Borderline Personality Disorder is one of the ten personality disorders that have been listed in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). To be classified as a personality disorder, the patient’s feelings, thoughts and behaviours are deemed persistent, problematic and pervasive in their day-to-day lives.
Being diagnosed with BPD or its traits is linked to specific self-identity problems, behaviours, relationships and emotional issues. The disorder occurs between 1-4% of the population and BPD symptoms usually first show up in late adolescence and peak in adulthood before getting better with age.
Borderline Personality Disorder and Co-occurring Disorders
BPD co-occurring disorder is the existence of two mental health disorders in a single individual. In a clinical sense, these two occurring conditions are categorically distinct. However, one condition may influence the other’s progression and treatment.
It is likely for BPD traits to occur with other mental disorders such as substance abuse, eating disorders and others. The frequency at which co-occurring disorders occur vary across gender. While men are more likely to suffer from substance use disorder, women with BPD are more likely to produce mood and eating-related disorders.
Borderline Personality Disorder and Substance Use Disorder
Having a psychiatric disorder increases the risk of substance dependence, according to research. Under the broad classification of substances, we have alcohol and drugs. Research further reveals that about 78% of adults with BPD develop a substance use disorder or addiction at some point in their lives.
As mentioned earlier, comorbidity varies with gender. Usually, men outnumber women in this particular comorbidity. Patients tend to use alcohol or and drugs to relieve emotional distress temporarily.
Borderline Personality Disorder and Eating Disorders
The comorbidity can first show up during adolescence and early adulthood. Research shows that around 54% of patients with BPD have a history of eating disorders. Also, BPD was shown to be occurring in around 28% of the people with bulimia nervosa and in about 25% of the people with anorexia nervosa.
Both eating disorders and BPD are associated with histories of trauma during childhood, such as sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. While the relationship between BPD and eating disorders is not causal, it is hypothesized that there may be some causality.
Just as psychological, environmental and biological factors influence Borderline Personality Disorder, the same can be said of eating disorders.
Borderline Personality Disorder Treatment
People with Borderline Personality Disorder can recover after being diagnosed and with proper treatment. Since BPD is a complex disorder, treatments vary across patients. Finding the right therapist and specialized treatment plan is important in therapy. The key treatments for BPD are medication, hospitalization and psychotherapy.