Mental health illnesses have continued to gain more attention in the news in recent times due to its adverse impact on individuals and the society.

However, many people have taken the bold step to break the silence and stigma surrounding mental health disorders such as borderline personality disorder (BPD). Most mental ailments affect individuals’ capacity to function normally, make sound judgements, and enjoy high life outcomes. In particular it can affect addiction recovery.

This article will help you understand Borderline Personality Disorder and how it can impact your ability to overcome your addiction.

Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness that is characterized by individuals lacking the ability to control their feelings and emotions leading to them engaging in troublesome behaviours and inability to establish and maintain social relationships.

It is a chronic ailment that can last several years or be lifelong. If you are a recovering addict the disorder can impede your recovery process based on your inability to make informed judgments. For instance, if you are a recovering alcoholic, due to inability to control emotions you might develop a strong urge to drink alcohol or use drugs to escape your feelings of emptiness or anxiety. 

Signs and Symptoms

Borderline personality disorder primarily affects how you feel about yourself, how you behave and how you relate to others.

Consequently, you will display several signs and symptoms including impulsive and risky behaviours, social isolation, frequent mood swings, irritability, feelings of emptiness, inability to control your temper leading to physical fights and aggression, suicidal thoughts, and patterns of unstable relationships.

The stated signs and symptoms can impede your addiction recovery journey contributing to an addiction relapse. Nevertheless, with cognitive behavioural therapy, social support, intrinsic motivation to break the dysfunctional patterns of emotions and behavior, and taking borderline personality disorder medication you can manage your disorder and addiction recovery with fewer difficulties. 

Causes and Risk Factors

Similar to other mental health disorders the causes of borderline personality disorder are not fully known. However, it can be linked to genetics, brain abnormalities, and environmental factors. Studies suggest that personality disorders are strongly linked to genetics.

Your family genetic history may make you vulnerable to developing personality disorders. Environmental factors such as past child abuse, neglect, unresolved childhood issues, and dysfunctional family may trigger the development of personality disorder. Finally, brain abnormalities have also been shown to bring about personality disorders. Changes in the brain’s chemical balance such as Serotonin levels may affect mood regulation.

Furthermore, poor development or malfunctioning of different parts of the brain such as the Amygdala, the Hippocampus, and the Orbitofrontal Cortex have been linked to the disorder. The three parts are responsible for emotion control, behavior control and decision making respectively. Thus, as a recovering addict with borderline personality disorder it is imperative to avoid exposure to stressful situations and triggers.

Development of Secondary Illness

Mental health illness is linked to other forms of ailments especially when not managed well enough. If you have borderline personality disorder then you risk suffering from other mental ailments such as depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorder, and bipolar disorder. 

Moreover, it can lead to you drowning further into alcohol and drug abuse limiting your chances of making full addiction recovery. 

Published on Holr Magazine