BPD and Addiction Treatment in South Florida

Personality is the unique aspect that distinguishes each individual. It encompasses a range of characteristics that shape our thoughts, attitudes, emotions, behaviors, and interactions with the world around us. A well-developed and healthy personality enables us to navigate through daily life successfully, fostering positive relationships, accomplishing tasks, pursuing our passions, and overcoming challenges, especially in times of stress.

However, individuals with personality disorders face additional difficulties in carrying out these day-to-day activities. They often struggle to meet life’s demands, cope with stress, and establish meaningful connections with others. These struggles can lead to immense distress, feelings of depression, and isolation.

Unfortunately, in many cases, individuals may turn to substance abuse as a means of coping with their challenges. It is alarming to note that nearly one in four individuals with a personality disorder also grapple with a substance use disorder simultaneously. Specifically, 38% of those diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), a specific type of personality disorder, also experience substance addiction. When substance abuse and personality disorders coexist, they are referred to as co-occurring disorders or dual diagnoses.

The impact of personality disorder and addiction can make loved ones feel as though they have lost the person they once knew, as these conditions can cause individuals to behave like strangers at times. If someone you care about is facing these intertwined conditions, you may find yourself questioning why this has happened to them. You may also be uncertain about what to expect or where to seek help.

To effectively address the connection between substance addiction and personality disorders, it is crucial to gain a comprehensive understanding of each condition. By doing so, you can equip yourself with the knowledge needed to provide appropriate support and seek the necessary help.

At Ambrosia’s Neuroscience Institute in West Palm Beach, FL, our BPD and addiction treatment center offers effective levels of care that can help you effectively manage symptoms of a personality disorder and substance use disorder to regain control of your life.

A personality disorder is a mental health condition that impacts how an individual perceives and responds to the world around them. It is characterized by a persistent pattern of abnormal, unhealthy, or risky thoughts and behaviors. This disorder significantly hinders a person’s ability to function effectively.

As stated in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a personality disorder is defined as a long-lasting pattern of inner experiences and behaviors that deviate greatly from cultural expectations. These disorders are pervasive, inflexible, and remain stable over time, causing distress or impairment in the individual’s life. The DSM also notes that personality disorders typically emerge during adolescence or early adulthood.

To have a personality disorder diagnosis, the following criteria must be met:

  • The person experiences significant impairments in self-identity or self-direction, as well as interpersonal functioning
  • They must possess one or more pathological personality trait domains or trait facets
  • The impairments must be stable over time and across a variety of situations
  • The impairments must not be understood as a normal part of development
  • The symptoms must not be caused by a person’s environment, medical condition, or substance abuse

The DSM-5 documents 10 types of personality disorders, and divides them into three different categories depending on the types of symptoms they produce.

Characterized by odd, eccentric behavior, including:

  • Paranoid personality disorder
  • Schizoid personality disorder
  • Schizotypal personality disorder

Associated with dramatic, erratic, and overly emotional thoughts and impulsive behaviors:

  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
  • Histrionic personality disorder
  • Narcissistic personality disorder

Includes any personality disorders defined by chronic feelings of anxiety and fear, such as:

  • Avoidant personality disorder
  • Dependent personality disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive personality disorder

Various symptoms are produced by each personality disorder. Nevertheless, as previously mentioned, the majority will impact an individual’s capacity to cope with stress, fulfill obligations, and establish significant connections. Furthermore, they may hinder one’s progress towards life objectives. Consequently, managing can prove to be challenging.

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental health disorder that distorts the way you view yourself and the people around you — often making it difficult for you to regulate emotions or sustain meaningful relationships. The characteristic symptoms of BPD can make it difficult to diagnose correctly, greatly affecting the quality of life for sufferers.

BPD is a mental health condition and type of personality disorder that affects the lives of 4.6 million adults in the United States. This disorder affects the ways individuals view themselves, their relationships, and other people. One of the hallmarks of this disorder is an exacerbated fear of abandonment, which can trigger irrationality, mood swings, and sometimes intense feelings of anger. Typically people with this disorder have difficulty regulating their emotions and behavior and have a poor self-image.

