Borderline disorder – parent’s guide
Feeling like giving up, for being hated one day and loved without limits the next, is what parents usually account about their children with borderline traits. For families dealing with a Borderline disorder – diagnosis, this feeling is all too familiar. The constant waves of intense feeling and acts can leave anyone feeling helpless and hopeless.
Many families impacted by Borderline disorder often find themselves feeling guilty, hopeless, exhausted, tired, ashamed, and confused. Not to mention, there is the impact of seeing their child involve themselves in self-destructive behaviours. In studying parental feelings towards Borderline disorder, many parents report two main areas of difficulty, Guilt and Boundaries:
Borderline disorder – Guilt:
While all families who are impacted by mental health hold some form of guilt, parents impacted by Borderline disorder report more internalised guilt. Feelings of guilt are usually associated with the rapid change of emotions expressed by a child diagnosed with Borderline disorder. For example, your daughter did present extreme anger when you had to leave for a work conference, thus forcing you to internalize those feelings in a way, that you are a “bad mother for working.” Oftentimes guilt leads to the unconscious promotion of negative borderline behaviours, thus making the behaviours appear more frequently.
Borderline disorder – Boundaries:
For parents, boundaries are considerably difficult to have with children. As a parent whose child has been diagnosed with Borderline disorder, holding a boundary may appear to be the most difficult aspect of the diagnosis. Since self-destructive behaviours often categorize Borderline disorder, many parents have a consistent fear of their child seriously harming themselves. As parents, the feeling of protection is innate and sometimes uncontrollable. The impact of the behaviour weighs heavily on the parent-child relationship.
As a parent, what can you do to support your child that is currently impacted by Borderline disorder?
Borderline disorder – Support
Seeking supportive therapy is the key to success. Supporting your daughter in seeking treatment and reminding her, that you are in this together is already the foundation of beating Borderline disorder.
Borderline disorder – Limitations
Next, hold strong on boundaries, even when it is difficult to handle. As parents, it is important to communicate these boundaries with your child and the entire family. Having support provides a strong structure in which treatment can be more effective. (Seeking your own professional support regularly allows you to develop concrete boundaries and manage your own emotional reactions.)
Finally, always remember: You are not meant to be your child’s therapist, life coach, or teacher. You are meant to be a parent, providing love, encouragement, and unconditional support.
I also found this brochure: https://www.camh.ca/-/media/files/guides-and-publications/borderline-guide-en.pdf