Unfortunately, many of those who suffer from the debilitating and distressing disorder of borderline personality disorder (BPD) following severe childhood trauma have the added burden of having to try to somehow cope with co-existing conditions ; these are referred to by psychologists as co-morbitities. Below, I list these possible co-morbidities, together with the statistical probability that a person with BPD will suffer from them. I begin, however, with two quotes from BPD sufferers which help with the understanding of just how serious the condition is :
‘I have BPD and for me it feels like I’m a child being forced to live in an adult world. I feel too vulnerable and fragile for the world I live in.’
–Anonymous sufferer of BPD
‘When it was really bad, I would be in so much emotional pain that suicide seemed like the only way I could find release ; my attempts at overdosing kept failing ; I was secretly screaming for someone to just listen to me and show me a way out, but, in the end, if they wouldn’t or couldn’t be bothered to help me, I would rather be dead than carry on as I was – I just didn’t care about anything, apart from getting rid of the pain.’
– Anonymous sufferer of BPD
CO-EXISTING CONDITIONS (CO–MORBIDITIES) – THE CHANCES A BPD SUFFERER WILL HAVE THEM :
1) Self-injury 55-85% (click here to read my article on BPD and self-harm).
2) Dysthmia (mild to moderate depression) 70%
3) Major Depressive Disorder 60% (click here to read my article on major depressive disorder)
4) Substance Abuse (alcohol/narcotics) 35% (click here to read my article about the link between childhood trauma and the later development of alcoholism)
5) Eating Disorder 25% (click here to read my article on eating disorders)
6) Narcissism 25% (click here to read my article about the link between childhood trauma and the development of narcissistic disorder)
7) Anti-Social Personality Disorder 25% (click here to read my article about the link between childhood trauma and the later development of anti-social personality disorder/psychopathy)
8) Bipolar Disorder 15%
Four further statistics of importance are :
Approximately 7 out of every 1000 people suffer from BPD
A shocking 1 out of every 10 people with BPD eventually die by suicide
About 10% of psychiatric out-patients suffer from BPD
About 20% of psychiatric in-patients suffer from BPD.
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David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE)