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How do I help my friend who has BPD?



New member
Jan 4, 2019
Hi everyone!

I have come here hoping that someone who knows what it is like to have BPD could give me a piece of advice on how to help a close friend with BPD.

Long story short: My friend and I have known each other for 20 years - she was diagnosed with BPD ten years ago and has been in and out of psychiatric care. She is now living in a psychiatric care facility where she has her own apartment, but has access to trained psychiatric and care personel in order to get through the ordeals of everyday life.

I know that she has never been in specific treatment for BPD, but has been heavily medicated through the years and randomly been seeing psychologists. I really care about her - at heart, she is a great, intelligent, and caring person, yet I must admit that what to me seems like her constant need "to talk" is becoming somewhat of a strain on our relationship. She is always frustrated by the limited capacity of the staff where she is living to sit down "to talk", which I really do understand as I recognize that she is in pain, but...it just seems that her need "to talk" is endless.
I know from the hundreds of times that we have sat down "to talk" that basically what she means by it is to cry and just say how bad she feels. It must be so horrible to feel like this, but I also know by now that nothing is accomplished or bettered by it - sometimes I wonder whether this need "to talk" is something akin to an addiction of hers. On the rare occasions that she is feeling good, we have sometimes briefly touched upon the possibility of her entering specialized therapy for BPD, but she is very reluctant about this, as she says that she feels it will be too hard on her and make her commit suicide.

What could you imagine that I could do to help her? Lending an ear clearly does not do anything more that keep her afloat very temporarily. Thanks so much in advance for any advice for a caring, but tired friend. :)


Well-known member
Jan 4, 2019

I have bpd and can I understand both sides of someone having bpd and someone dealing with it (freinds, family etc) I often also always feel the need to talk a lot about the things going on in my head because for me personally it's very chaotic and hard to make sense of. Having bpd has also affected a lot of people around me who don't necessarily now how to cope when I get in the ways that I do. For me personally when I sit down to talk it is a brief relief to try and cope with what is going on.

Something that I wanted you to clarify you say she is in a psychiatric care facility, what treatment has she been offered? Psychotherapy and CBT are usually what can help bpd sufferers but you mentioned she is reluctant to start this I think trying to encourage her to consider this would be something that I could recommend, perhaps mention to the onsite care team where she is staying to see if they are able to suggest this as well?

Taking the plunge to start therapy can be very stressful for a number of different reasons, you say that it would make her feel suicidal has she expressed what about starting therapy would make her feel this way? maybe it's trusting someone new? talking about painful things from the past? (just trying to throw a few things out there)

Another thing I wanted to ask is she on medication? While there is no specific medication for bpd alone however some medications can help with some of the symptoms that she may be experiencing. maybe having a review with a dr would help, again I would like to reiterate that everyone experiences bpd differently some of us take medication some of us don't, sometimes it helps sometimes it doesn't.

Having a routine of being able to talk to someone helps me like when I have psychotherapy once a week, I know that I will be having my session every week (for the foreseeable future anyway) and having that routine and knowing that I have that there helps, however in a crisis this is sometimes difficult for me but I have access to a team 9-5 monday - friday who I can to speak to on the phone although I understand that might not be a option for your friend. Do you know what options she does have in a crisis?

Having bpd is hard and it's great that you want to help your friend and have reached out to others to ask for help, I've given a lot of how I feel personally and what it is I do to maybe help you. I'm not sure where you are in the world so in terms of how people are treated may be differ from where I am.

Psychotherapy and CBT might be a good shout but encourage her gently towards this perhaps. Mindfullness is also something that I'm trying to learn I carry around a tiny piece of paper that reminds me to try and think before I act upon a decision (sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't). But I may be at a different point in my mental health recovery then your friends so this might not help her.

Living with bpd is hard and very exhausting for ourselves and unfortunately sometimes others around us, you obviously love your friend and I hope you continue to support her. I hope this may have helped in some ways.

Girl interupted

Well-known member
Nov 17, 2018
Buy your friend a journal. Wrap it up in pretty paper with a bow. Tell her she can write down her thoughts when no one is around to talk. She can use it to help her in therapy, as well as identify repeating themes or causes of pain. It may help provide her with an outlet and ease her frustration. And yours.