The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder
This book is for family members of a person with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Ms. Kreger discusses five tools to make home life more manageable for family members, and more constructive for the person affected with BPD.
Ms. Kreger spends the first half of the book discussing the clinical aspects of the disorder - the origin and cause of the disorder; symptoms and diagnosis of BPD, including why BPD is so misdiagnosed; how symptoms can differ by age and gender; how addiction and other disorders complicate BPD; all of the common treatments, etc.
The second half of the book focuses on five tools for family members to use to make home life more manageable for the family and more supportive of the person affected by BPD. Ms. Kreger then outlines how families can set boundaries and communicate differently in order to help themselves and their loved ones cope with this mental illness. Excerpts from the book are presented below.
Randi Kreger is a professional writer, family advocate, blogger and the co-author of The Stop Walking on Eggshells Workbook (2002), Stop Walking on Eggshells (2010, 2nd ed.), and Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing a Borderline or Narcissist (2011). Kreger blogs at Psychology Today and her own website, BPDCentral. Ms. Kreger is also a professional member at BPDFamily.com.
In researching this book, Ms. Kreger interviewed many of the preeminent experts in the field (including Drs. Robert Friedel MD, Blaise Aguirre MD, Jim Breiling PhD , Perry Hoffman MEd and John Gunderson MD), and also consulted with the staff at BPDFamily.com
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- Take Good Care of Yourself (Tool 1) In Chapter 7, Kreger discusses important concepts such as “don't take things personally”, “get in touch with your true feelings”, “accept what is, not what you hope to be”, and “attend to your own wellbeing and otherwise take of yourself". She wisely points out that before attempting anything with another person, we need to look at ourselves.
- Uncover What Keeps You Feeling Stuck (Tool 2) in Chapter 8, Kreger discusses things about us that make it difficult for us to navigate these relationships, and how to deal with them - things such as fear, obligation, guilt, shame, unhealthy bonding (low self-esteem, depression, codependency, etc.). She explains, in short, that we often get caught up in these relationships and are part of the dysfunction.
- Communicate to Be Heard (Tool 3) In Chapter 9, Kreger explores the very important aspects of how to effectively communicate with a very sensitive person. People with Borderline Personality Disorder often interpret common communications and actions as slights and defamation. Kreger outlines communication tools that would benefit any relationship - but are absolutely essential in a relationship with a person with Borderline Personality Disorder.
- Set Limits with Love (Tool 4) In Chapter 10, Kreger explores the very important aspects of how to effectively set "limits" in a relationship with a person that has very bad boundaries. People with Borderline Personality Disorder are well known for having unhealthy boundaries and expectations of others. In this chapter Kreger outlines tools that would benefit any relationship - but are absolutely essential in a BPD relationship.
- Reinforce the Right Behavior (Tool 5) In Chapter 11, Kreger Explains reinforcing the right behavior, and equally important, not rewarding bad behavior (which we often do). She also explains what “extinction bursts" are, and how to respond to them. This book also answers common questions that family members often have, in clear and simple language, regarding subjects such as the symptoms and treatment of BPD; why BPD is so often misdiagnosed; how symptoms can differ by age and gender; and how addiction and other disorders complicate BPD.