Coping with a Person with Borderline Personality Disorder in the Family

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Towle, Andrew
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a disorder known for the chaotic behavior it facilitates in its sufferers, and the emotional and mental struggles it incites in those surrounding someone with the disorder[MOU1]. This study assessed how family members of persons with BPD are affected by the intense and emotional behavior which is characteristic of BPD. Thirty-two participants completed a self-report questionnaire about their experience with BPD behavior in their family member, their mental processing and outward reactions to such behavior, and their coping mechanisms. Participants spoke at length on these matters, and the results vary widely. Participants universally reported some manner of emotional struggle in response to their family member’s behavior. Most reported that they had learned to process and react to BPD behavior differently as time progressed. Answers varied, with a spread of both positive and negative traits in handling, coping mechanisms, and outcomes being discussed by participants. Common coping mechanisms included seeking external support, detaching from the family member, self-development, and mindfulness techniques.
borderline personality disorder, family, coping, effects, behavior