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Parents of a teen or adult-child who has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder often feel guilty. There are cases where there has been neglect, abandonment, or abuse, and then there are cases where someone who did the best they could and did not abuse a child ends up with a teen or young adult-child who is diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.

Parents often feel such a responsibility to help their borderline children no matter how toxic and/or abusive a situation becomes.

Georgie, a mother of a 20 year old daughter with BPD writes:

“I really am at my wits end with this child of mine. I love you so much. I have done everything – absolutely everything I can for this kid and to no avail. She just refuses to admit she has problems. She continues us, her family, hostage. She won’t go to school. She hasn’t graduated from high school. She won’t help with household chores. She won’t get a job. She doesn’t pay rent. What on earth is going to happen to her? What are we supposed to do with her?

We did finally get her briefly to a psychiatrist. She was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. It was such a shock to us because she has not been abused or anything like that. All of our other four children are fine, thriving, healthy and functional. When she saw the psychiatrist – a total of five times in all – she was put on medication. Of course, she doesn’t want to take the medication.

She had been difficult to next to impossible to cope with or deal with or even have a conversation with. Now she is getting angrier. We don’t know why. She is starting to scare us. We are lost. We don’t know what to do? Are we going to have to kick her out of our house – what next, out of our lives? God, I can’t do that. But, I am also very aware that she is having a very negative effect on her younger brothers and sisters.

Thanks for all the work you do A.J., and I hope that maybe by posting this someone will comment or someone else will be moved to share their experience if they think they have some advice for us at all.”

Perhaps one of the most difficult and painful realities in the life of any family member with BPD is that you just can’t rescue them. You can’t make them go to therapy and stick with it. You can’t make them take the medication. And, people like Georgie and her family can’t very well support or continue to be held hostage to the borderline in their family. What are parents to do? Difficult choices for sure.

© A.J. Mahari (with the exception of what Georgie wrote) August 31, 2008.

Are you the parent of a teen or adult-child with BPD? Would you like to share some of your experience here to help others like yourself? If you would, please email

Parents of Those with BPD – What to do?