What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline Personality Disorder, or BPD, is a mental disorder that has been misinterpreted, misunderstood, and misdiagnosed over the years. It is characterized by mood swings, changes in behavior and confidence, and sabotaging relationships. This can make it seem like a complicated issue, but it’s simple at its core. People afflicted with BPD are more in tune with the feelings of others than people without the disorder.

People with BPD, or ‘borderline Empathy’ as coined by a 1975 paper, don’t just perceive others emotional state, but experience it themselves. Naturally, this causes a great deal of undue stress on a person, especially when they don’t understand why they’re feeling what they’re feeling. Eventually, it can reach the point where their mental health begins to deteriorate. The variety of symptoms that many cases experience are tied to this underlying cause.

How Alcohol Affects People with BPD

Alcohol has become an all too common form of self-medication for many people dealing with mental illness. This is frequently the case in individuals suffering from disorders who are looking to dull their senses and temporarily escape from their reality. People with BPD are no different in this regard; however, addiction can come on more quickly and become more severe.

A trait that people diagnosed with BPD tend to share is an addictive personality, not just for a single substance, but anything that can provide some kind of stimulus. While the full reasons behind this are not understood, the severity of the issue is clear. Individuals with BPD can develop an addiction to anything from alcohol, to narcotics, to spending or giving away money they don’t have. In any case, the addiction is always detrimental to the health of the afflicted.

Borderline Personality Disorder as a Co-Occurring Disorder

The Relationship Between Alcohol and Borderline Personality Disorder Can Be Very Intense And TragicWhile BPD can trigger someone to abuse alcohol, the opposite is also true. Because of the range of symptoms individuals with BPD can express, there is much confusion when it comes to diagnosis. These symptoms vary so greatly that it is common for there to be overlap with other disorders. This is why people who have chronically abused alcohol over a long period of time can develop similar symptoms to BPD. This makes it difficult for people with an alcohol use disorder, or AUD, to recover, as their mental state fights against sobriety and makes them feel like they need alcohol.

The overlap of symptoms between people with BPD who have turned to alcohol addiction, and, conversely, people who have an alcohol addiction that have developed symptoms of BPD, makes it harder to be recognized as a legitimate disorder. This feeds negative connotations of people suffering from BPD and creates a perception that they have the disorder because they are alcoholics. In reality, BPD is one of the least understood common disorders we have in society, and the factors that influence it can vary greatly from person to person.

Treatment for Alcohol and Borderline Personality Disorder

In the case of any SUD and co-occurring disorder, it is best to treat them together. Ignoring one or the other can mean missing a key part as to why the person turned to addiction. If you believe you or someone you know is suffering from an AUD caused by BPD, or vice versa, then the path to sobriety may be more difficult than you realized. Finding the right help can be invaluable in your journey, but often times you won’t know where to look. If you need help finding treatment, then please reach out to one of our dedicated treatment specialists. They are waiting for your call.

Get help for alcoholism today.

If you or a loved one is ready to overcome an alcohol addiction, it’s time to get the help you deserve. We will find top-rated treatment programs that help you get and stay sober.

Speak with a treatment specialist 24/7

(877) 624-1853

- or -

Get the help you need now.

We’re here 24/7 to help guide you or your loved on through rehab and recovery. Make or receive a judgement-free call today with one of our compassionate rehab specialists.

Let Us Call You

(855) 860-9633

or Give Us a Call


Get the help you need now.

We’re here 24/7 to help guide you or your loved on through rehab and recovery. Submit your number to receive a judgement-free call today with one of our compassionate rehab specialists.

(855) 860-9633

Where do calls go?

Callers will be routed to:

What does it mean that this site is brought to you by Delphi Behavioral Health Group?

We strive to be fully transparent in all of our relationships. To that end, we want you to be aware that Alcohol Rehab Guide is compensated by Delphi Behavioral Health Group for the work Alcohol Rehab Guide does in the development and operation of this site. Delphi Behavioral Health Group was carefully vetted and selected to be a trusted provider and partner with Alcohol Rehab Guide, based on the quality of treatment that Delphi provides and their rigorous commitment to ethical practices. Learn more about why Delphi Behavioral Health Group is a trusted provider with Alcohol Rehab Guide.

All calls to numbers on individual facility listings will always go to the facility listed. All calls to general contact numbers and contact us forms on this site are routed to Delphi Behavioral Health Group. If Delphi Behavioral Health Group is unable to assist with a particular need they are committed to providing direction and assistance in finding appropriate care.