How to Find Borderline Personality Disorder Support

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Most websites for people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) will tell you how important it is to find BPD support. This is because social support is an important predictor of mental health.

But, research suggests that people with BPD have difficulties developing good support networks. It is not easy to find support if you have strained relationships with friends and family. So, where can you find support? Here are some ideas.

Support From Family

Yes, many people with BPD have strained relationships with family, either because of past trauma or because the symptoms of BPD can interfere with family relationships (or a combination of both). But look a little closer. Maybe you can’t get support from your immediate family, but are there aunts, uncles, cousins, step-siblings, or other extended family members that you can get support from?

Support From Friends

Some people with BPD have few friends because the symptoms of the disorder have gotten in the way of friendships. Others have friends but have difficulty reaching out to them for support.

If you don’t have enough friends, keep reading for ideas on how to find and build friendships. But, if you do have some friends, consider leaning on them for support occasionally if you don’t already.

Support From Professionals

If you have BPD (or care about someone who does), the importance of professional support cannot be underestimated. People with BPD need professional treatment; the symptoms of this disorder are very intense and you should not go it alone. If you don’t already have a mental health professional that you work with, learn more about finding a therapist so that you can have helpful discussions with them.

Borderline Personality Disorder Discussion Guide

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Support Groups

In addition to online groups, there are support groups in most communities for people with mental health issues. For example, the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) runs support groups. See the NAMI website for details on where to find one near you.

If you can’t find a support group focused on mental health issues, you can always attend groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous if you just need to be around people. Sometimes, you don’t even need to talk to feel supported.

Social Groups

Sometimes joining social groups that are not focused on support can help you make connections and friendships that can then turn into sources of support. For example, join a ski club, a hobby club, a book club, or a church group. Starting here will help you build a social network that you can turn to in times of need.


Sometimes the best source of support in a pinch is a telephone or online hotline. These are completely confidential and available twenty-four hours a day—something that is not always true for friends or other sources of support.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

There are also online hotlines you can use like the RAINN hotline for sexual assault and abuse.

Other Sources of Support

There are hundreds of other ways to find support, but it can be hard to come up with ideas when you are dealing with a crisis. Instead of trying to find support when you are under stress, make it a priority to think of ways to build support when you are not in a crisis. Where can you meet caring people who might make good friends?

For example, consider volunteering or other activities where you will meet people who care about the well-being of others. Once you have some ideas, push yourself to actually try some of these activities. You will be surprised at how quickly you can start to build a social support network when you push yourself to get to know people.

5 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Lis S, Bohus M. Social interaction in borderline personality disorder. Current Psychiatry Reports. 2013 Feb 1;15(2):338. doi:10.1007/s11920-012-0338-z

  2. Kay ML, Poggenpoel M, Myburgh CP, Downing C. Experiences of family members who have a relative diagnosed with borderline personality disorderCurationis. 2018 Oct 3;41(1):e1-e9. doi:10.4102/curationis.v41i1.1892

  3. King AR, Russell TD, Veith AC. Friendship and Mental Health Functioning. The Psychology of Friendship. 2016 Oct 24;249.

  4. National Alliance on Mental Illness. Borderline Personality Disorder. 2017.

  5. Gunderson JG. Handbook of good psychiatric management for borderline personality disorder. American Psychiatric Pub. 2014 Jan 15.

Additional Reading

By Kristalyn Salters-Pedneault, PhD
 Kristalyn Salters-Pedneault, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and associate professor of psychology at Eastern Connecticut State University.