Ask Me Anything About Emotional Regulation and BPD

Available with English captions and subtitles in Chinese, Hindi, and Spanish.

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is fundamentally a disorder of instability, whether in relationships, emotions, behavior, or self-regulation. These instabilities can impact not just our day-to-day, but our relationship with our loved ones.

So how can we acknowledge our vulnerabilities, control our impulses, regulate our emotions, and continue on a journey of healing? And if we are supporting a loved one, how do we go about helping them?

Audience Questions

Lois W. Choi-Kain, MD, MEd, discusses overcoming challenges with emotional regulation, provides skills to improve interpersonal hypersensitivity, and answers audience questions about emotions and borderline personality disorder.

  • What are some of the telltale signs of emotional dysregulation? How can we tell if we, or a loved one, are struggling with emotional regulation?
  • What are the short- and long-term impacts of emotional dysregulation if we don’t address or treat it in a timely manner?
  • A member of my immediate family has a diagnosis of bipolar II, but many of her symptoms seem exactly like BPD. Is this common? Should I address the possibility of this with her provider?
  • Do you have any suggestions for the family members of individuals living with BPD to remain stable and not ride the rollercoaster along with their loved ones?
  • What treatment methods have proven to be successful in treating BPD?
  • Why is there not a greater acknowledgment of BPD as a trauma disorder? It seems like this may contribute to the stigma around BPD and may make people think they’re the problem—not the trauma they potentially endured.
  • It seems that there is a lot of overlap between symptoms of PTSD and borderline personality disorder. How do professionals know if someone has one diagnosis instead of the other?
  • My teenage sister has BPD. She has recently isolated herself and refuses to open up about her feelings. How do we encourage healthy conversations about emotions and feelings in our house in a way that will benefit and help her?
  • What are your top three tips for people who find themselves having a difficult time regulating their emotions?
  • I find myself having a much shorter fuse than usual. I can’t figure out if it is stress manifesting in anger or if there is something bigger going on. Is there a way to manage this annoyance and anger that I feel when presented with situations that wouldn’t have elicited an angry response a few years ago?
  • As a clinician, how can I increase engagement and trust with my patients who are struggling with BPD?
  • I’m a clinician, and I want to learn more about helping my patients and understand BPD better. Are there upcoming training sessions or workshops that I can join?

The information discussed is intended to be educational and should not be used as a substitute for guidance provided by your health care provider. Please consult with your treatment team before making any changes to your care plan.


You may find this additional information helpful:

About Dr. Choi-Kain

Lois W. Choi-Kain, MEd, MD, is the director of the Gunderson Personality Disorders Institute. With her mentor, John Gunderson, Dr. Choi-Kain developed a training program for general psychiatric management (GPM), a generalist treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD) that any mental health professional can be trained to provide. She has also led a number of projects to increase access to care worldwide through teaching, supervision, and consultation.

As an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Choi-Kain actively conducts research on BPD. Her research focuses on personality disorders, attachment, psychotherapy, and accessibility of care.

Learn more about Dr. Choi-Kain.

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