My fiancee has Borderline Personality Disorder and OCD. Please help us.
Please be clear that our relationship, though it can be difficult, has so far successfully dealt with the behavior associated with her mental illness for four years. We are motivated to stay together and to work through this as individuals and a couple. Please refrain from simply advising us to part ways.
That said, there are two areas we need advice about. I am not a doctor and don't pretend to understand BPD or OCD or even which behaviors are caused by illness and which are her own free will. I'd like to better understand the illnesses and how others have dealt with being a significant other to someone who suffers from similar symptoms. The best advice would be in the form of your personal experience or books that recount other people's personal experience. Be advised that I don't tend to enjoy self help books or find them useful unless they are particularly thorough and not obvious. At this point, it's evident she's not improving as she ages. It's also not clear whether or not my behavior is helping her or enabling her in some negative way.
Secondly, she's been out of the care of mental health professionals since we have known each other. She is mostly functional, completed school and is entering her professional field as a distinguished and gifted practitioner. She wants help and recognizes the fact she needs help. I've been supportive, but have not pressured her to seek help outside of conversations we both respond possitively to. She's even agreed to times and dates when she would call a doctor and set up an appointment, but those dates always come and go with no action.
As much as we love each other and, in calmer times, can recognize our how well we've worked together, the symptoms she has are unbearable for her and have stretched my ample patience and tolerance very thin. Her OCD is relatively mild, but it's contentious when she throws out my belongings because of irrational fears. The symptoms of BPD, on the other hand, are not a minor inconvenience to either of us. In the past it has lead to promiscuity, drug use, self mutilation and suicide attempts. At present, it leads to scary ranges of emotions, irrational behavior that prevents her from socializing normally and delusional thought that dominates our day to day life. She's suffered long enough but can not help herself. I've learned that while I can help her stay mostly safe, I'd be kidding myself to believe she's any better off because of it.
How would you help a friend or loved one overcome such a fear to get professional help?
(A previous thread
on BPD and searches for OCD have yielded little in the way of advice on this specific problem. She is looking for a therapist who does DBT locally, but actually going is an entirely different story.)