Information for families and friends (carers)

Information and resources for families, friends, supporters and kin who are supporting a person living with borderline personality disorder (BPD) or emotional dysregulation.

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Who are these pages for?

The term carer is used on this website to refer to the diverse range of relationships of those who support someone living with BPD in a voluntary capacity. It is inclusive of biological/non-biological family members (parents, grandparents, children and extended family), spouses, partners, friends and supporters.

You also may not identify yourself as a 'carer' and rather feel that you're doing what anyone would do when you care about someone else and that's absolutely OK.  However, mental health services may refer to you as a carer.

When it comes to finding information about personality disorder online, it can be challenging to find information that is reliable.

Spectrum has a range of evidence-based resources for people living with BPD, as well as for family members/partners/friends/kin/supporters, professionals and educators. Much of what you read here has been written by a carer consultant who has lived experience of supporting a family member with BPD. The information reflects her own, as well as the experiences of many other carers that she has worked alongside.

This content is provided for your information. Everyone’s experience of BPD is different. Likewise, experiences of living with and supporting a person living with BPD are also extremely varied.

Some information may not resonate for you at this time. We encourage you to also explore the other sites listed in the resources section.


A note about language ………. Everyone’s experience of BPD is unique and their way of understanding what is happening may be different to yours. It’s best to check in with each person and ask them the ways they wish to talk about themselves and their experience of BPD.

The way we use language is very powerful. 

People living with BPD may sometimes perceive well-meant comments as being judgmental and minimising their struggles.  Criticism, sarcasm, blaming, etc.,  tends to harm relationships.  Relating to someone in a calm, curious, non-judgmental way and focusing on strengths tends to be be the most effective approach.

Strength-based language examples

Strength-based language

What can I do to support someone living with BPD?

There are a variety of skills we can learn to respond to the person living with BPD in way that supports healthier relationships.  Click on the links below to find out more.

Brochures for families and friends (carers)

Follow the links below to access our brochures for carers. Please contact Spectrum if you require physical copies.