From the U.S.: my wife had border line personality disorder and will not take her meds. her symptoms are getting bad. she had expressed thoughts of hurting herself and has been doing self destructive things, including cheating, cutting and obsession with white power groups. btw she is black and latina. What do I do?

A: I’m sure this is tremendously difficult for you. The symptoms of BPD include emotional dysregulation and unstable relationships. It’s very hard on anyone who loves the person. Your wife’s ethnicity has nothing to do with her symptoms. She is in the grip of her illness.

I hope she has a treating psychologist as well as a psychiatrist. She needs more than medications if she is to heal. She needs to learn skills to manage her feelings in ways that aren’t destructive. One method that has been found to be very helpful for people with BPD is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). You might look into finding a therapist in your area who has the training to use DBT. If your wife won’t go, please consider going yourself. You deserve to have some additional support as well as concrete information about how to be helpful to her.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie