics to Avoid
People with Borderline Personality Disorder are known for their unpredictable behavior. Their mood can take a sudden swing, and this can spoil the atmosphere. They don’t do it knowingly, and it’s often not on purpose. The onus is on you to avoid topics that cause them to fume. It may be helpful to keep a list of topics that they like handy. That way, if the atmosphere gets a little tense, you know in what direction to turn the conversation.
Enjoy Private Time
If you’re on a vacation, you will be spending a lot of time together. With a person with BPD by your side, you may feel you have to be on guard all the time. Take needed time away to get some space. Choose activities that you enjoy doing alone — read on the beach or get a relaxing massage at the spa. This will allow you both to do things you enjoy without having to worry about the other person.