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Borderline Personality Disorder And Addiction
Borderline Personality Disorder is one of the common mental illnesses that people who struggle with addiction experience. It can be hard to figure out if the mental disorder existed before the addiction, or if it was caused by the addiction. But no matter what, any type of behavioral disorder can happen when someone abuses a substance.
This article discusses the relationship between addiction and borderline personality disorder and how to fix them. The article also talks about the causes of addiction and borderline personality disorder.
What Is Borderline Personality Disorder
Borderline personality disorder can be associated with the word “chaos.” People with this disorder often have a distorted image of themselves and their community. They are also highly impulsive and temperamental, which can make their relationships with others very hostile and unhealthy.
The other traits observed when a person has this mental illness include:
- Extreme emotions felt
- Broken relationships with family, friends, and loved ones
- Broken image of oneself
The Signs of Borderline Personality Disorder
It is quite challenging to determine if addiction or borderline personality disorder came first. Regardless of which came first, you need to have at least five signs to be diagnosed with this mental disorder.
Here are the signs of BPD:
- A shifting and distorted image of self
- A great fear of being left alone and isolated
- Has a high tendency of practicing risky and unhealthy behavior
- Distrust of other people
- Highly temperamental
- Show signs of being suicidal
- Impulsiveness and quick change in mood
- Feeling empty and worthless
What are some symptoms that can be both seen in BPD and addiction?
- Broken relationships with other people and loved ones
- Highly temperamental
- Indication of sudden and frequent mood shifts
- Highly manipulative
- No longer cares for oneself
Linking Addiction and Borderline Personality Disorder
The boundary between addiction and borderline personality disorder can be vague. This is because some symptoms are present in both conditions and oftentimes overlap. Moreover, substance abuse can elevate the symptoms of this co-occurring mental illness.
Based on statistics, the three most abused substances by patients with BPD are illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Approximately, 78 percent of people with BPD are also suffering from substance use disorder. This is an alarming situation considering how addiction can amplify the negative traits accompanied by this mental illness.
If one is diagnosed with BPD, it is best to tell your physician or therapist about it, so that a separate treatment can be given for treatment.
Statistics on Addiction, Alcoholism, and Borderline Personality Disorder
The United States has one of the highest cases of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Below are some statistical data showing the prevalence of BPD and addiction in the area.
- In a population of 43,000, around 2.7 percent of it is having BPD
- There has been a report showing a higher risk of acquiring BPD when the person has any of the following conditions: low financial status, younger than 30 years of age, divorced, and low academic recognition
- 75 percent of BPD patients are women
- Based on the population of BPD patients, 63.5 percent are also diagnosed with alcoholism and substance use disorder
Triggers for Borderline Personality Disorder
Various triggers can worsen the symptoms of BPD and addiction. Knowing these triggers can help you avoid them, which can help prevent a relapse. Some of the triggers for BPD are:
- Broken Relationships
This is also called interpersonal distress where a person has a great fear of being rejected or left by their loved ones. This condition is highly uncontrollable because it will depend on how the two persons handle relationship hurdles and overcome them.
- Traumatic Past Experience
This is also called cognitive triggers where it pertains to traumatic past experiences of the individual. Once the person constantly has a glimpse of these negative past events, it can induce borderline personality disorder.
Ways of Handling Triggers of BPD
It is always a daunting task to handle and manage triggers of any behavioral and mental disorder. However, learning how to cope through lifestyle changes and therapy can help ease the symptoms of this mental illness.
Below are the three main steps one can adapt to efficiently handle BPD triggers:
- Identification of the Trigger
The therapist will assist you in pinpointing the triggers for BPD to occur. The patient will secure a journal where all sessions and activities done with the therapist will be written down. The list of triggers will also be written in this journal.
- Crafting Strategies to Manage the Triggers
The patient can still be assisted by a therapist or counselor in developing coping mechanisms when faced with a trigger. Below are some examples of healthy coping mechanisms:
- Joining community extension services
- Listening to relaxing music or instrumentals
- Acquiring new hobbies and skills
- Keeping healthy and open communication with loved ones and friends
- Recognizing the presence of the negative emotion or thinking, then counting 20 to 1 with slowed breathing to one’s senses
- Staying Away from Triggers
A person who is fully aware of one’s condition and the triggers that can activate it has a higher chance of avoiding this to happen. It takes self-discipline and awareness of one’s weaknesses to efficiently handle BPD triggers.
Treatment Options for Borderline Personality Disorder
When you struggle with borderline personality disorder and addiction, it can be difficult to find peace and happiness. You may feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster ride that never stops. Your relationships are always in turmoil, and you may even hurt yourself or attempt suicide.
This is the reason why it’s important to find a dual diagnosis treatment center that can help you with both your BPD and addiction.
There are various treatment options available for co-occurring disorders. Seeking professional help is vital to ensure that you get the most comprehensive and effective treatment for your unique needs.