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Understanding and Supporting Your Daughter with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)


Does your daughter suffer from borderline personality disorder (BPD)?  Having a daughter with BPD not only affects her but also has an impact on you and everyone who cares about her. Women with BPD often struggle with controlling their emotions and behavior, which can place a heavy burden on parents, partners, family members, and friends.

Parents of children with BPD often share numerous stories of instances where their daughter appeared to be improving or taking on more responsibilities, only to suddenly experience a crisis. This pattern of improvement and relapse can be confusing and frustrating for parents and loved ones.

What you need to know about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Parenting a child with BPD can be particularly challenging because individuals with BPD often struggle with relationships, especially with those closest to them. The angry outbursts, volatile mood swings, self-mutilation, episodes of overeating, chronic fears of abandonment, suicide attempts, and other impulsive and irrational behaviors can leave parents feeling helpless and off balance. It’s important to note that your daughter does not need to exhibit all of these symptoms to have BPD.

Parents, family members, and friends of individuals diagnosed with BPD often describe it as an endless emotional roller coaster. If you suspect that your daughter has BPD, there are steps you can take to establish healthy boundaries, improve communication, and stabilize your relationship with her.

One of the challenges in dealing with your daughter is that individuals with BPD commonly struggle to acknowledge their problem. If your daughter falls into this category, it is essential to offer support while understanding that the situation is not your fault.

Learning all you can about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Educating yourself about BPD is crucial. If your daughter has BPD, it is important to recognize that she has a personality disorder, and it is not something you are causing.  Destructive, self-harming, and hurtful behaviors are reactions to emotional pain associated with BPD. Remember, it is not about you, and it is not your fault. When your daughter says hurtful things, it is best to understand that this behavior is not always deliberate.

By learning about BPD, you will gain insight into the condition and better equip yourself to handle difficulties constructively. Understanding what you are dealing with and what she is going through can make a significant difference.

Some helpful resources:

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) information on BPD
BPD Central

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Identifying the signs and symptoms of BPD is not always easy. However, people who have a close relationship with someone suffering from BPD often sense that something is amiss, even if they are unsure of what it is. Receiving a diagnosis can provide understanding and relief, offering a sense of hope.

If your daughter has BPD, she may be highly sensitive, and small things can trigger intense and sudden reactions or rage. These reactions might occur when you set boundaries or say no. Borderlines often struggle to calm themselves in healthy ways and may engage in inappropriate or dangerous behaviors or say hurtful things. They may appear on the verge of falling apart but quickly return to a state of normalcy when they get what they want. This emotional volatility can cause stress and strain in relationships and create confusion for parents, family members, and friends.

Unfortunately, borderlines can be hypercritical, and you may find yourself being unfairly blamed for things you did not do. Borderlines tend to view the world in black and white, labeling you as either all good or all bad. There is no middle ground.

The health benefits and risks of pet ownership

From Harvard Health Publishing

February 19, 2016

They’re cute, cuddly, and loving, but dogs and cats aren’t always appropriate for older adults.

health benefits of owning a pet

There’s a reason dogs are dubbed man’s best friend. Dogs—and cats, too—make wonderful companions and provide many emotional and physical benefits. “I’m a believer in the beneficial effects of having a pet, and I’m impressed with the ability of dogs in particular to form bonds with human beings. I think the science is starting to support their special ability to do that,” says psychiatrist Dr. Greg Fricchione, director of the Harvard-affiliated Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine. However, there are a number of considerations to mull over before adding a pet to your household.


The most obvious benefits of pet ownership are love and companionship. “We do best medically and emotionally when we feel securely attached to another, because we’re mammals and that’s the way we’ve evolved,” says Dr. Fricchione. He points out that we feel especially secure with dogs and cats because of the unconditional love they provide. “No matter what you do or say, your dog or cat accepts you and is attached to you,” says Dr. Fricchione. Taking care of a dog or a cat can provide a sense of purpose and a feeling of validation when you wake up or come home and there’s someone who’s happy to see you.

The emotional benefits of having a pet can translate into physiological ones as well. “When you feel securely attached to this living being, there are biological brain effects that reduce stress response, so it may affect your breathing rate or blood pressure or oxygen consumption or anxiety level,” says Dr. Fricchione. “There was even a recent study in the journal Science about how oxytocin is boosted in both the dog and the human when a dog owner stares into eyes of the dog. That’s really fascinating.” Oxytocin is one of the body’s “feel good” chemicals and also plays a role in social bonding.

Other physical benefits of owning a dog or a cat come from the activity necessary to take care of it, such as playing with the animal or taking it for a walk. And there can be social benefits of dog walking if you meet other people along the way.


risks of owning a dog

It’s not always easy caring for pets, however, and sometimes having them in the home poses health hazards for older adults. “If you have problems with gait and stability and your pet can get under your feet or jump up and knock you over, then falls and broken bones are a real danger,” says Dr. Fricchione.

There are also sanitary risks associated with pet ownership. Animals can carry parasites that can be transferred to humans. Cats in particular carry a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, which can get into your brain and cause a condition known as toxoplasmosis. People with compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable to this. Animal feces carry all kinds of bacteria that can make you sick. Dogs and cats can also cause allergic reactions in some pet owners.

What you can do

Before getting a pet, consider if you’re physically and mentally able to care for it. Do you have the memory skills to remember to feed the animal? Do you have the energy, strength, and mobility to feed it, play with it, clean up after it, and, in the case of dogs, take it for daily walks? Do you have the financial means to pay for pet food, grooming, and visits to the veterinarian? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the average pet owner spends about $500 per year on a pet, although estimates from other organizations put annual expenses as high as $1,600 per year.

If you feel you have the physical, mental, and financial means to care for a pet, take the pet’s size into consideration—not too big and not too small. Avoid puppies, which require a great deal of training, time, and energy—just like having a new baby. And consider the animal’s personality. “You don’t want a dog that will bark all night or have a lot of separation anxiety if you leave the house,” says Dr. Fricchione.

Where to turn for a pet? Dr. Fricchione recommends taking a veterinarian or a professional breeder along with you to a shelter: “The expert will be able to size up which animals have the best chance of developing into a mellow companion.”

Break Bad Habits by Changing Your Environment

By Thorin Klosowski From Life Hacker

We know that different types of triggers can cause us to fall back into certain habits, but actually doing something about that is harder than it seems. Over on NPR, a handful of psychologists explain how altering a physical place can help you break bad habits.

Over time, we integrate our habits into our environment and the environment itself becomes a trigger. The trigger itself isn’t always obvious either, sometimes it’s nothing more than a door:

“For a smoker, the view of the entrance to their office building — which is a place that they go to smoke all the time — becomes a powerful mental cue to go and perform that behavior,” Neal says.

Over time those cues become so deeply ingrained that they are very hard to resist. And so we smoke at the entrance to work when we don’t want to. We sit on the couch and eat ice cream when we don’t need to, despite our best intentions, despite our resolutions…

To battle bad behaviors then, one answer is to disrupt the environment in some way. Even small changes can help — like eating the ice cream with your nondominant hand. What this does is disrupt the learned body sequence that’s driving the behavior, which allows your conscious mind to come back online and reassert control.

Of course, adapting to your triggers is going to be different, but if you’re struggling to get into a good habit (or break a bad one), look around and see if you can do things a little differently.

What Heroin Addiction Tells Us About Changing Bad Habits | NPR