Remember that having BPD doesn’t define who you are. Treatment for BPD works, but it does take time and effort. These links are given as a guide to what may help you manage tough times. Please note that these resources do not substitute professional help and should preferably used in consultation with your treating team.
For information about treatments for BPD please go to the "Treatment for BPD" menu.
A number of self-help skills (mainly DBT) based sites are listed below.
is a community based driven organisation specialising in mental health support services. The Grow program is a holistic, group support model based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. (not BPD specific).
Coping skills help us to get through difficult times - they can provide an important break from mental and emotional distress.
The following suggestions / resources are given as a starting point for you to explore what works best for you.
When you feel floaty or separate or stressed or are dissociating learning to use your senses is a helpful way to ground yourself back in your body.
eg Touch: cushions, soft toys, squishy balls, play doh, pebbles.
Smell: essential oils, pot pourri, fresh mint leaves or lavender.
Taste: Fruit bowl, mints.
Sight: Beautiful images, art books, landscape books. Hearing: ipods or cd player and headphones with soft music, instrumentals.
Movement: swing, rocking chair, vertical jumping as on a trampoline
Using art: many people find art soothing when in distress either free drawing or completing mandala templates (available on the internet or books or aps). Free templates available for download (designed by a lived experience advocate)
Strategies for Coping with Distressing Voices. This poster was developed by the Hearing Voices Network Australia and offers a number of skills to help manage internal distress.
Lifeline offers a number of free self help tools, a coping kit and fact sheets on it's website.
Distress Tolerance Modules PROVIDED BY Facebook Support Group: DBT Skills Application
Links used with permission of Tasha 2018
Free Guided Meditation Smiling Mind. A modern meditation app that uses mindfulness to boost calmness, contentment and clarity. Available via Apple Store or Google Play
In Hand Taking you through different activities in times of stress or low mood, aiming to focus on where you’re at and bring back the balance. Available via Apple Store or Google Play
Note: this app was developed in the UK. The emergency contact numbers are for the UK but the content can be accessed from Australia.
Calm Harm (UK) uses the basic principles of Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) to provide tasks to help users resist or manage the urge to self-harm. (Please note the app is an aid in treatment but does not replace it)
Calm is a simple mindfulness app that brings clarity and peace of mind into your life. Available via Apple Store or Google Play Note: This app offers a free 7 day trial.
Breathe2Relax This app is centered around the basic concept that breathing into the belly—diaphragmatic breathing—provides deeper relaxation than does breathing into the chest. Designed mainly for use by individuals with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury, the app helps with mood stabilization, anger control, and anxiety management. It is a portable stress management tool with breathing exercises documented to decrease the body’s “fight-or-flight” stress response.
Fact sheet - A guide for women and their families
LifeSigns - LifeSIGNS Self-Injury Guidance & Network Support (UK) - a user-led small charity creating understanding about self-injury. Their mission is to guide people who hurt themselves towards new ways of coping, when they’re ready.
There are a number of either open or closed facebook pages that encourage mutual support. We suggest you search for one that is supportive for you.
You may find some of the following helpful:
Borderline Bravery is ran by a team of people with Borderline Personality Disorder from all across the globe. Their mission is to provide access to non-stigmatised resources and answers for other people with BPD.
A series of 4 online modules offered by The Centre for Clinical Interventions (WA Dept of Health).
Module 1: Understanding Distress Intolerance
Module 2: Accepting Distress
Module 3: Improving Distress
Module 4: Tolerating Distress
DBT Self help (USA) - a website written primarily by PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN THROUGH DBT, not DBT professionals.
Sirius Project.org (UK) - A collaborative, recovery-focused website for people with past or present experience of mental health problems and their carers. Our aim is to share the resources and ideas which have helped us. We now focus on all aspects of mental health as well as self-harm
Aguirre, B. & Galen, G. (2013). Mindfulness for borderline personality disorder: relieve your suffering using the core skill of Dialectical Behavior therapy. New Harbinger Publications. CA
Hoekstra, R. (2013). The Emotional Extremist’s Guide to Handling Cartoon Elephants: How to Solve Elephantine Emotional Problems Without Getting Run Over, Chased, Flattened. Hoekstra
Linehan, M.M. (2015) DBT Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets 2nd Edition . The Guilford Press, N.Y.
Spradlin, S. (2003). Don’t Let Your Emotions Run Your Life: How Dialectical Behavior Therapy Can Put You in Control. Oakland: New Harbinger
Van Dijk, S. (2011). Don’t Let Your Emotions Run Your Life for Teens: Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills for Helping You Manage Mood. Oakland. New Harbinger Publications
Sirius Project.org (UK) - A collaborative, recovery-focused website for people with past or present experience of mental health problems and their carers. Our aim is to share the resources and ideas which have helped us. We now focus on all aspects of mental health as well as self-harm.