Addiction and mental health disorders have more in common than people think. Technically, it is called ‘dual diagnosis,’ but it may also be called co-occurring substance use and mental health disorder. The thought behind it historically was that people who have an addiction may also have mental health issues. Not everyone does, but it is more common than people think. Let’s look at how borderline personality disorder may be connected to people with addiction.
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
People who have BPD have a high level of instability emotionally. They can experience extreme highs or extreme lows and engage in dangerous behaviors. Either something is very right or very wrong, with a little gray area in the middle. People who suffer from BPD have a difficult time with relationships because they deal with extreme thoughts and feelings on a daily basis. BPD is related to similar disorders like Bipolar Disorder but is not completely related.
Treatment for BPD and Addiction
The benefits of BPD can include different types of therapy. When people with mood disorders work with underlying issues, the symptoms lessen. Rational Emotive Therapy (RET), for example, works with limiting beliefs or rules people create to understand life. Once people are conscious of their ways of thinking, they can work around self-limiting rules to accept gray areas. People are not ‘all right’ or ‘all wrong.’ Buried feelings find a voice and begin to heal. RIgid thinking is one element of BPD, which is unconscious. Building this belief system puts a wall up and keeps people from healing in a way that will help them make progress in recovery.
Trauma and BPD
When a person experiences trauma, that event may be so shocking, the person is not able to process it properly. The same vent may not have been traumatic to brothers or sisters but it was shocking to that individual. Creating some ways of looking at the experience that healthy can help a person who has addiction find other means of navigating their feelings rather than denial or addiction. Addiction can arise from the feeling of not being safe or wanting to numb the pain from the past. BPD can also developmentally and psychologically as a means of dealing with what has happened. It is helpful to address both mental health and physical issues related to addiction to have the best chances at recovery.
Don’t keep yourself stuck. If you are willing to work on the issues that keep you feeling trapped inside addiction, there is hope for mental health and healing. Substance addictions will naturally fade away. Substance addictions will not be helpful to escape any longer when a person is able to feel safe, heard, and valued as they are.
A Step in the Right Direction focuses on healing and recovery for people with mental health and addiction issues. We help you focus on elements of mental health and rehab that will be beneficial for you to keep you feeling stable to recover your life. For more information, sober living programs for men and women as well as recovery programs, call (877) 377-3702.