Common Conditions Co-existing With Borderline Personality Disorder
source: Leland M. Heller, M.D.
The borderline disorder is usually associated with other neuropsychiatric problems.
Attention deficit disorder is probably the most common one. Most of these "disorders"
are really not illnesses at all, but traits that had advantages in a different time and
environment – but they are a serious problem for patients in today’s society and it’s
pressures. Successful BPD treatment requires successful treatment of all neuropsych problems:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
The body’s "flight or fight" system seems to be on all the time, causing fear
related symptoms. One can experience mostly a "thinking" anxiety problem, called
the "cognitive component" of the GAD, where the person is unable to sit
peacefully with a quiet mind. This diagnoses is almost always the case when medications
like Paxil, Prozac and Ritalin cause increased anxiety. Treating this disorder first is
often necessary before successfully treating the other diagnoses.
Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)
Like the BPD, it’s a medical problem, not a "character disorder." In my
opinion it is a condition people are born with. The body’s automatic switch that takes
over when facing a life and death situation stay’s on all the time, constantly
experiencing "life and death" sensations. Symptoms include inappropriate
perfectionism, difficulty making decisions, inability to prioritize, and being a pack rat
– all because the person feels literally like he/she will die if an error is made.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
An anxiety disorder (and/or symptom) characterized by excessive and intrusive thoughts
and ritual behaviors that help the person cope, such as washing hands excessively,
repeatedly checking the door, etc. The B vitamin inositol in high doses can be as
effective as standard medications.
Attention Deficit (Hyperactive) Disorder
A reduced flow of blood to the brain areas responsible for staying focused on an
activity or thought, and/or to think and consider before acting or speaking. Some patients
have hyperactivity as well. It appears that the "disorder" does not go away at
adulthood. I suspect a high percentage, if not a majority, of untreated or undertreated
ADD individuals go on to get the BPD.
Along with dysthymia (rarely depressed, rarely happy – sort of in between) and
irritability they compromise a syndrome I call "fractured enjoyment" (not a true
medical diagnosis!). These symptoms collectively so far are only treatable with Prozac,
and are the main reason Prozac has been so successful.
Results when the brain incorrectly assumes the individual is being choked to death.
This is a true medical problem with a high suicide risk. Experiencing the body’s last
ditch effort to avoid being "choked to death" is a terrible sensation, and the
victim may live in terror that he/she will experience it again (preanticipatory anxiety).
Irrational fears that limit the person’s ability to function, even though he/she knows
they’re irrational. They are usually treatable medically, and include claustrophobia.
Is a relatively common mood swing disorder, similar to bipolar but with "mini
highs" and "mini lows."
Dr. Heller’s book "Biological Unhappiness" explains the biology and
treatment of these and other conditions.
I am not a health care professional. I am an abuse survivor. The resources on
this site are for information and education only. Information on this website is meant to support
not replace the advice of a licensed health care or mental health care professional. Please consult your own physician for health care advice.
Information included on the MAH Network site is in the public domain; however, you will
encounter information that is owned/created by others, including copyrighted materials.
Those other parties retain all rights to publish or reproduce those documents or to allow
others to do so. Any copyrighted materials included on this site remain the property of
their respective owners/creators and should not be reproduced or otherwise used. It is not
the intent of the MAH Network to have violated or infringed upon any copyrights. If you
believe we have, please let us know and we’ll take care of the matter promptly.