I have my daughter with borderline personality disorder. How can I communicate with her effectively?

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i am female 55 years old and my daughter has BLPD. I dont know how to treat her. she ia 20 yo. we can be fine and then all turns bad, she throw things and said horrible things to me that she wish i have cancer

8 Answers

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Do not let despair overwhelm you. I know how heartbroken you were when you heard those. Because my girlfriend has BPD too, I'm also learning how to treat her. Communication with people like them is literally difficult but not impossible. They just want to prove they are loved and cared by loved ones, again and again. The onset of the disease tends to make them do or say somthing that hurt others or even themselves as they are dominated by negative thoughts. They always feel extremely guilty and ashamed after that. I always try not to increase my gf's distress. When she says "I am a bad person", I will say "I know you feel badly about the way you acted and that makes you think you are". Saying "you are not" will only increase her distress. It is what i've learned from books. I really recommend you to read Stopping Walking on Eggshells and Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disoder.

You may also find your daughter a therapist if you haven't. A professional may give you a lot of useful advice.

Hopefully this will help.
Feel sorry for you... as a mother you've been strong enough
The disorder seems like a torture for both the girl and family members.  She needs to stablize her emotion by turning to a therapist/friend/someone else for help. She can join a support group, online or offline
What does she like to do? Maybe you can have some fun togerther to gain mutual trust. Then you'll understand her better and know what gets her happy. You're not alone. There are plenty of families like yours, you can find them online. Go chat with them
Avoid talking about what causes her rage, stay in the SAFE ZONE.  If possible, guide her to explain why she gets angry when she's calm.
The girl needs treament and medication. The horrible behaviors are a result of BLPD. Communication with her entails your patience, tolerance and understanding. Your support means everything to her. You'd better go to a support group when exhausted.

I'm sorry to hear this. I know how much you have to deal with. People with BPD tend to be extremely sensitive. Small things can trigger intense reactions. That's why your daughter "throw things and said horrible things" to you. When she is in the throes of overwhelming emotions, she is unable to think straight or stay grounded. She may say hurtful things or act out in dangerous or inappropriate ways. 

But stay positive and have faith. BPD is treatable. Its long-term prognosis is better than those for depression and bipolar disorder.

Does your daughter have a therapist? If not, getting one is a good start.

Now, as a mother. You can take steps to improve communication, ser healthy boundaries, and stabilize your relationship with your daughter. 

1. Listen actively and be sympathetic. Set aside your personal judgement, withhold blame and criticism, and show your interest in what your daughter says. You do not need to agree with her, all you need to do is listening and by sympathetic. 

2. Calmly reassure your daughter and set limits. Say things like, “I love you and I want you to feel better, but I can’t make that happen because of your behaviour. I need you to make some change for yourself and I will always be on your side.”

3. While you should be patient and loving, don't tolerate abusive behavior or enable your daughter by protecting her from the consequences of her actions. 

My suggestions might not be enough. But I hope these tips can help a little. Best wishes. 

My daughter also has BPD. She has tried to commit suicide 3-4 times in the last 5 months. I got to know from the doctor that what she has been trying to do is to use self-harm as a means to grab my attention. When she is feeling alone or sad, or when she feels like no one loves her, she needs proof that someone does love her, so she will call me, in a crisis, hoping I will come to the rescue and show that I care about her. Hugging and kissing are the cure. Yet she sometimes has wild mood swings. It really sucks! I suppose it’s a common symptom for the BPDs. All I can suggest is to hang on, (perhaps you can keep a diary so when she says something happened one way you can look it up and see what you wrote down when it did happen), and DETACH. Remember that SHE has a problem and it is NOT YOU. It won't be easy.

And detaching will help a lot. I learned to do that. Basically, I got tired of arguing and realized that her level of anger was something I could never match and that I just didn't have the levels of emotional energy to keep up with her (no one could). Give her time to cool down before you start a conversation. And BE PATIENT. Good luck.
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