Borderline Personality Disorder and Addiction
Borderline personality disorder or BPD can be a debilitating condition that continues to eat away at a person’s overall quality of life. As one of the more emotionally distressing personality disorders, people struggling with this condition contend with inner emotion turmoil on an ongoing basis.
Addiction, in and of itself, breeds instability over time and can quickly send an already emotionally volatile person over the edge. For these reasons, it’s important for anyone struggling with borderline personality disorder and addiction to seek out needed treatment help sooner rather than later.
Features of Borderline Personality Disorder
Someone affected by borderline personality disorder has an ever-changing sense of identity and self-worth. Much of this stems from a need to base one’s self-concept on how other people perceive them.
As highly sensitive individuals, these conditions make it especially difficult for someone with borderline personality disorder to form and/or maintain stable, genuine relationships, according to the Journal of Current Psychiatry Reports. In effect, the main features of borderline personality disorder all but drive a person to seek out escape through the effects of drugs or alcohol.
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Whether alcohol- or drug-based, addiction in any form creates pronounced chemical imbalances in the brain that ultimately disrupt a person’s physical and emotional well-being. While drugs, such as cocaine and heroin affect the brain and body in different ways, the overall effect remains the same driving a person to engage in compulsive drug-using behaviors.
Considering how addiction has a cumulative effect on brain functioning over time, someone dealing with borderline personality disorder and addiction will likely experience the very worst of what these two conditions have to offer.
The Combined Effects of Borderline Personality Disorder and Addiction
Basing one’s identity on the feelings or behaviors of others leaves BPD sufferers reacting to what goes on around them on a continuous basis. With borderline personality disorder and addiction, this reactive nature intensifies to the point where a person’s choices and behaviors become more so impulsive than anything else, according to the U. S. National Library of Medicine.
The fragile, emotional disposition that characterizes borderline personality disorder can leave a person open to suicidal thoughts and acts when difficult emotions seem overwhelming. In effect, BPD suffers often resort to self-injuring behaviors, such as scratching and cutting in order to cope with emotional turmoil. Under these conditions, suicidal thoughts and acts can quickly increase in intensity and frequency when addiction is present.
Ongoing attempts to gain approval and validation drives BPD sufferers to be manipulative and dramatic in their interactions with others. As with any type of personality disorder, people struggling with BPD are not aware that their outlook and behavior differs from that of other people.
According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, these behaviors ultimately lead to damaged relationships, both on a personal and professional level. With borderline personality disorder and addiction, a person can quickly destroy his or her quality of life; family, work and friendships included.
If you or someone you know struggles with borderline personality disorder and addiction, the need for treatment help is critical. Please don’t hesitate to call our toll-free helpline at for information on available treatment program options.