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Topic: Parent of a daughter with BPD

10 posts, 0 answered
  1. Johnstol
    Johnstol avatar
    1 posts
    27 November 2019
    My 20 year old daughter has BPD and I am struggling. We have been dealing with this for years. She has been in a residential treatment centre 3 times and has quit every time. It’s exhausting. Utterly mentally exhausting. Does anyone struggle?
  2. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    181 posts
    28 November 2019 in reply to Johnstol
    Hi Johnstol,

    We are sorry to hear that you’re struggling. It sounds like it has been a long journey for you and your family. Please know that our community is here for you. Is there anything in particular that you’ve been struggling with? This information can help our commmunity understand how they can best support you. 

    We’ve noticed another member is also managing similar challenges, feel free to join in the conversation:  https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/supporting-family-and-friends-with-a-mental-health-condition-(carers)/daughter-with-bpd
  3. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    1335 posts
    28 November 2019 in reply to Johnstol

    Dear Johnstol~

    I'd like to welcome you here to the forum too. I'm glad Sophie_ M was able to point you to another who has a similar situation.

    I do not have BPD and so cannot really know all that you have to try to cope with. I think Sophie asked an important question in what you find the most difficult and struggle with.

    While I suspect we could well understand some of the things you are going though it might be better if you could spell them out, I don't want to either guess or insult you with generalities.

    I do know that having hope built up by her going to residential care facilities 3 times, and then having her come home prematurely must seem so discouraging, as if there is no answer. One can look at it another way perhaps, each visit has laid a bit of groundwork, things that can be built on later. Familiarity with therapy might be one of these .

    Have you discussed with her - from her point of view, what it was made her leave each time?

    You sound at the end of your tether, and I'm wondering what support is available for you? Do you have partner, family or a friend who you can talk to and who will understand and care. Is there anyone you can have step in at a difficult time and allow you time out?

    There will be organizations that specifically cater to the needs of the parents of those with BPD, I'm hesitant to cite any as I'm not familiar with them. I do know having others in the same situation you can talk with would be a hopeful avenue for your own welfare.

    Can I suggest you ring our 24/7 Help Line on 1300 22 4636 and ask which organizations might be best for your area?

    You are welcome to talk here anytime.


  4. Doolhof
    Community Champion
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    Doolhof avatar
    912 posts
    29 November 2019 in reply to Johnstol

    Hi Johnstol,

    Welcome to the community. I know a little about BPD as I have been diagnosed with it as have other family members. I have seen how each of us act and react with our condition.

    When I was first diagnosed it was as though someone had explained the secrets of the universe to me! I had a moment where I understood what was going on in my crazy mind and why. I also realised that not everyone thought the same way I did!

    For a person who does not have BPD it can be very difficult to understand that the mind can behave so differently, that a simple look for example, can mean to a BPD mind that WW3 is about to break out.

    Have you as parents read up on BPD so you understand it better? I bought a book on BPD and lent it to family members. Some of them have a greater understanding now on what BPD is like and how to assist a person who has it.

    I'm really sorry your daughter has not been able to stay in the centre. It is tough accepting your mind thinks differently to other people. Tough to accept you can have this for life. Tough to endure the battle of trying to get better. It is tough for those on the outside looking in as well.

    Thankfully I am learning to accept my diagnosis, work with it and try to allow it to enhance my life most days. Other days it can be very difficult.

    I've borrowed books form the library as well on BPD that have been helpful.

    I truly hope some solutions can be found for your daughter and yourselves.

    Kindest regards from Dools

    1 person found this helpful
  5. LesleyT
    LesleyT avatar
    8 posts
    1 December 2019 in reply to Johnstol

    Oh yes I totally hear you! My 24 year old daughter is very similar. After lunch with her yesterday (so rude to staff) and talking with her about next steps, I went home utterly drained, and out of ideas! Fortunately she has a chance of being accepted into a DBT program in February, But I'm concerned she could lose her job beforehand. Is an inflated sense of self entitlement also part of this awful illness?

