Breaking down the stigma, one area at a time

Photo: We are delighted to introduce Maria-Paule Valdivia and her presentation "Borderline Personality Disorder: A Case for Hope."

I had the honor of being invited to speak about BPD, DBT and my family’s experience this past weekend, at the Annual Conference of the Southwestern Pennsylvanis NAMI Affiliate. How progressive of this group of wonderful people, to feature BPD on their program!

And indeed, how positive in its outcome: many from the audience of about 300 consumers and family members representing many different diagnoses, came up to me afterwards and expressed appreciation and surprise: many had thought of BPD quite differently, and didn’t realize 1) how painful the illness is, and 2) how effective the treatment can be. Also, family members with a relative who struggles with severe emotional dysregulation expressed much hope and great desire to learn how to help their loved one.

To those of you I have met in my Family Connections and TeleConnections classes, please know that I was carrying your stories of pain and love in my heart as I was up on this stage!

To all: what can you do to break down the stigma in YOUR area? Can NEABPD  help?

Controversial and Accurate Discussion of Stigma

Ironically, it is clear that improving attitudes and behaviors of Clinicians surrounding BPD could potentially have the greatest and most positive impact on stigma.  A lack of understanding of the disorder or knowing how to treat people with BPD, has resulted in the use of derogatory terms and negative attitudes that have exacerbated stigma.

It is up to Clinicians themselves to undo the damage that has been done. These are compelling thoughts that can be potentially freeing and empowering for BPD patients and informative to Clinicians and Families.

Take a listen.

Many family members report liking this book…

Today I am simply passing on a recommendation from families to other families. Especially for the many family members who are waiting for an opening in NEA’s Family Connections class or a TeleConnections class, we are posting this as class leaders often hear about it in very positive terms from families currently taking the classes. Feel free to let us know what you think, in the comments below, for others to read.

Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder: How to Keep Out-of-Control Emotions from Destroying Your Relationship


“More than many other disorders, BPD affects relationships. This book offers families and friends invaluable skills for helping both their loved one and themselves. Dr. Manning has done a beautiful job. A ‘must read.'”–Perry D. Hoffman, PhD, President, National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder
“Try out the recommendations this book gives you. You will be surprised by how much better your relationships become.”–from the Foreword by Marsha M. Linehan, PhD, Director, Behavioral Research and Training Clinics, University of Washington
“The title says it all! Dr. Manning explains what she has learned about the true nature of BPD from the experts themselves–those who have the disorder. She shows family and friends how our instinctive responses to the crises associated with BPD are frequently ineffective or even harmful, and illuminates what we can do differently, providing practical, incisive, step-by-step guidance. We highly recommend this book.”–Jim and Diane Hall, parents of an adult child with BPD and Family Educators for the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder

“An extremely useful and highly readable guide….Manning paints vivid portraits of how an encounter with someone with this affliction might go….It has offered me, as a therapist, plenty of ideas….[An] aid to understanding and humanizing a complex condition.”–Human Givens

(Human Givens 20110701)

“This hopeful yet realistic book is an indispensable tool for managing relationships with persons who have borderline personality disorder. Research based, clearly written, and practical, this guide to a complex disorder is highly recommended.”–Library Journal

(Library Journal 20110701)

What is Borderline Personality Disorder? Four Families Tell Us

How did Borderline Personality Disorder affect these four families? Four families affected by BPD talk about very difficult moments in their lives. they share their stories in the hope that other families in similar circumstances might benefit. We are extremely grateful to them for allowing us into their lives. 

Please feel free to share your thoughts about how this is helpful to you and your family.

This video is part of a series produced by in conjunction with NEABPD, to offer support and help to families who are living with borderline personality disorder. The full series can be purchased and viewed here: