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Borderline Personality Disorder and Drug Abuse

Borderline Personality Disorder and Drug AbuseBorderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental health issue characterized by long-term patterns of unstable emotions and self-image. To be diagnosed with BPD, you must meet certain criteria set out in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The actual causes of Borderline Personality Disorder are unknown; however, genetic, social and family situations are thought to be contributing factors.

Borderline Personality Disorder and Comorbidities in Des Moines Residents

The rate of Borderline Personality Disorder with a co-occurring disorder is extremely high in comparison with other mental health issues. According to a 2007 National Comorbidity Survey by Lenzenweger, Lane, Loranger and Kessler, approximately 85 percent of individuals with BPD also struggle with another mental health issue such as depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, antisocial personality disorder, or anxiety disorders.

Many Des Moines residents who struggle with BPD may turn to drugs or alcohol in order to alleviate or dull the symptoms of BPD. The following are some of the symptoms of BPD and how they may lead to drug or substance abuse:

  • Feelings of emptiness, boredom, and loneliness – Alcohol and substance abuse give you something to do and seem to provide an outlet from the feelings of emptiness and loneliness. Substance abuse can also give the Des Moines resident a feeling of euphoria, providing a short-term fix to their desperation or boredom.
  • Impulsiveness – Impulsive behaviors are increased with BPD. Des Moines residents with BPD are more likely to be impulsive and to act out in ways that could be detrimental to their well-being (e.g., drug and alcohol abuse).
  • Suicidal ideations and attempts – Des Moines residents who struggle with suicidal ideations also struggle with some type of substance abuse because alcohol and drugs temporarily dull the pain.
  • Anxiety – Des Moines residents often use alcohol or drugs to self-medicate themselves rather than actually dealing with their anxiety. Depressants (e.g., alcohol) can temporarily reduce anxiety; however, substance abuse does not provide a permanent solution for anxiety.
  • Unstable relationships – Alcohol and drugs are a commonly used method to dull pains and to try to forget. Relationships marred by past abuse, abandonment, or unfaithfulness can lead to chronic alcohol or drug abuse.

Treating Co-occurring Disorders in Des Moines Residents

Although Borderline Personality Disorder and substance abuse or addiction often co-exist, it is extremely difficult to identify and diagnose both issues because so many of their signs and symptoms overlap. BPD patients and substance abusers both typically struggle with feelings of loneliness or emptiness, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, poor relationships and self-image, and impulsiveness among other things. It is important that both or all (if more than two) of the issues are addressed. If BPD is treated and managed, but alcoholism or addiction is not, the Des Moines patient will be unable to maintain BPD management. If addiction or alcoholism is treated, but Borderline Personality Disorder is not treated, he will have difficulty maintaining long-term sobriety.

When looking for a treatment center to treat co-occurring disorders, it is essential that you find a Dual Diagnosis treatment center that will address both substance abuse issues and any other co-occurring or underlying problems so that you can attain and maintain long-term sobriety while managing your mental health issue. Quality treatment centers will provide detox, counseling and therapy, and aftercare, all of which are essential in treating any mental health or substance abuse issue.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Help for Des Moines Residents

Quality Dual Diagnosis treatment centers are becoming more prevalent across the United States. To find a reputable treatment center known for treating comorbidities, call our toll-free helpline. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help Des Moines residents find a treatment center that will meet their individual needs. Call today!