Explains personality disorders, including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support. Includes tips for helping yourself, and guidance for friends and family.
If somebody you know is diagnosed with a personality disorder, their thoughts, feelings and behaviour might make it hard for them to always maintain a good relationship with you.
Sometimes you may find it hard to know what to say or how to help. But there are lots of positive things you can do to support them:
"I have become very aware of my feelings and emotions but I often find it really hard to control them, like someone's taken over my head for a short time I then feel overwhelmingly embarrassed of my actions, and push people away to try and make myself feel better."
"Validate and try to be understanding – don't question my thoughts or views. Put yourself in my shoes. If those were the thoughts and feelings you were experiencing, how would they make you feel?"
"Tell me a problem you're having, let me be there for you for a change. Don't hold back sharing difficulties in your life, I am your friend after all. It will make me feel valuable and useful."
"Sometimes, when we don't know who we are, we don't know why we are doing what we are doing, it just takes a person with hope to see something behind those eyes, something we cannot see ourselves, to save us and tell us that we can be okay."
This information was published in January 2020. We will revise it in 2023.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.