Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Living with borderline personality disorder can be difficult. You may realize your behaviors and thoughts are self-destructive or damaging, yet you feel unable to control them. Treatment can help you learn skills to manage and cope with your condition.

You can help manage your condition and feel better about yourself if you:

  • Learn about the disorder so that you understand its causes and treatments
  • Stick to your treatment plan
  • Attend all therapy sessions
  • Take medications as directed and report to your doctor the benefits and side effects you experience
  • Practice healthy ways to ease painful emotions and prevent impulsive behaviors, such as self-inflicted injuries
  • Don't blame yourself for having the disorder but recognize your responsibility to get it treated
  • Learn what may trigger angry outbursts or impulsive behavior
  • Don't feel embarrassed by the condition
  • Get treatment for related problems, such as substance abuse
  • Reach out to others with the disorder to share insights and experiences
  • Keep up a healthy lifestyle, such as eating a healthy diet, being physically active and engaging in social activities

Remember, there's no one right path to recovery from borderline personality disorder. Usually, the best results come from a combination of treatment strategies.

The condition seems to be worse in young adulthood and may gradually get better with age. Many people with the disorder find greater stability in their lives during their 30s and 40s. As your inner distress and sense of misery decreases, you can go on to maintain loving relationships and enjoy meaningful careers.

Aug. 17, 2012