Mental health conditions are some of the most common underlying contributors to alcohol use disorder (AUD). Co-occurring disorders, like borderline personality disorder (BPD), affect how you think and feel, making you more vulnerable to self-medication if you do not get the proper treatment. Unfortunately, combining alcohol with mental health disorders is a recipe for disaster.
If you are struggling with borderline personality disorder and AUD, Confidant Health’s virtual medication-assisted treatment for alcohol use can help you get back in control. Our online depression treatment and alcohol rehab allow you to receive the support, therapy, and medication you need to manage these conditions right from the comfort and privacy of your home. Download our app today to find out more.
What Is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental health condition in which a person struggles to regulate their emotions. They may have distorted perceptions of themselves and others, act impulsively, and exhibit disproportionate anger, making it challenging to maintain healthy relationships.
According to a 2018 article in Nature Reviews Disease Primers, approximately 1.7% of the general population has borderline personality disorder. Among those who seek professional help for their mental health, it is estimated that 15% to 28% struggle with BPD.
What Causes BPD?
There are several factors that can contribute to a person's risk of developing borderline personality disorder. Some potential causes of BPD are:
Inadequate levels of certain brain neurotransmitters are believed to increase one's risk of BPD. Serotonin, one of the feel-good hormones, is considered to play an especially important role. Researchers have also discovered that people with BPD had differences in size and activity of three areas of the brain: the amygdala, hippocampus, and orbitofrontal cortex.
A family history of borderline personality disorder can make you more likely to develop this mental health condition. It is usually correlated with BPD in a close family member such as a parent or sibling. Having parents who struggle with substance use disorder or mental health issues can also increase one's risk of developing BPD.
A person can develop borderline personality disorder as a result of their upbringing. A supportive home environment that exposes children to loving relationships can decrease the chances of a person learning unhealthy relationship behaviors, such as reacting with anger and impulsivity when conflicts arise. On the other hand, children who witness turbulent relationships fraught with harsh words and actions may pick up those behaviors and infuse them into their own relationships. Childhood trauma, such as neglect, sexual or physical abuse, or witnessing violence, can make people more susceptible to developing BPD later in life.
How Does BPD Impact an Individual’s Behavior and Perception?
Borderline personality disorder affects how a person thinks and feels about themself and others. Poor self-image is one of the core symptoms of BPD, causing a person to struggle with insecurity, feelings of emptiness or worthlessness, and fear of rejection or abandonment. Since they may view themselves as inadequate or undeserving, they may also feel that others are judging them negatively. One woman with BPD explained that basic social interactions, such as paying for items at her local grocery store, were overwhelming and anxiety-inducing.
Emotions can run high due to difficulty with emotional regulation, leading to feelings that swing on a pendulum from intense love to deep hate. This can make for turbulent relationships since a person with BPD struggles with emotional balance but also fear losing their partner and go to extreme lengths to keep them. One person with BPD described feeling as though their “mind is a rollercoaster of emotions.”