This post contains a list of BPD support groups:
Social support is an important predictor of mental health for everyone, but especially for people with borderline personality disorder.
What Is BPD?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-5-TR) is the standard reference that therapists of all specialties use to diagnose mental disorders of all kinds.
The DSM-5-TR defines Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) as “A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. (Note: Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.)
2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.
3. Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.
4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating).
(Note: Do not include suicidal or selfmutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.)
5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior.
6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
7. Chronic feelings of emptiness.
8. Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).
9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.”
Online BPD Support Groups
- “Society of BC” offers borderline personality disorder virtual peer support group to offer hope, validation, shared experience, and skills. Drop in format and no registration.
- “Emotions Matter” offers BPD Peer Online Support Group Program. Register for a peer support group.
- “7cups of tea” offers Personality Disorders Support: Discussion & Forum.
- “Borderline Support UK” offers confidential online BPD support group, which can be found on Facebook.
In-Person BPD Support Groups
There are support groups in most communities for people with borderline personality disorder.
- “The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI)” runs support groups. Visit the NAMI website for details on where to find one near you.
- “Society of BC” offers borderline personality disorder in-erson peer support group in Canada (Victoria, Nanaimo, Vancouver, New Westminster)
- “Rethink Mental Illness” offers Borderline Personality Disorder Support Group in Derbyshire, UK twice a month on the first and third Monday of the month between 7pm – 9pm.
Pro tip: If you can’t find support groups focused on borderline personality disorder, you can attend mental health support groups or Alcoholics Anonymous if you don’t need to talk and just need to be around people.
You may also consider using your lived experience to help others.
- Emotions Matter’s BPD Volunteer Peer Group Facilitators: Emotions Matter offers support groups co-facilitated by two volunteers with lived experience of borderline personality disorder. For more information about volunteering.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 for support and assistance from a trained counselor.
Related: Top 7 Skills For Coping With BPD [+ BPD FREE Resources]
List of Helplines
Is Online Therapy For Borderline Personality Disorder As Effective As In-Person Therapy?
In 2018, a meta-analysis compared the effectiveness of online and in-person therapy for depression and several types of anxiety, such as social anxiety.
The study looked at a particular type of therapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is an evidence-based therapy approach that helps patients change their negative emotions by changing their thoughts and behavior.
The study found that there is no difference in patient satisfaction whether therapy is online or in-person and for either method, the outcomes are better the more sessions the person attends. (source)
A major benefit of BPD online therapy can be the option to access unlimited chat and emails with your therapist with guaranteed express replies from your therapist, which is not something you may benefit from in traditional therapy.