In an era of heightened uncertainty and unprecedented circumstances, many struggle to manage shifting emotions and intense moods. For individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) already facing significant baseline emotional and interpersonal instability, the COVID-19 pandemic creates a host of new challenges.
According to Dr. Unruh, the coronavirus pandemic is uniquely difficult for those with BPD. It challenges the way these individuals feel held together and supported on a basic level. He offers strategies to support individuals with BPD during the pandemic.
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Dr. Unruh also answered questions from webinar attendees, including:
- The job market is pretty difficult at this point, but do you have any suggestions for the types of work that would best suit people who are living with BPD?
- How can family members respond to the negative behaviors associated with BPD without damaging the bond of trust that they have with that family member?
- Whenever my partner and I bring up creating a schedule and holding oneself to positive steps to our daughter, we get a fair amount of blowback and resistance. Oftentimes, this escalates into something that’s much greater. But when the BPD is actually driving and inciting change, things are going positively. Should it be something that we propose to our therapist as further intervention or treatment?
- When it comes to an emotional outburst, despite recovering really quickly, there are some pretty outlandish false claims and accusations that are made during these outbursts. There’s no recurrence of them between outburst episodes, and the individual doesn’t actually address it when there isn’t an outburst happening. Do you have any advice about how to approach these types of situations?
- An individual was diagnosed before a lot of the current treatments. Is it was possible to “age out” of symptoms as one gets older?
- What current literature or books would you recommend reading?
Learn more about borderline personality disorder:
- About BPD
- McLean Hospital’s BPD Patient and Family Education Initiative
- National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder
- Viktor Frankl: Man’s Search for Meaning
- Dr. Marsha Linehan: Building a Life Worth Living
About Dr. Unruh
Brandon Unruh, MD, is the medical director of the Gunderson Residence, an intensive, specialized residential program for women with severe personality disorders. His clinical approach is anchored in the integration of evidence-based treatments such as dialectical behavior therapy, mentalization-based treatment, and general psychiatric management.
Learn more about Dr. Unruh.
More COVID-19 Resources
It’s important to think about ways to manage your mental health during these difficult times. McLean is committed to providing mental health and self-care resources for all who may need them. You and your family may find these strategies from McLean experts helpful to feel mentally balanced and safe during the coronavirus outbreak.