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Ralph LMHC
Ralph LMHC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 872
Experience:  20+ years as therapist, supervisor, clinic director at mental health, substance abuse treatment ctrs
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I think my adult daughter has borderline personality

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I think my adult daughter has borderline personality disorder. I have just found out that she again has told people that I was very hard on her growing up and used examples that the school wanted to call the child protective agency because of all the bruising on her, that I bit her on more than one occasion, causing her to bleed once, that I wrote a letter to her and that in that letter I confessed I really didn't love her.... None of this is true. I am in such shock. I actually thought we had a close relationship. I did have a horrible divorce with her father fifteen years ago. She was 14 at the time and, to hurt me, her father would tell her I loved her brother more than I loved her. He actually was sporadically verbally abusive to his daughter and son. This was the reason I divorced him and learned to dislike him. I could never understand how he could do this. And what made it worse was you never knew when it would happen. I don't know what I can do to help her or me.


First lets define Borderline Personality Disorder which is thought to be learned behavior which unlike other mental illnesses are more genetic in nature, The hallmark of BPD is the instability of interpersonal relations,;extreme swings in emotion and mood from extremely good to extremely bad with anger, depression and anxiety; there is an increased chance of self harm or risk taking behavior (it is quite possible that the physical injuries you described were self inflicted).; attention seeking; and possible transient psychotic episodes. I have enclosed a link with more details:

The first thing that you can do to help yourself is to stop blaming yourself and give up the concommittant guilt that goes with it. You have no control over her behavior. You can feel conditional love while at the same time abhorring her totally inappropriate behavior. If you continue feel unjustly responsible, depressed and guilty, you may wish to seek individual therapy for yourself. I would suggest that it be a therapist who uses cognitive behavioral techniques. In CBT you learn new ways of thinking and acting and as a result there is an improvement of mood. Here is some information on CBT:

As far as your daughter is concerned, in the past the outlook was candidly somewhat bleak. However over the past few years a new an effective means of treatment was developed which has proved fairly successful called Dialectal Behavioral Therapy.

See .

You need to not empower her or reinforce her behavior by giving it credence and reacting to it. If she is able to make you react emotionally rather than rationally then her illness is reinforced. I hope that this information has been helpful, but again there is reason to believe that with the correct help both of you will do better!


Ralph LMHC

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
She doesn't really think she has a problem although throughout her teenage years and adult years (she's 28) other mental health specialists have thought she was bipolar and one doctor wanted to hospitalize her. But, she absolutely believes the bad things she says about mostly me, but she will say something bad about someone and then months later say everything is fine. But, I always seem to be spoken about in a negative way, without my knowledge. Why is it mostly me? And, if she doesn't think it is something she needs help with, is there really anything I can do?

I anticipated this question and previosly answered it. If it does not come through let me know and I will repost.


Ralph LMHC