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Author Topic: DIFFERENCES|COMORBIDITY: Borderline PD and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Dis  (Read 16157 times)
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« on: June 03, 2011, 07:14:16 AM »

Wondering how similar these are? Anyone have any insight? Does anyone know of a really good informative site for info on ADHD?



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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2011, 04:18:25 AM »

DIFFERENCES|COMORBIDITY: Overview of Comorbidity

Additional discussions...

Personality Disorders

Borderline and Paranoid Personality Disorder

Borderline and Schzoid/Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Borderline and Antisocial Personality Disorder

Borderline and Histrionic Personality Disorder

Borderline and Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Borderline and Avoidant Personality Disorder

Borderline and Dependent Personality Disorder

Borderline and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder

Borderline and Depressive Personality Disorder

Borderline and Passive Aggressive Personality Disorder

Borderline and Sadistic Personality Disorder

Borderline and Self Defeating Personality Disorder


Borderline PD and Alcohol Dependence

Borderline PD and Aspergers

Borderline PD and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Borderline PD and BiPolar Disorder

Borderline PD and Dissociative Identity Disorder

Borderline PD and P.T.S.D.

Borderline PD and Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)
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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2011, 07:44:28 PM »

One site I would recommend for info on ADHD is www.chadd.org

Both ADHD and BPD can involve impulsivity but for somewhat different reasons.  ADHD impulsiveness is linked more to acting before thinking and some impulsive behaviors are a form of stimulation for a bored ADDer. 

Those with BPD become involved in self-destructive impulsive behaviors such as drug use, gambling, reckless driving, compulsive shopping, etc. to deal with the pain and dysphoria so they will feel better.

Approximately 50% of those with BPD have comorbid ADHD as well.  And a substantial percentage of adults with ADHD have BPD (there have only been a few studies but the percentages were 29% to 38%). 
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« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2011, 07:13:24 AM »

I am reading "Understanding the mind of your BiPolar Child"  My husband is BPD and Bip.  It has a great section about ADD and how it differs from Bip and is often confused.  You might find that helpful.

The book it says "Although they share some common properties - inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and an abundance of speech - ADD/ADHD and Bipolar disorder arise from different problems in different areas of the brain."  It is my understanding that BPD is conditioning of the mind or damage to the personalitly whereas ADD and Bipolar are physical problems in the brain.   Although Bipolar is not BPD this book compares ADD and Bip which is similar in some ways (the outward manifestation of symptoms)  and gives a lot of insight into how to tell the difference.


"Everyone is Crazy Except for Me and Thee, and I'm Not So Sure About Thee" Or me for that matter!
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2011, 09:11:23 PM »

My bf has previously been diagnosed with severe ADHD, PTSD from childhood and anxiety issues, but not BPD officially.  To me - one issue that stands out (beyond meeting so many of the general BPD criteria) is that when he feels pain he does something impulsively self-destructive to his life.  I don't know why no one has noticed this before about him. He's been labeled an impulsive person for years - but it's not random - his planned out actions are good ones and the impulsive choices are often not in his own best interest.  The more pain he feels, the more he'll quickly wreck his life. 
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2012, 10:39:52 PM »

my girlfriend is very scattered, loses things easily, and can't seem to stay "present" sometimes.  She is disorganized, impulsive and hyper focuses on emotions.  All of these traits have been listed on sites that talk about Adult ADHD.  I did find one site that said there is some cross-over between Adhd and BPD.   So i'm confused because from what i have read on this site, while she has ups/downs, shifts gears, locks on negative feelings in an instant- she does not swear or yell at me. She apologizes profusely if i confront her on her hyperfocus and change of emotional status etc. and she hasn't shown any signs of being the "leaving type". Instead she is clingy and very "needy" emotionally.  Just yesterday we spent all day talking about "us" and trying to work things out.  I felt like she was really getting some of what i was saying and really understanding.  Then, it came time for me to take her home and she went back to an emotion that was upsetting her about me not wanting to let her see my kids.  She went into overfocus mode as if she never remembered or comprehended anything we talked about all day.  I told her how upset i was that i spent all day talking to her only to hear her say things like, "there's more going on here than just you not wanting me to see your kids".  then she confessed that she had gone back on the date site a few weeks ago after an email exchange between us to see if i was actively dating again!  i was flabbergasted!

