If you or a loved one are struggling, we can help! Call us today at (855) 722-6926
If you or a loved one are struggling, we can help! Call us today at (855) 722-6926

Connection Between Borderline Personality Disorder and Drug Addiction

Connection Between Borderline Personality Disorder and Drug Addiction

There is a strong connection between borderline personality disorder and drug addiction.

As with many other mental illnesses, the BPD symptoms can be difficult to manage, and people with this mental disorder may begin abusing drugs or alcohol to cope with their symptoms. For some, this attempt at self-medicating helps them feel in control of such an erratic disorder. Unfortunately, borderline personality disorder and addiction make a horrible combination that often puts individuals in a worse physical and mental state than before.

Our drug and alcohol treatment center in Stuart understands the relationship between personality disorders and substance abuse disorders. That’s why we offer a variety of treatment methods that address both sides of the dual diagnosis spectrum.

What Is Borderline Personality Disorder and How Is It Diagnosed?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental disorder that’s characterized by impulsive behavior, severe mood swings, problems with self-image, intense emotions, and unstable relationships. People with BPD are also more prone to developing eating disorders, anxiety, and depression. There are several criteria that an individual must meet in order to be diagnosed with BPD:

  • Going to extreme measures to avoid abandonment
  • Feelings of detachment from reality
  • Impulsive behavior regarding romantic relationships, finances, substance abuse, and eating
  • Having a pattern of unhealthy and unstable relationships with others
  • Persistent and unstable self-image (goes beyond insecurity)
  • Recurring suicidal thoughts, behaviors, or ideation
  • Consistent feelings of emptiness or worthlessness
  • Difficulty controlling anger
  • Frequent erratic or unstable emotional outbursts
  • Frequent displays of extreme anger or constantly getting into physical altercations
  • Intense anxiety or panic attacks
  • Severe paranoia

These symptoms can worsen when drugs or alcohol are thrown into the mix. At Banyan Detox Stuart, we offer a variety of substance-specific treatments and programs to help individuals exhibiting symptoms of a dual diagnosis recover.

How Are Borderline Personality Disorder and Substance Abuse Linked?

At its worst, BPD can lead to self-harming behavior, eating disorders, and substance abuse. It’s common for individuals who have mental illnesses like borderline personality disorder to turn to extreme measures in an attempt to cope with their symptoms. One of the most common and dangerous of these coping mechanisms is substance abuse. While this form of self-medicating may seem like a good idea in the moment, it only causes further mental and physical problems in the long run.

There are two ways that the connection between borderline personality disorder and drug addiction can manifest:

Relying on Drugs and Alcohol to Self-Medicate

This is the most common link between BPD and addiction. It’s not uncommon for people with mental disorders to abuse drugs or alcohol to escape from their symptoms, even if it is temporary. Substances like alcohol, opioids, and benzodiazepines are all depressants that assist with pain relief and offer feelings of relaxation. When the person becomes accustomed to taking these substances for symptomatic relief, they begin to develop a physical tolerance and dependency. With continued use, the individual may eventually find themselves suffering from a co-occurring disorder, which is when someone has a mental illness and addiction. Drug or alcohol addiction treatment can help someone with a co-occurring disorder avoid any health-related repercussions.

Developing BPD as a Result of Addiction

While some may rely on substance abuse to treat symptoms of mental illness, others develop mental disorders as a result of a long-term addiction. Many drugs can change the chemical makeup of the brain, causing deterioration in cognitive and physical function. Normal functions like thinking, speaking, moving and even memory retrieval can all be affected by drug and alcohol abuse. A person’s physical appearance may also change as a result of using drugs like meth and cocaine. Any form of substance abuse can deteriorate physical health and worsen symptoms of a mental disorder like BPD.

If you or a loved one is battling addiction or a co-occurring disorder, call us today at 888-280-2360 for more information about our facility and different levels of care we offer.

Related Reading:

    How Long Do Drugs Stay in Your System?

    The Effects of Alcohol on the Heart

    How Drugs Affect Your Face

Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.