If, as adults, we have been unfortunate enough to develop the condition known as borderline personality disorder (BPD), a very serious mental health problem that those who have suffered severe and protracted childhood trauma are at much higher risk than average of developing, it is quite possible that we have also developed other personality disorders that exist alongside it concurrently (or, more technically, COMORBIDLY).
Which Other Personality Disorders May Exist Comoridly With BPD?
According to Zananni et al. (1998, 2004b) the four personality disorders that are most likely to exist simultaneously alongside (comorbidly with) BPD are as follows :
- Avoidant personality disorder (35-45℅)
- Dependent personality disorder (30-40℅)
- Paranoid personality disorder (20-30%)
- Anti-social personality disorder (15-25℅)
(For those who are interested, there are eleven personality disorders in total).
The percentages given in brackets after each of the four personality disorders displayed above represent the chances of an individual having that particular personality disorder existing comorbidly alongside his/her BPD.
Why Is It Common For These Four Personality Disorders To Exist Comorbidly Alongside BPD?
- Avoidant Personality Disorder : BPD sufferers are at risk of also suffering from this because, as children, they are likely to have felt threatened by, and been betrayed by, significant others leading them, as adults, to view people in general as potentially dangerous (to their emotional, or, even, physical wellbeing) and therefore best kept at a distance.
- Dependent Personality Disorder : BPD sufferers are at risk of also suffering from this because they are likely to have grown up in an environment which caused them to fail to develop confidence in their own coping skills and to feel vulnerable, hopeless and helpless.
- Paranoid Personality Disorder : BPD sufferers are at risk of also suffering from this because they are likely to have grown up being perpetually harmed by significant others and / or living with the constant fear that significant others may hurt them at any (unpredictable) moment (psychologically, physically or both).
- Anti-social Personality Disorder : BPD sufferers are at risk of also suffering from this because, as children, they are likely to have lacked positive role models, been mistreated and abused leading to them, as adults, to have internalized few, if any, positive values, to be distrustful, cynical, angry and resentful. Such feelings can then be projected onto society as a whole and ‘dog -eat-dog’ / ‘every-man-for-himself’ / ‘look-after-number one-because-nobody-else-will’ / ‘everyone -is-essentially-selfish-and-will-ultimately-betray-you’ and nihilistic view of the world may develop.
David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).