Resources and support

If you experience the symptoms of BPD, you may wish to try some of the following self-help tools and strategies that others with BPD have found useful. These suggestions are derived from an online survey conducted in 2015.

Identify and engage in things that help me:

  • Express/respond to my intense emotions
  • Distract myself
  • Distract by contact with other people
  • Comfort/take care of myself
  • Ground myself and focus
  • Stay focused
  • Relax/become calm

Focusing techniques

  • Do a body scan to identify what I am feeling in my body
  • Do a feelings check — what am I feeling in this moment?
  • Ask what five things can I see, hear, and feel?

Things that help me with my relationships

  • State a boundary and stick to it
  • Remove myself from a situation rather than say something I know I will regret
  • Apologise if I have done something that warrants an apology
  • Request (not demand) for someone to change something that isn’t working
  • If I am feeling rage, remove myself from the situation and wait until the feeling passes.

Things that help me remember to take care of myself

  • Remind myself to eat healthy food even when I don’t feel like it
  • Keep regular appointments with my support network even if I am feeling 'okay'
  • Reach out, speak with someone I trust
  • Take medication as prescribed (in consultation with prescribing doctor)

Things that help me when I am in crisis

  • Create a personalised crisis plan when I am well
  • Crying
  • Let someone know how I am feeling
  • Take medication prescribed for 'when necessary' (p.r.n.)
  • Kick cardboard boxes around outside.

Things that help me to relax

  • Meditation, yoga, breathing techniques
  • Listening to music.

Things that help me comfort myself

  • Pick/ buy fresh flowers
  • Pat an animal
  • Cuddle a soft toy
  • Eat a favourite treat
  • Have a soothing drink
  • Change the sheets on my bed
  • Look myself in the eyes in the mirror and say: 'it's okay to feel this way'
  • Have a bubble bath
  • Speak to myself like I’m a distressed, small child
  • Use perfume/hand cream
  • Wear comfortable clothes
  • Sing favourite songs
  • Hold a safe, comforting object
  • Prayer
  • Sit in a safe place
  • Write in my diary or speak with another (empathic) person
  • Hug someone/hug myself
  • Keep the light on/music on to sleep.

Things that help me distract myself

  • Watch a movie (or re-watch something familiar)
  • Exercise — walking/running/dance/stroll on the beach
  • Gardening
  • Do puzzles or a hobby.

Things that help me with my anger

  • Punch a pillow
  • Find a private place and scream (e.g. in the car)
  • Cut a block of wood
  • Shake like a dog.