Professional treatment is necessary for anyone suffering from a mental illness, addiction, or both. If left untreated or misdiagnosed, various health complications can arise from mild to severe.

Personality Disorders vs. Mood Disorders

There is no doubt that personality disorders and mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder, are some of the most common mental health conditions. However, it is important to understand that while these two types of conditions may seem to share many similarities, they are very different from one another.

For example, personality disorders, such as BPD, impact an individual’s ability to properly regulate their emotions and behaviors, leading to interpersonal consequences. Mood disorders like depression affect an individual’s general mood and demeanor but do not impact their behaviors and relationships in the same dramatic way. Additionally, mood disorders are believed to be primarily caused by biological makeup, whereas most personality disorders are caused by environmental factors like abuse and other forms of trauma.

The most important thing to consider when attempting to decipher between personality disorders and mood disorders is to be aware of what the symptoms of each condition are. Those with a borderline personality disorder will exhibit symptoms much differently than those with a mood disorder.

Benefits of Mental Health Treatment in West Palm Beach, Florida

Signs and Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline personality disorder shares many symptoms with other mental illnesses, making it difficult to diagnose appropriately. However, there are specific characteristics of BPD that help mental health professionals identify the disorder. These characteristics relate to a person’s behavior, mood, and how they interact with others.

Symptoms of BPD generally present in early adulthood, though they may be present in childhood or adolescence. Oftentimes, a personality disorder presents alongside other mental health issues, such as:

Signs and symptoms of borderline personality disorder and substance use disorders include:

  • Rapidly shifting ideals, identity, or image
  • Going to great lengths to avoid separation, isolation, or rejection in interpersonal relationships
  • Continuously engaging in unstable relationships; idealizing partners one moment and suddenly viewing them as bad, cruel, or uncaring the next
  • Threats of suicide or self-harm
  • Mood swings that can persist for anywhere from a few hours to a few days, and can include intense rage
  • Poor self-image that can include feelings of worthlessness
  • Periods of paranoia and difficulty connecting with reality
  • Impulsive and risky behavior (drug abuse, gambling, unprotected sex)
  • Feelings of hopelessness and emptiness

Borderline personality disorder tends to be more intense in early adulthood and symptoms may gradually get better with age or with treatment.

Causes And Risk Factors Of Borderline Personality Disorder

Like many other mental health disorders, the exact cause of borderline personality disorder is largely unknown. Some research has shown that the onset of BPD is the result of changes in the brain responsible for emotional regulation, aggression, and impulsivity. Evidence has suggested that chemicals in the brain responsible for mood regulation are not working optimally in individuals with BPD.

Genetics may also play a role in the development of borderline personality disorder. Mental illness tends to run in families. If a person has a close family member who struggles with this disorder or other mental health concerns, there is an increased risk of developing BPD.

Though heredity factors and brain abnormalities might increase the likelihood of developing BPD, environmental factors that affect personality development are also thought to play a role. These include:

  • Unstable childhood environment
  • Neglect or abandonment by a primary caretaker
  • Sexual or physical abuse during childhood
  • Parental substance abuse

It is not uncommon for individuals living with BPD to be diagnosed with one or more co-occurring mental health concerns. These include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Eating disorders
  • Addiction
  • ADHD
  • Bipolar disorder

Risks of Untreated BPD

A borderline personality disorder affects a person’s perception of interpersonal relationships. As a result, BPD can negatively affect school, work, social activities, and personal and romantic relationships. If left untreated, a borderline personality disorder can have long-lasting consequences that can seriously compromise a person’s quality of life. Typical risks and complications of borderline personality disorder include:

  • Unstable or abusive relationships
  • Inability to finish school
  • Frequently switching jobs
  • Unemployment
  • Divorce or separation
  • Self-harm
  • Money or legal troubles
  • Sexually transmitted diseases or infections
  • Suicide attempts
  • Substance use
bpd and addiction

Personality Disorders and Substance Use Disorder: The Connection

When a person is struggling with a personality disorder and lacks effective coping mechanisms, they may resort to using drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication. This behavior is commonly referred to as self-medication, which can look like:

  • A person with avoidant personality disorder may use drugs to hide feelings of social incapacity.
  • A person with paranoid personality disorder may use drugs to escape negative thoughts.
  • A person with borderline personality disorder may use drugs to feel better about themselves.

