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Addiction and its relation to Borderline Personality Disorder

People with borderline personality disorder may turn to substance abuse as a way of coping with their illness, but in doing so, they only end up exacerbating their symptoms. If you or someone you know suffers from borderline personality disorder, it's important to get help from a professional to avoid the dangers of self-medicating with drugs or alcohol.

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) affects 2.7% of adults. About 78% of adults with BPD also develop a substance-related disorder or addiction at some time in their lives. These persons are more impulsive and clinically less stable than BPD patients without substance dependency. They display suicidal behavior to a greater extent, drop out of treatment more often, and have shorter abstinence phases. The combination of borderline personality disorder with addiction requires a special therapeutic approach. [1]

People with borderline personality disorder often have difficulty thinking clearly and making decisions. They may also find it difficult to control their impulses, which can lead to risky behaviors like drug or alcohol abuse. People with borderline personality disorder may turn to drugs or alcohol in an attempt to self-medicate and feel better, but in reality, these substances usually make them feel worse.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), people who suffer from borderline personality disorder (BPD) often have difficulty making and keeping friends, as well as feeling good about themselves. People with BPD can also engage in self-destructive behaviors or actions that make their life more difficult, like not taking care of themselves or getting into trouble with the law. These problems usually start to surface during a person's 20s.

People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) may have trouble knowing who they are, what they want and where they fit into the world. Their interests and values can change frequently, and they may see other people differently all the time as well. For example, someone with BPD may think a friend is an enemy one day and then think that same person is a friend again the next day. This makes it difficult to have strong, stable relationships with others.

Fear of abandonment can often result in a series of either rapidly initiating intimate relationships or cutting off communication with others entirely. If you find that you're struggling to connect with others, it may be helpful to seek out counseling or therapy to help address any fears that you have and learn how to connect with others in a healthy way.

Although the cause of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is unknown, researchers have found certain risk factors that may increase an individual's likelihood of developing the disorder. Although the presence of risk factors does not mean that a person will develop BPD, studies have found that the disorder affects women and men equally. Potential risk factors for BPD include genetics, brain chemistry, past experience, and environmental factors. BPD can be a difficult disorder to live with, but with proper treatment at the best psychiatric treatment centers in India, many individuals are able to find symptom relief and live healthy lives.

If you are a close relative of someone with borderline personality disorder, you might be more likely to develop the disorder yourself. Almost seventy percent of relatives of people with BPD also have BPD to a lesser capacity. While BPD can be inherited, environmental factors are also important for the development of the disorder. If you feel that you have the disorder, it is best to seek help from a professional at the best 10 rehabilitation centers in Delhi, who can help you cope with the disorder and manage it.

One of the most dangerous mental illnesses is borderline personality disorder, or BPD. BPD causes people to feel intense and unstable emotions and have wild mood swings. In some cases, they experience dissociation and derealization. Most people with BPD have trouble controlling their impulses and have a difficult time with stress and conflict management. BPD often overlaps with other illnesses like depression and anxiety, the most common being posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Overall, the probability of occurrence of a drug dependence (odds ratio [OR] 10.1) and alcohol dependence (OR 5.38) or a substance-related disorder in general (OR 4.50) is significantly increased among BPD patients compared with that in the general population [2]. Although BPD can be treated with therapy and medication at the top rehab centers in India, it's a long and difficult process. The primary treatment methods for BPD include dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT, and cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. Other treatment methods include medication and even hospitalization in the best rehabs in India.

There are a few risk factors that may contribute to the development of borderline personality disorder, one of which is exposure to traumatic or adverse life events. This can include physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, abandonment, and childhood adversity. Another risk factor is the environment in which a person is raised. This can include having a family life that is unstable or frequently disrupted, witnessing hostile conflict often, and/or being raised in a household with poor communication. A third risk factor for borderline personality disorder is genetics. Studies have shown that people with close family members who have borderline personality disorder are more likely to develop the disorder themselves.

Mental health disorders and addiction are unfortunately closely linked. For example, studies have shown that approximately 50% of people who suffer from borderline personality disorder also have a history of prescription drug use. Individuals with BPD constantly feel empty and disconnected from the world around them, and they may begin using substances as a way to cope with their emotions. However, using substances to cope with BPD will only make the symptoms worse in the long run. If you or someone you know is struggling with BPD, it's important to seek help from a mental health professional at the top 10 rehabilitation centers in India. With the right treatment at the best rehabs in Delhi, individuals with BPD can learn to cope with their symptoms in a healthy way.

People who use substances to cope frequently feel worse after the fact because their prior situations remain unchanged. Despite this, the use of substances tends to continue as individuals chase temporary relief feelings. This begins the cycle of addiction which can be very hard to break out of without help.

People often seek out unhealthy coping mechanisms, like substance abuse, to deal with difficult life circumstances. Although using substances may offer temporary relief, it typically leads to feeling worse in the long-run. That's because the original problem still exists, and people are just chasing after short-term relief. This can begin a dangerous cycle of addiction that's tough to break out of.

When someone suffers from borderline personality disorder, the symptoms can be amplified if they also have an addiction. This can lead to impulsive and destructive behaviors, as well as mood swings, depression, and a lack of concern for safety and health. Additionally, borderline personality disorder can cause instability, which can worsen when it co-occurs with an addiction.

