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Old 01-14-2019, 07:03 PM   #1
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Default Struggling with borderline mother

Hi everyone,
I am 26 years old and just recently learned (2 years ago) my mother was diagnosed with BPD. It is possible she has been diagnosed previously but I am not sure.
My biggest concern is that she was fired from her job 1 year ago and is not interested in working or looking for work. She is very irresponsible with money and has spent everything she has by shopping. I moved in with her in August and took over the bills, however, living with her has taken a toll on my mental health and I will be moving out soon. I know she feels like I am abandoning her but I have a baby on the way and I am terribly concerned about the effects of my stress on the baby.
Does anyone have any advice for me? I can't seem to find anything about people with borderline not wanting to work? I can not afford to support her financially much longer especially with new baby coming.
Thank you!
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:29 PM   #2
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Hello flower: I noticed this is your first post here on PC. So... welcome to Psych Central.

I don't know a lot about BPD myself. Perhaps other members, here on PC, will have some thoughts with regard to your concern. Based on what little I do know, though, I'm inclined to doubt there is any direct relationship between not wanting to have a job & BPD. (Perhaps I'm wrong about that & other members will correct me.) On the other hand, I would guess a person who has been diagnosed as having BPD could decide they don't want to work just like anyone else. Impulsiveness & emotional instability, as well as anger, are considered to be among the symptoms of BPD. Perhaps what your mother has decided in terms of her employment status is related to that.

You asked if anyone has any advice to offer & I don't know as I do other than to say that, at least from my perspective, your first responsibility is to your baby & to yourself. You can't force your mother to make good decisions. At some point I think she simply has to suffer the consequences of her actions. You wrote that you know she feels as though you are abandoning her. And that is more than likely the case since fear of abandonment is a hallmark of BPD.

Here are links to 5 articles, from Psych Central's archives, that (hopefully) may be of some help with this, the first 2 by our host Dr. John Grohol, Psy.D.:

Borderline Personality Disorder

Frequently Asked Questions about Borderline

How to Help a Loved One with Borderline Personality Disorder, Part 1

How to Help a Loved One with Borderline Personality Disorder, Part 2

Dialectical Behavior Therapy in the Treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder

I hope you find PC to be of benefit.
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:06 AM   #3
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Default Re: Struggling with borderline mother

hello and welcome to the forum.

I hope you get the answers you need- you're certainly posting in the right area

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Old 01-23-2019, 09:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: Struggling with borderline mother

It's not really about not wanting to work as much as it is it can truly be hard or even next to impossible to work, especially if she has any other mental health issues. Any personality disorder affects a person on almost every level - behavior, mood, thinking, beliefs, etc. Controlling these things is hard enough, trying to do it while having the stress of working on top of it usually ends up with the person ending up becoming unhealthy.

As to her inability to control her spending, that is usually associated with bipolar. Bipolar and borderline are often misdiagnosed as the other. Is the doctor sure it is BPD and not bipolar? I ask bc they went back and forth on the two diagnoses with me for years before they finally settled on BPD.

Anyway, it's worth looking into since both are similar in some ways but also different enough they are classed differently and treated differently.
Bipolar can also cause it to be hard to go to work until stabilized through treatment - and some people never truly get fully stabilized.

No matter what her issue though, it is her issue, not yours. If she is not in treatment and/or not following the treatment plan you can encourage her to do so, but ultimately it will be up to her. If she is truly unable to work, there are a few options - she can apply for disability, or she can go into housing for the disabled and/or apply for assistance through the state to help her with her financial and medical needs.

These are just a few ideas. I hope it helps. ❤
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