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Suzy’s lived experience

Suzy is 54 years old, lives in NSW and identifies as a family member of a person living with BPD.

 

What is your relationship with someone with BPD?

My husband has BPD.

 

What was your experience of the person you care for receiving a diagnosis?

He received the diagnosis before I met him.

 

What would you like carers who are struggling to accept the diagnosis of BPD to know?

Understanding BPD to the best of your ability can help make living with your loved one a little easier.

 

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?

Aim to be supportive. Don’t say things like ‘Just get over it’! Try not to take things too personally – it’s an illness. They often don’t have the skills to stop saying or doing certain things while they’re in distress.

 

What did clinicians and mental health professionals do well to support you?

Made suggestions for my own wellbeing – advised me to nurture and support myself, and to remember to make time for myself.

 

 

What can clinicians and mental health professionals offer to better support you?

Offer respite and counselling.

 

What self-care strategies work for you?

Meditation. Having a break. Alone time. Going for coffee and connecting with friends.

 

With the wisdom of hindsight what ‘words of wisdom’ would you offer carers struggling to support someone with BPD?

Try and get help before a situation gets out of hand if possible. Support them on their treatment plan. Consider natural therapies and good nutrition. Be alongside for the journey.

 

 

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