Borderline personality disorder can be difficult to diagnose accurately as many symptoms closely resemble those seen in other mental health conditions. In order to get an accurate diagnosis, medical professionals at the best addiction treatment centers for drugs and alcohol in India often rely on interviews and exams to determine which symptoms are present and their possible causes. Because people with borderline personality disorder often act impulsively, patients with BPD may be resistant to treatment.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, or DBT, is an effective treatment for borderline personality disorder. This treatment is supported by evidence and has shown to be most successful in treating this specific disorder. Although other successful treatments exist, DBT has shown to be especially effective. DBT focuses on helping patients build skills needed for coping with strong emotions and behavioral regulation. The skills that are emphasized in DBT treatment include mindfulness, emotional regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness.

People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) often have trouble trusting others and maintaining relationships. This can make it hard to want to seek treatment, but it's important to remember that the symptoms and outcomes of BPD can get worse when drug or alcohol abuse is involved.

Alcohol-dependent patients with personality disorder are different from those without personality disorder in that they show an increased general psychopathological burden [3], an earlier onset [3] [4], more severe dependence symptoms [3] [4], a lower level of social functioning [5], more frequent use of other drugs [5] [6], increased suicidal behavior [4] [7], shorter periods of abstinence and more frequent relapses [6] [7], more frequent patient- and center-initiated treatment dropout [8]. Overall, the long-term prognosis of the dependence disorder is poorer [9].

If you or someone you know is struggling with BPD, please remember that there is help available at the top treatment centers for personality disorders / depression /anxiety/ post-traumatic stress disorder, and treatment can make a difference at these best rehab centers in India.

Addiction is a progressive disorder, which means that it worsens over time. However, there is help available at the best rehab in India. Top detox centers and rehab centers can provide addicts with the tools they need to get clean and start fresh. It's never too late to seek help, and with the right support at the 10 best psychiatry treatment centers in India, anyone can overcome addiction.

For more information on the same, please visit India’s best rehabilitation center and Delhi’s top treatment center for depression and personality disorders – Sanctum wellness and healing, New Delhi.


  • 1. Kienast T, Stoffers J, Bermpohl F, Lieb K. Borderline personality disorder and comorbid addiction: epidemiology and treatment. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2014 Apr 18;111(16):280-6. doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2014.0280. PMID: 24791755; PMCID: PMC4010862. Accessed on 13/01/2023 from
  • 2. Tomko RL, Trull TJ, Wood PK, Sher KJ. Characteristics of borderline personality disorder in a community sample: Comorbidity, treatment utilization, and general functioning. J Pers Disord. 2013 Epub ahead of print. Accessed on 13/01/2023 from
  • 3. Morgenstern J, Langenbucher J, Labouvie E, Miller KJ. The comorbidity of alcoholism and personality disorders in a clinical population: prevalence rates and relation to alcohol typology variables. J Abnorm Psychol. 1997;106:74–84. Accessed on 13/01/2023 from
  • 4. Preuss UW, Koller G, Barnow S, Eikmeier M, Soyka M. Suicidal behavior in alcohol-dependent subjects: the role of personality disorders. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2006;30:866–877. Accessed on 13/01/2023 from
  • 5. Powell G, Peveler R. Nature and prevalence of personality disorders amongst patients receiving treatment for alcohol dependence. Journal of Mental Health. 1996;5:305–314. Accessed on 13/01/2023 from
  • 6. Verheul R, Van den Brink W, Hartgers C. Personality disorders predict relapse in alcoholic patients. Addict Behav. 1998;23:869–882. Accessed on 13/01/2023 from
  • 7. Wilson ST, Fertuck EA, Kwitel A, Stanley MC, Stanley B. Impulsivity, suicidality and alcohol use disorders in adolescents and young adults with borderline personality disorder. Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2006;18:189–196. Accessed on 13/01/2023 from
  • 8. Tull MT, Gratz KL. The impact of borderline personality disorder on residential substance abuse treatment dropout among men. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2012;121:97–102. Accessed on 13/01/2023 from
  • 9. Krampe H, Wagner T, Stawicki S, et al. Personality disorder and chronicity of addiction as independent outcome predictors in alcoholism treatment. Psychiatr Serv. 2006;57:708–712. Accessed on 13/01/2023 from

AUTHOR- Dr. Danish Hussain (MBBS, MD Psychiatry, MIPS)
Dr. Danish received his M.D. Psychiatry and M.B.B.S. degrees from Rajiv Gandhi University of Medical Sciences (Bangalore, Karnataka). He has worked at the Manipal Multispecialty Hospitals Bangalore, following which has continued to undergo regular training from prestigious institutes from all over the world. Dr. Danish serves as Assistant Professor and Head of Department of Psychiatry at AFSMS & RC and is a member of Indian Psychiatric Society. Dr. Danish uses a holistic approach with his patients and brings his expertise at practice to treat varied behavioral health problems from Addiction disorders to Depression, Anxiety, Personality disorders and OCD. Dr. Danish’s goal is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them. And with this being his consistent vision, he believes in de-stigmatizing the field of addiction psychiatry and rehabilitation center treatment in India and has been managing and working at a licensed dual-diagnosis facility in New Delhi. Through his contributions to he aims at providing licensed, professional rehabilitative care choices to patients and their families.

REVIEWED BY- Sudipta Rath (M. Phil in Clinical Psychology)
Sudipta Rath has completed her MPhil in clinical psychology from Utkal University in Odisha (India) in 2020 and is currently practicing in New Delhi as a clinical psychologist at dual diagnosis facility. She is a licensed RCI practitioner specializing in all forms of psychotherapy. Addiction and mental health are personal subjects for her, and her goal is that she can give a helping hand to those seeking healthy and lasting recovery.

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