Supporting someone with a personality disorder

Two people touching hands

In a previous blog we looked at the types of personality disorders, the causes and treatment. In this blog we look at how you can support someone living with a personality disorder and signpost some resources you may find useful.

Supporting a loved one with a personality disorder or mental health condition

Individuals with a personality disorder may struggle to maintain a healthy relationship with their friends or family. It can be hard to know how to support or help them. It is important to try not to be judgemental and to be as understanding as possible, their behaviour and feelings may not make sense to you but acknowledging that they are experiencing them is a good way to show you value their feelings. Be patient and talk to them compassionately when an individual is struggling to deal with their emotions. Help them seek treatment, support and appoint an advocate if appropriate.

Helping tackle the stigma of personality disorder

Personality disorder is a complicated diagnosis and comes with a stigma. Your loved one may have to deal with other people’s misconceptions on top of coping with their own mental health problem. By learning more about personality disorder, it can help beat the stigma and help you to understand them better. Learning their triggers will enable you to plan ahead and avoid negative situations.

What does it mean to be someone’s advocate?

Having a mental health diagnosis can sometimes make it difficult for people to express their wants and wishes. Sometimes a person’s requests for key parts of their life like a support plan or treatment plan can be misunderstood or hard to explain.

An advocate supports an individual to help them express their views and help them understand their rights. As an advocate you will listen to the individual you are supporting, help them explore what options are available and provide them with the appropriate information to make informed decisions. You can help to contact relevant people on their behalf and may accompany them to meetings and appointments.

Friends, family, carers or professional advocates (this service is free and confidential) are all able to act as an advocate for someone.

There is different types of advocacy services:

  • Statutory advocacy such as Independent Mental Health Advocacy, Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy and Care Act Advocate services should always be available locally.
  • General advocacy is also available and is there to help with issues such as care work, generic advocacy, community advocacy or short-term advocacy.

Find out more about advocacy here.

Supporting yourself as a carer

In this video from Mind Chloe, Ally and Kate talk about what it’s like to care for someone with a mental health problem and how they look after themselves.

Supporting someone with a personality disorder can be challenging at times. As a carer, friend, or family member of someone living with a personality disorder, you might find that you also need support. You can request a ‘Carer’s Assessment’ from your Local Authority to access additional support services. Carers4PD is a voluntary service dedicated to providing information, support and advocacy for carers of people diagnosed with a personality disorder.;
Yahoo chat group:
Email[email protected]

You can also find more information and support at ‘Personality Disorders UK’




Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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