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Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a chronic mental illness that causes emotional instability. Mood swings, fear of abandonment, and poor self-image associated with BPD can lead to drug and alcohol abuse. Addiction treatment and borderline personality disorder must address both conditions.

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline personality disorder is a serious mental and emotional condition that leaves sufferers without a solid self-identity and a mortal fear of being abandoned. People with BPD are often impulsive, have intense chaotic relationships, poor self-image, and experience mood swings throughout their lives. They may also appear to be clingy, needy, and emotionally volatile. Some of the symptoms of borderline personality disorder are similar to those of bipolar disorder such as extreme mood swings.

Many people suffering from borderline personality disorder report childhood abuse, neglect, and/or traumatic separation from a parental figure. More than 40% of BPD patients reported being sexually abused at a young age. Risk factors for BPD include:

  • Abandonment as a child or teen
  • Disruptive or chaotic family life
  • Close family member with BPD
  • Poor family communication
  • Sexual abuse

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 1.6% of the US adult population has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Less than half (42.4%) of those diagnosed are receiving treatment.

Are your emotions out of control? Do you have emotional outbursts? Do you use drugs and alcohol to cope with emotional pain? You may have a mental health disorder combined with an addiction. Call Recovery Connection’s helpline 866-812-8231 to speak with a trained coordinator. The right substance abuse treatment program changes lives for the better. Don’t wait another minute, call now and gain control of your feelings and stop the addiction.

Signs and Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

Could I have borderline personality disorder? Read the following and honestly answer yes or no.

  • I am afraid of being abandoned
  • I use drugs or alcohol to cope with emotional pain
  • I feel badly about myself
  • I often feel bored and empty
  • I can’t stand being alone
  • I often have angry outbursts or feel angry and resentful
  • I have intentionally hurt myself
  • I am afraid of being rejected

If these symptoms sound familiar, you or someone you love may be suffering from borderline personality disorder.

Borderline Personality Disorder and Addiction

People suffering from borderline personality disorder may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with emotional distress. Substance abuse may make users feel like they are easing their emotional pain, but only for a short time. Physical withdrawal symptoms leave users craving more of the drug to stop the pain. This cycle of use, withdrawal, and more use creates a physical addiction to drugs and/or alcohol on top of an emotional dependence.

Dual diagnosis is substance addiction coexisting with a mental health disorder. Thirty percent of all addiction treatment facilities had dual diagnosis services in 2009 (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, SAMHSA). Proper dual diagnosis treatment at a quality drug and alcohol rehab facility can help someone suffering from borderline personality disorder and addiction along the path to recovery.

Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder in Addiction Rehab

BPD Treatment commonly involves individual counseling, group counseling, and/or behavioral therapy to help the patient cope with underlying causes of addiction and borderline personality disorder. Antidepressant, mood stabilizing, and antipsychotic medications might also be prescribed.

Recent research shows that dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) can be an effective treatment for borderline personality disorder. DBT emphasizes how limited linear or black-white thinking is. It teaches sufferers of BPD to think in terms of either-or instead of both-and.

For people suffering from borderline personality disorder and addiction, a dual diagnosis treatment program in addiction rehab is needed. Quality addiction rehab treatment must include:

  • Medically supervised detox
  • Physiological and psychological evaluations
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Behavioral and cognitive therapy
  • Family therapy
  • 12-step meetings
  • Life skills training
  • Relapse prevention
  • Aftercare plan

Looking For Treatment?

It is time to end useless suffering and get the help you need now. Call Recovery Connection and ask a trained addiction specialist how we can help you find the right addiction treatment program for your needs. Our helpline is open 24/7, calls are confidential, services are free. 866-812-8231

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