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Is there Support Groups Available to Family Members?
Several support groups can be found through the hospitals that treat patients with borderline personality disorder. These types of support groups offer family to family open discussions that allow members to share with one another ideas that are formed from their own experiences. Family members can find understanding and encouragement from other members. They can also offer support to others in the groups. This is also a nice way to meet other families who can offer friendships that can last a lifetime. Special activities may also be offered outside the group meetings. Fund raisers are sometimes organized from these type groups to help educate the public about this mental disorder.
There are also professional facilitated support groups for families with a member who has borderline personality disorder. They are lead by mental health professionals who educate the families on how they can help their loved ones. They discuss issues that are important for the families to be aware of and offer advice on coping strategies. Sometimes they may offer other mental health professional speakers to come in and speak on other topics that are related to this disorder.
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What Other Kind of Support is Available to Family Members?
One on one counseling borderline personality disorder family support is also available. Sometimes family members need help in coping with the effects of dealing with the stress and pain they experience when a close relative has this mental disorder. A professional counselor or therapist can help them come to terms and deal with their own emotions.
The topics in this kind of support focus on the family member rather than on the person suffering from the disorder. The therapist can help the family members deal with the anger, guilt and embarrassment that is sometimes associated with living with a family member who suffers from the disorder. The therapy sessions may be anywhere from once a week, to once a month, and for however long it takes for each of the family members to get the help that is required for their needs.
Sometimes these sessions can expand to family group therapy for more than one family member. The family may be asked to come in one at a time or as a group. This will depend on the individual needs of each family member and the family needs as a whole. The goal of this type of counseling is to help the family realize they are not the cause and should not blame themselves for the disorder their relative suffers from, and that there is a life after diagnosis.
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Conclusion of Borderline Personality Disorder Family Support
It is important to remember that it can be overwhelming at times for family members of patients who have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Seeking support for themselves, allows them to be able to be there for their loved one.
Just remember, that if you are a family member, you are not alone, and that while your loved one is in treatment or recovery, you can benefit from the services that are available to you too.
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John G. Gunderson M.D.
The Borderline Personality Disorder Resource Center New York Presbyterian Hospital – Westchester Division