How to Support Friends or Family with a Personality Disorder

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A personality disorder is complex mental health condition that involve patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that deviate from cultural expectations. You’ll need empathy and informed support strategies to help your loved ones.

How to Support Friends or Family with a Personality Disorder

Here are some practical ways to support a friend or family member with a personality disorder.

  • Educate Yourself. Familiarizing yourself with the specific disorder your loved one is dealing with can help you better understand their experiences and challenges. Online resources like the Cleveland Clinic and MedlinePlus offer overviews of different personality disorders, including their symptoms, causes, and treatment options.
  • Practice Empathy and Understanding. People with personality disorders often experience intense emotions and may have difficulty relating to others. Recognize that their behaviors and emotional responses are disorder symptoms, not intentional acts to cause distress. Showing compassion and patience can go a long way in maintaining a supportive relationship.
  • Set Healthy Boundaries. Clear and firm boundaries create a sense of predictability and structure for your loved one, which can be beneficial. Be upfront and kind when communicating your boundaries, and avoid apologizing or backing down. Be consistent and follow through with the consequences if boundaries are crossed.
  • Offer Support, Not Solutions. While it’s natural to want to fix the problems, it’s more helpful to offer support. Recovery from a personality disorder is a gradual process that requires professional intervention. We can help you and your family members or friends through this challenge.

Supporting someone with a personality disorder requires patience and commitment. By adopting these strategies, you can provide meaningful support that helps your loved one with their condition while caring for your well-being. Contact us to find out more about our counseling services.