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Author Topic: DIFFERENCES|COMORBIDITY: Borderline PD and Alcohol Dependence  (Read 38010 times)
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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2010, 09:35:32 PM »

My ex has been diagnosed with BPD and some other stuff.  (About half of all those diagnosed with BPD are "co-morbid" - that is, they have some other psychological problem too.  That makes the diagnosis and treatment more complicated.)

She is pretty high-functioning, like your daughter, and very, very passive-aggressive.  She finds a million ways to hurt those close to her by not doing something.

When we were together, she used to rage a lot, over little things, or sometimes over nothing at all.  Later she denied it, and seemed to not really have experienced it.

Our marriage counselor explained that to me.  She said that when somebody rages, or maybe even if they just get worked up about something and don't act out, it can release adrenaline and other "fight-or-flight" hormones.  We all experience that when we're in a situation of very high conflict, or very upset for some reason.  Those hormones in turn lead to the production of "pleasure hormones" - the chemicals in the brain that give us a rush.  Drinking and using drugs releases those pleasure hormones too, and addicts are really addicted to the pleasure hormones, not the drugs they take.

So someone who rages regularly, or creates conflict a lot, might be "addicted" in another way - addicted to the pleasure hormones she gets when she gets worked up.

That explained my wife's behavior very well!

Addicts (my son is a recovering addict so I've had a chance to learn about this stuff) usually have something painful in their early life - something that makes them sad deep down but they don't know how to deal with, or might not even know about consciously.  That's why they have an extra-strong need to get those pleasure hormones - to drown out the pain.  (I'm sure this is way over-simplified but it's my way of understanding it.)  People with BPD might not be drug addicts, but they may have a lot in common - something that hurt them when they were young, and now they have developed patterns of behavior to deal with it, and it's hard for them to break out of those patterns of thinking and acting.

What behaviors make you think your daughter might have BPD?  The reason I ask is, for most of us, figuring out "It's BPD" helps because it gives us some understanding of what's going on.  But to deal with it, we need to shift our focus from the disorder to the behaviors, and figure out how to deal with those...

Randi Kreger
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Author of the 'Essential Family Guide to BPD"

« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2010, 01:47:54 PM »

What is the difference between BPD and  alcohol dependence?How do the symptoms overlap or differ?Thanks,Lib

Robert Friedel, MD, says that when the two disorders are co-occuring you really can't tell what's what until the substance abuse is taken care of.
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« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2011, 09:04:16 AM »

While alcoholism/drug addiction can coexist with other mental conditions, it does not mean that most addicts are BPD.  The basis of a 12 step program is that the person must be rigorously honest with themselves and take ownership for their actions.  I have yet to meet a pwBPD that could take ownership of anything they were responsible for.  Just my 2 cents.  Lila
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« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2011, 02:11:27 PM »

I was just reading an article on the effects of alcoholism on a relationship..There were many similarities. My SO is undiagnosed but finding this board was the :light bulb" for me...I was all over these pages..Do we have to see after the alcohol clears if it may only be the alcohol and not BPD.  Any thought on this subject would be appreciated ..My SO is in treatment for alcohol now...Are the behaviors that similar?
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« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2011, 07:23:15 PM »

Alcohol is but a symptom. It is a disease of the mind and body, emotional dis regulation , Basic human instinct gone awry. Most alcholics have NPD or NPD traits, but do recover if they have the capacity to be honest with themselves

They drink to cope from feelings of insecurity, low self esteem, past trauma, they really don't have a good sense of who they are and rarely feel part of.hey really stop growing emotionally when they start to drink. In other words they're growth is stunted from the time they started drinking. 10 11 12 yrs of age.

yes they are a mess and it is very possible they are BPD and used alcohol to hid/cope with it. They always knew they were different but they might not know why. AA teaches them to first admit they have a problem and they're lives are unmanageable, turn it over to a higher power, make a list of all those who harmed them, see they're part, make direct amends where ever possible except when to do so would hurt them or the other. take inventory each night and if they hurt anyone to quickly ask for forgiveness, then pay it forward.

Your mind is a thinking organ. Your heart is a feeling organ. Healing, is a matter of the heart.
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When someone shows you who they are..believe them!

« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2012, 02:49:05 AM »

Hey MC, I think alcohol effects people in different ways, but generally it disinhibits them and so the volume on " who they are" is going to be turned up.  Sometimes it acts as a sedative to an anxious or ADHD person, a stimulant to a depressed person, as gasoline to someone with anger management issues.  There are many, many folks out there with what's called "co-occurring disorders" that is, a mental illness AND a substance abuse disorder. These are people who may be trying to self-medicate the bad feelings brought on by their mental illness. Hope this helps! Also, one of the symptoms of BPD is sudden angry outbursts and mood swings so I cannot imagine these getting any better with being under the influence.  The xBPDbf in my life seem to need alcohol and mj to calm him down as he was also dx with very ADHD.  He was calmer with both...

Been there, survived that. Ain't going back there again. Thank you though!
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