Borderline Personality Disorder: Relational Challenges

One key feature of borderline personality disorder is chronic relational problems that lead to separation, divorce, or loss of the relationship in some fashion. For many of us, understanding the borderline personality can feel like a losing battle. One minute you may think you understand the person to only find out later, that you didn’t understand them at all.

I have counseled clients who want to change their behaviors but are unable to. Almost like an addiction, the individual with BPD traits cannot just “stop” the behavior. This article will discuss some of the challenges I have observed in the lives of those with BPD.

Most people not only struggle to understand BPD but also interact with the person. Interactions can turn from positive to negative in no time. Moods are labile, emotions are intense, triangulation (i.e., an act in which the person pulls in other people intentionally or unintentionally for personal gain) occurs, manipulation may occur, and dysphoria. When an individual with BPD feels depressed or anxious, they are likely to isolate, withdraw, or even self-medicate.

What is BPD and how is it treated?

Proper therapy is one of the most important forms of treatment for an individual with BPD. Medication is typically useful for impulsive behavior, labile mood, insomnia, or anxiety. Medication cannot help change BPD symptoms because BPD is a personality disorder. It is a set of personality traits that influence thought patterns, behaviors, and interactions with others. Just like your personality, BPD is a personality trait that is dysfunctional, emotional, or infantile at times. It is not a treatable mental illness that requires medication. It is a disorder that requires behavior management, insight, and intentional change.

Tune into my audio blog below to listen to explanations and more information on this topic.