Prolonged self-medication can result in drug addiction, formally known as a substance use disorder. As the substance use disorder progresses, the severity of a personality disorder typically escalates as well, exacerbating the side effects of the disorder. Co-occurring substance use and personality disorders impact the interconnected regions of the brain responsible for reward, impulse control, and emotional regulation.

Individuals with a personality disorder are already predisposed to emotional volatility, erratic behaviors, and anxiety. This inclination often drives individuals with personality disorders to initially turn to drugs. With the introduction of drugs and alcohol, the individual’s ability to manage impulses, make rational decisions, and regulate emotions becomes further compromised. This makes it more challenging to engage them in a treatment program, and the treatment process becomes significantly more intricate.

Borderline Personality Disorder and Addiction Treatment

Personality disorders can pose a challenge when it comes to treatment, as many individuals affected by these disorders may deny or resist acknowledging their problem. They may exhibit aggression or hostility when the topic of treatment or intervention is broached.

When combined with a comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment plan, individuals are more likely to achieve successful recovery. It is important to note that the key lies in addressing both disorders simultaneously and in an integrated manner. Integrated treatment is essential for individuals grappling with personality disorders and addiction.

Borderline Personality Disorder impacts each individual in unique and personal ways. That is why our borderline personality disorder treatment center in West Palm Beach, FL develops personalized treatment plans for each client that address their specific circumstances and goals for treatment. Our Florida rehab center can help you recover in a safe environment, free from outside stressors and triggers. Successful behavioral health treatment typically involves a combination of evidence-based therapies, prescribed medications, and holistic strategies, which include:

  • Inpatient Treatment
  • Outpatient Treatment
  • Relapse prevention
  • Support groups and 12-step meetings
  • Consistent aftercare support
  • Antidepressants and antipsychotic medications
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Neurofeedback therapy
  • Skills training
  • Yoga and meditation
  • Acupuncture, acupressure, and massage
  • Outdoor activities and exercise

In addition to psychotherapy, behavioral therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) have proven to be highly effective in treating both a personality disorder and addiction.

Consequently, the path to recovery from personality disorders often involves engaging in deep psychotherapy sessions. These sessions aim to help individuals develop healthier thought patterns, attitudes, and routines, thereby replacing negative and destructive ones.

Addiction Therapy Services

When it comes to managing substance use disorders and mental disorders, several primary methods can be utilized. The level of care required for individuals with co-occurring disorders will depend on the severity of their symptoms, as well as their individual needs and circumstances.

It is important to consult with a mental health professional to determine the most appropriate treatment approach for each individual case. Seeking advice from experienced behavioral healthcare providers ensures that patients’ best interests are taken into consideration during this challenging time. These professionals possess the knowledge and tools necessary to assist psychiatric patients in determining the most suitable treatment approach, guiding them toward recovery. Treatment programs available at our treatment centers in South Florida include:

  • Residential treatment program: Residential treatment is a great option for those in need of high-level structure and care. During this program, clients live on-site where they receive treatment in a safe and nurturing environment. The goal of this program is to foster healing and growth away from the stresses of everyday life.
  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP): IOPs are an effective form of care for treating borderline personality disorder. While it provides a sense of structure; clients however do not live at the treatment facility. Instead, they can return to their homes after treatment. Clients in an IOP usually receive treatment 3-5 days a week for several hours at a time. This flexibility allows them to maintain their personal and work commitments.

Receive BPD and Substance Abuse Treatment in South Florida

Do not let co-occurring disorders prevent you from living the life you truly deserve. Our compassionate multidisciplinary team will work with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that best suits your specific needs. With many holistic strategies and evidence-based interventions available, we are dedicated to helping you find relief from your symptoms and improving your overall mental wellness.

Our behavioral health center is waiting with open arms to help you get the assistance you deserve today. Get started today by giving us a call or visiting our admissions page.

borderline personality disorder

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