Recovery is an ongoing process of change, where you will improve your health and wellbeing, direct your own life, and strive to reach your full potential. The more you engage with the process of recovery, the more successful it will be – it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

Recovery in the context of BPD means:

  • having a good understanding of your condition and how it affects you
  • gaining, and retaining, hope for the future
  • living a healthy life and practicing wellbeing
  • engaging in an active life
  • having a positive sense of self
  • finding a meaning and purpose in your life

Recovery does not mean a cure, it means learning how to live well with your condition.

With proper treatment, and commitment to getting well and staying well, you can live a full, happy life with BPD.

There are four key components to recovery:


The base for any person going through the recovery process is a safe, stable home. If you have problems with your home, you can call Shelter (the housing and homeless charity) for advice. If you feel unsafe in your home, you can speak with a domestic violence service (Refuge, Women’s Aid or Citizens Advice) or you can speak with your GP.

Health and Wellbeing

The key to recovery is understanding what BPD is, and how it affects your everyday life. By being aware of your triggers and responses, you are better equipped to handle difficult situations. A combination of medication and therapy, along with this knowledge, can help you deal with day-to-day issues. These treatments can help you to make healthy choices, which can help support your physical health and spiritual, mental and emotional well-being.

Meaning and Purpose

Knowing your meaning and purpose of your life doesnt mean knowing what career you should have, or whether you should marry or have kids. It’s about being able to take part in meaningful daily activities, and being able to partcipate in society.


A combination of medication, therapies and awareness can help you develop your confidence and self-esteem, and enable you to have relationships and a network of people who can provide love, support, friendship and hope.

These guidelines help support you through the recovery process, and it’s important to remember them throughout the recovery process:

  • Recovery is driven by you and how much you engage with the process
  • Recovery is holistic – it is the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of BPD
  • Recovery is supported by addressing and dealing with trauma
  • Recovery is supported by peers and allies – people who understand and empathise what you are going through
  • Recovery is based on dignity and respect – for you, the things you have gone through, and the strength that you have to keep going
  • Recovery involves many different aspects – including medication, therapy, peer support, wellbeing, families and relationships

Throughout recovery, you will find that you may be able to:

  • address problems as they happen, without feeling stressed or overwhelmed
  • be honest with yourself and your loved ones about how you feel
  • know which issues are your own, and which belong to other people
  • take time out for self-care, to restore your energy or take a mental health break

Remember, if you are struggling you can ask for help, and remember to practice self-care – practicing mindfulness, meditation or relaxation, taking time out for yourself, or to release any negative feelings.

It’s important to note that recovery is different for everyone. Use what works for you, and don’t compare your recovery to others – you are on a different path.

Recovery and Age

Recovery is different for everyone, and a big factor in the recovery process is age – not just your physical age, but also your age when you were diagnosed. Someone diagnosed at the onset of their symptoms will recover differently to someone who has lived with their symptoms undiagnosed until their 40s, 50s or later. Those diagnosed before the advent of CBT and DBT might have been subject to misdiagnosis or unsuitable treatments. Recovery is possible at any age.