  6. Doolhof
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Doolhof avatar
    912 posts
    1 December 2019 in reply to LesleyT

    Hi All,

    I was just looking in one of my books about Borderline Personality Disorder. Some of the symptoms of BPD are:

    Impulsive, destructive behaviours, risky and self damaging

    Self harm/suicidal tendencies

    Extreme emotional swings

    Explosiveness Dramatic bouts of anger and rage

    Worries about abandonment causing a sense of FEAR and TERROR

    Unclear and unstable self concept/identity

    Little idea of what they want in life

    Painful sense of emptiness

    Up and down relationships

    Dissociation Not in touch with reality

    Yes, a person affected by BPD is hard to live with at times. The person with BPD may find their own life impossible and extremely hard to live with.

    Please ask yourselves what kind of person would you be if you had all that confusion happening in your own minds plus more, on a daily basis.

    1 person found this helpful
  7. LesleyT
    LesleyT avatar
    8 posts
    3 December 2019 in reply to Doolhof

    Thank you, yes I need to remind myself of that sometimes when I get frustrated.

    How do you also manage family members (my sister) who think my daughter is just attention seeking?

  8. Doolhof
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Doolhof avatar
    912 posts
    4 December 2019 in reply to LesleyT

    Hi Lesley T,

    I'm certainly not an expert on BPD, I experience this condition as do other family members. It shows up differently in each of us.

    For me, learning more about this illness has helped . I attended DBT sessions for months. I was able to access these through a Government scheme. To pay for them yourself can be expensive. It has been suggested I attend sessions again, there are none in our region so I would have to drive over 100 kilometres one way for sessions and can't afford them anyway.

    I have bought a book on DBT therapy and am trying to work through it myself.

    It is helpful for people to learn more about any condition or illness to be able to understand it better.

    People can do training sessions themselves to learn how to communicate with people suffering form BPD. I also recognise a person with BPD can learn different coping skills that may work better some days than others.

    Some people don't understand depression so trying to understand BPD is a whole different thing.

    Maybe provide your sister with information on BPD and ask her how she would cope if she struggled with those symptoms every day.

    I know it is hard to imagine something you have never experienced though.

    Wishing all of your family well on this journey of discovering what will work!

    Cheers form Dools

  9. Mum2soph
    Mum2soph avatar
    1 posts
    8 December 2019


    I’m a single mum and recently my 14yr old daughter was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Obviously this means everyday life has been a struggle for months. She was on a antipsychotic drug as her symptoms were so severe and numerous hospital visits and now has come off them and on a antidepressant. This has definitely helped a little. Things have not been easy and we are trying to find what works best and Helps after getting the diagnosis as it’s only been 3mths . We are trying to see a bdt therapist and she went to the first appointment and hated the lady got up and walked out . so need to find a new one.

    I 'd like any advise any one can give as It is really hard to deal with the irrational thought and angry behaviour and abuse. especially trying to get her to do littles things like go to school or clean her room even is a battle. If anyone has any tips or advise I’m a mum that struggling and seeking helpful advise

  10. LesleyT
    LesleyT avatar
    8 posts
    9 December 2019 in reply to Mum2soph

    Hi Mum2soph, I certainly relate to what you're going through. My daughter is 24 and only recently diagnosed with BPD but looking back she has had symptoms developing since teenage years. She also has Insulin Resistance so always thought that was the underlying cause. I live 2 hours away from her now so am not in the 'frontline' anymore, except over the phone. I have realised now, as hard as it is, that I don't have to 'make it better' (that's for the professionals) but find I can calm my daughter down by just listening and validating her feelings when they rise up.

    She is working - customer facing, which is really hard wiith BPD, havong to keep a cheerful demeanor, as well as living with flatmates for the first time. Both are proving very difficult for her atm. I want her to come live with me until she can start a DBT programme in February, but she can't make decisions either so not sure what will happen yet.

    All the very best with your daughter and please know you're not alone and if you ever need to talk/vent, here is a good place to start. Lesley

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