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Communicating Accurately and Sensitively about Personality Disorder Prevention

Dear amazing social media volunteers and staff of PDAN,

I hope you’ll be interested in reading this. All comments welcome!


PDAN’s Facebook page is doing great. Thank you so much for your excellent work. Please continue!!

PDAN has grown to over 28,000 friends or followers on Facebook. Our messages also reach the friends of our friends. The magnifying effect of social networks is such that for instance this month PDAN’s messages already reached over 1 million people in social media. We also had several days when over 100,000 people were talking about our posts (= liking, commenting, sharing, etc.)

PDAN aims to communicate to parents and families interested in protecting their children from the risks of personality disorders. Many people wonder and ask us about the nature vs. nurture origins of these disorders. We do our best to refer them to expert literature. We post links to professional articles, with short explanations. If you have any suggestions, please let us know.

We usually post articles or videos that people can read and understand and to some extent, repeat or share with their friends. PDAN’s goal is to spread clear messages about prevention of personality disorders. This is a communication job. We work hard to improve the “marketing” of research about personality disorders – finding ways to talk about these things so that people will be interested and want to continue discussing them.

Our constituency is made of 5 different groups of people who often have very different views on all this:

1) People with personality disorders (diagnosed or undiagnosed – correctly or incorrectly…)

2) People in family relations with #1, taking care of them or trying not to!

3) Children in contact with #1, and others at risk of becoming #1.

4) Mental health professionals and family law professionals.

5) Corporations (pharmaceuticals, therapy centers,…), family foundations and grant organizations.

PDAN’s focus is #3 Children. To reach them, we need to talk with all the other groups.

People in high-conflict divorces are also an interesting group. Their emotions toward or against BPD, NPD, etc., can swing pretty fast.

Some of our posts are just “feel-good” posts, expressing compassion for #1, patience for #2, and resilience for #3 above. Some posts are references to solid research articles.

There are also defined lines between:

A) People (from group #1 or #2 above) who take care of themselves and attend therapy.

B) People who should go to therapy but categorically refuse and can’t be forced to go.

C) People who pay to alleviate the suffering of personality disorders in their families (pay for insurance, therapy and medication).

D) People who get paid to provide services or products for this whole community.

As you can imagine, we have to be very sensitive to speak in a language that all these groups of people can understand and accept, without closing the door on us. PDAN focuses primarily on families and individuals, more than on professionals, a group already served by groups such as NEABPD, at least for BPD. (Other groups are needed for NPD, APD, etc.) Yet we want our message to be in sync with professionals.

PDAN is presently involved in an effort to donate free children books to foster care centers. This project is funded by a grant we received from a pharmaceutical company (Pfizer). If you have any special information for foster care centers, please let us know.

I initially wrote this text for a psychiatrist interested in our work: Dr. Andrew Chanen, expert in prevention of BPD, based in Melbourne, Australia.



President, PDAN

  1. As a parent with a PD (BPD), this is an important subject to me. I am constantly worried that I will pass it on to my children through my actions etc. I do my best to remind and correct myself on it when “my BPD is showing”; buy it can be very difficult. Especially since my oldest has ADHD and; I don’t know what I am and am not supposed to be doing.

    I would love to see tips or some kind of help for parents who have a PD on how to hopefully prevent passing it on.

    What should I do? What shouldn’t I do?

    Also, just some all around helpful ideas and tips for PD parents with children who have a disorder themselves, or when children act up etc. We love our children yet sometimes it’s hard to stop yourself from yelling etc; and then feel horrible. I personally am tired of it. 🙂

  2. Hi Starr, Thank you for your comment expressing your concern… Have you seen PDAN’s Facebook page: ? Or simply search in Facebook for PDAN Families.

    We try to provide answers to your questions through our posts on that page.

    PDAN has also run a test of online peer support last spring, exactly for parents like you: parents who have intense emotions or a diagnosis of BPD, have young children at home, and want to be better parents. This test of e-mentoring went quite well according to the 20 or so people who participated in it.

    We hope to do it again sometime this fall. It was quite intense on our staff, so we have to make sure we have the proper support.

    Besides this, PDAN also recommends specialized parenting courses. We have partnered with an organization that offers such courses online. Please try and let us know what you think

    Or you can also take general parenting courses: Active Parenting, Connection Parenting, or Love and Logic. These are helpful for all parents, and can help reduce the amount of “yelling” at home.

    Best of luck to you and your children!

    By the way, it is fairly common that when a parent has BPD or traits thereof that one of the children have ADHD. This is why PDAN has published a children book about ADHD:

  3. This is very helpful. Thank you for sharing this informative piece. Parents and/or guardians living with family or friends that have Personality Disorders need this type of discussion for them to be aware of this type of disorder. I highly appreciate this.

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