Borderline Personality Disorder and Drug Use

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a condition that causes people to have unstable perceptions of themselves and an inability to maintain relationships. Orlando residents with BPD are often highly manipulative and seek caretaking from other adults. Other symptoms of BPD include the following:

  • Anger and resentment against self and others
  • Desperate efforts to avoid both real and imagined abandonment
  • Suicidal behavior
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Difficulty controlling anger

BPD is a serious mental illness that requires professional treatment.

BPD and Drug Use

Many adults with severe mental illness also struggle with substance abuse. One reason could be genetic, as the same gene that puts people at risk for BPD may also increase vulnerability to substance abuse. Another explanation might be the need to self medicate and numb the intense and changing symptoms of BPD.
The combination of BPD and drug abuse creates a vicious cycle. When the BPD worsens, so does the addiction or risk of relapse. If an addiction flares, defenses against BPD such as coping skills and social support often diminish. Professional treatment of both conditions is usually necessary for recovery. Comprehensive care for BPD usually includes the following:

  • Medication
  • Longer stay than “one track” treatment
  • A high priority on relapse prevention
  • Therapy

One method used to treat BPD and substance abuse together is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). It combines standard Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques for emotion regulation and reality testing with meditative concepts such as distress tolerance, acceptance and mindfulness.

Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder and Addiction

If you or a loved one suffers from BPD or addiction, we can help. Recovery counselors are available at our toll-free 24 hour helpline to guide you to wellness. Please call today, and take the first step toward a life of health and wholeness.