Carlie is 40 years old, lives in VIC and identifies as the parent of a person living with BPD.
What is your relationship with someone with BPD?
My child has BPD.
What was your experience of the person you care for receiving a diagnosis?
She was diagnosed in an inpatient unit and was not given any treatment or information. I was told in a very time-limited meeting. We already suspected but we were shocked at the lack of treatment options given.
What could have made the experience of receiving a diagnosis better?
A meeting, understanding of diagnosis, empathy, compassion, pathways and linking to the right services. Linked into carer support.
What would you like carers who are struggling to accept the diagnosis of BPD to know?
Self care and compassion is so important. Guilt is something that I grappled with. Seeing a therapist helps, joining a support group either in person or online is helpful.
What would you like carers who are struggling to support someone with BPD and feeling overwhelmed to know?
Skill yourself up in self regulation and communication. Our beautiful BPD kids are our biggest teacher. You will grow in ways that make you a better person and a master communicator. It can feel like a roller coaster. Strong and loving boundaries are needed.
What did clinicians and mental health professionals do well to support you?
Just validation, kindness, compassion.
Are you receiving support in your caring role? What support did you receive/ access?
A psychologist that is part of the care team for my daughter.
What can clinicians and mental health professionals offer to better support you?
Nothing more than kindness, compassion and advocacy at this stage.
What self-care strategies work for you?
yoga, meditation, walking in the forest, and truly caring for myself
With the wisdom of hindsight what ‘words of wisdom’ would you offer carers struggling to support someone with BPD?
Self-compassion, do you own inner work.