Comorbidity: Having Multiple Disorders

by Jade S

     Many of you may be aware of the fact that Borderline Personality (or other mental health problems) is not the only thing causing you grief and illness in your life.  Often a mental illness is accompanied by one or more additional diagnoses.  These illnesses may go undetected when they are lost in the shadows from the limelight cast on the main problem, whether it be depression, anxiety, BPD, etc.

     Doctor Leland Heller specifies some of these comorbid disorders in his teachings/literature about BPD.  He has focused on Attention Deficit Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder among others, but I would also like to add some extra conditions I have found to be common.  The importance in explaining these hidden disorders is to make people aware that even when they are treating the prevailing illness they struggle with, it is also necessary to treat underlying problems as well.  By underlying problems, I don't mean just talk therapy or addressing past traumas.  I want to stress the need for medical attention to all of the illnesses that can plague one's mental health.

     Because the main disorder is so hideous to deal with, the accompanying disorders are often forgotten in the treatment process.  The disorders listed above are common with Borderline, but the tendency is the same in many cases.  Some other things I have noticed with BPD are low self-esteem, self-destructive disorder, dissociative disorders, other mood disorders, and eating disorders.  Once you think of the effects of having Borderline, it seems natural that they would accompany our illness.

    Although there is a multitude of studies, information, and treatment processes, I cannot fit all this information into this blog.  I encourage you to look up some of the research.  Most importantly, though, I encourage you to address ALL of your body's issues.  You don't want a portion of mental health, you want it all!!!  And you can have it when you are willing to acknowledge and seek treatment for the multitude of complications that come along with having a mental disorder.  It's a long, hard fight, but I assure you, it is worth it!

What kind of combinations of illnesses are you experiencing?

 

 

Comments

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All of the above as well i have no idea how to help me and no one else seems to either.

Sorry, are the above two comments all for one person? or two people

If it two separate commentors, I will address both to the best of my ability but remember, I am not a doctor.

Great post, Jade - you highlight a very important point.

My BPD is accompanied by OCD, anxiety, dissociation, paranoia, panic (problems with breathing and heart palpitations), stomach problems, self-harm, bouts of depression, and issues with food and body image. Obviously, these are all inter-connected with each other and with the BPD.

They are like a constant background noise. I have to address them first in order to tune them out and focus on the big one - the BPD. It's exhausting, and some days are more sucessful than others. But as you rightly say, it's absolutely worth the effort!

Sarah Myles

Unfortunately, I am not familiar enough with food problems. I am looking for all the information I can get about dissociation. But like you said, these are all attached to your borderline, including stomach problems, etc. Going through trauma or addiction can trigger your borderline. Anxiety problems are common, as well as depression. Tendencies to be obsessive are often signs of another disorder that needs to be treated separately. However, the GOOD NEWS is that these are problems that can be addressed with medication. You just have to find the right ones, the right combination, and the right medication regimen. It's a long, hard process, but once you know your body and how to manage it, life becomes normal again, instead of a constant stream of life-altering problems.

Having tried various medication regimens, I'm currently using just beta blockers and DBT management strategies. Not too bad, and better than the previous regimen.

Good luck with your research.

Sarah Myles

I'm not sure if you received my reply, but I have some articles I would like to tell you about or send to you, if you're interested.

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Hey sarah, I just found a collection of articles that i think you will find very useful..what is the best way to send them to you? I would also suggest you present them to your doctor Jade
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