I am looking to do a series of guest posts around this topic. It is ALWAYS open to your interpretation as long as it’s respectful. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say. In the meantime, here is guest post #1 on How to Make Someone With BPD Happy! And I think she hit a home run!
This is a guest post by Coleen Torres.
Borderline personality disorder is not something that can be flipped on and off like a switch. In the same way, happiness and sadness cannot be overcome by anything you do or say. They are internal emotions, and thus are not controlled by outside forces. However, there are things you can do to encourage and uplift the BPD sufferer.
- Don’t expect perfection – Everyone has their good days and their bad days. BPD sufferers just have more intense versions of this. Don’t expect them to stay happy forever, or depressed forever. The more flexible you are in your thinking, the better off both of you will be.
- Validate – Being validated is one of the greatest feelings in the world. Validation means that someone is listening, understanding, and agreeing with what you are saying. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go along with everything the BPD sufferer says, in fact that’s harmful in the long run, but just don’t dismiss them because of their affliction. They are people, and they want to feel respected, just like you do.
- Don’t get discouraged – For someone that doesn’t suffer from BPD, it can be frustrating when you feel helpless. But don’t get discouraged. BPD is treatable, and can be controlled. Be patient in the bad times and enjoy the good times, but don’t get discouraged.
- Make sure their medication is right – You are not their doctor, so don’t tell them they need to change medication. However, if you see a pattern arising: long periods of depression or agitation, you may suggest that they get their medication checked out. Maybe they need a higher does, maybe they need to switch. But whatever you do, don’t tell them to take their pills. It’s not respectful of them as a person and certainly won’t change their behavior.
- Quality care – Last but not least, make sure (to the best of your abilities) that they are receiving proper care. There are good therapists and bad ones, and it is often difficult for patients to tell the difference. If you feel the BPD sufferer is not receiving the care they should, encourage them to seek alternate help.
You can’t change people, but you can encourage them. Just stay positive, set boundaries, and keep strong. A strong support system is the best medicine a BPD sufferer can have.