I told her i was going to take her home. She asked me if i was going to stay over? i said "no".  She cried and begged me to please reconsider.  She gets so focused on what she needs that she can't see the big picture. 

So, is there anybody that knows enough about both disorders that can shed some light on this?  Either way its a handful but maybe if its ADHD related than it can be treated easier than BPD. 

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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2012, 08:54:34 PM »

dear scattered

i can't claim to know enough about adhd to diagnose anyone...especially since i am only a lay person.. however, i read a book by dr. daniel amen last year about all the different types of add/adhd there are.  if a person has several types of add/adhd then they could present as a BPD.  the name of the book is "healing add the breakthrough program that allows you to see and heal the 6 types of add".  this is the same dr. amen that founded the amen clinics and has been featured on various tv programs.

the 6 types are:  classic



                         temporal lobe


                         ring of fire

dr. amen states that a person can have several of the types at the same time.  to be diagnosed w/a specific type of add they must first meet the basic criteria for classic add as well various criteria for the other type(s).

temporal lobe, limbic, and ring of fire symptoms mimic many of the criteria of a pwBPD.

since this book was written, a few more types of add have been identified.

many of the skills taught here at ftf as well as recommended therapy models can help persons with severe types of add as well as pwBPD.


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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2012, 12:43:05 PM »

Hi I can only speak for myself I have been diagnosed with ADHD and i married 20 yrs w uBPDso and there seems to be some striking differences ie I do not have trust issues or intimacy issues I still have healthy respect for family and friends. My wife has disconnected herself from anyone other than me that gets past the stage of casual friend. I get angry she can rage .  We both can get distracted and manytimes will talk over / past each other . (I am working on that one)
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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2013, 08:31:47 PM »

Any information anyone has on this specialized topic I would be very interested in.

ADHD kids are KNOWN to be difficult. When they have a traumatic childhood, one direction they go in is BPD.

I personally know various ADHD diagnosed youth later diagnosed with BPD.

They are still ADHD, but the psychiatrist often drop the ADHD perspective.

From what I understand, this is AGAINST best practice guidelines.

Most people with BPD, but also ADHD, are NOT properly dual diagnosed.

I will find link later, but i have read the incidence of ADHD in BPD people is 25%. It is very high.

The best prognosis for a BPD person with ADHD, is treatment of BOTH disorders, ADHD does require medication.

Any info, experiences, insight, with this I am thirsty for.

I cannot believe there are not a fair few people around with say teenage/ later BPD diagnosis, with EARLIER ADHD diagnosis.

I have a lot to learn in this area.

Very interested in person stories, (or any info), of people that have had both diagnosis in the same lifetime (if you know of such people).

I strongly suspect BPD people with ADHD are likely poor responders to normal BPD therapies. This is my personal belief, don't have scientific data to back it up, just accumulation of personal experiences and observations.

Interested in any insights into either BPD or ADHD, including standalone without the other diagnosis.

Any conclusions people have drawn, to a degree I like to measure experienced "folk wisdom" up against what I read up as "scientific data".

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« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2013, 07:51:08 AM »

My mom is uBPD and definitely uADHD!  I think that the traits/symptoms of each seem to overlap a bit, which may make it hard to diagnose. She skips from project to project without completing much because she becomes bored easily. Frankly, she becomes bored mid-sentence in a conversation if you aren't entertaining enough. She can't leave her brain idle, always needing to be doing... but is not successful at a job. She craves contact with people, yet doesn't invest any time in relationships. She is always looking for art shows or music festivals to attend, scouring the newspaper and flyers every day, but is usually disappointed somehow that it wasn't good enough in some way or another.

My sister is ADHD and finds that meds help. Before, she recognizes that she was treating herself with what society deems "normal" - caffeine. I am uADD, but I'm not sure if that is tangled up with the PTSD from the abusive childhood. These could be learned responses instead of an actual chemical imbalance. My sisters ADHD is definitely chemical, as she has displayed symptoms since she was a toddler. Even in the late 60s the doctors suggested meds, but my mother declined. My sister has always been more physically active than most, and a leg bouncer.

I think that it is interesting that you find a connection. I hope that you are able to learn more.
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