How Does Alcoholism Impact People with Borderline Personality Disorder?

How Does Alcoholism Impact People with Borderline Personality Disorder?

Whether it is genetics or environment, or a combination of the two, alcoholism has a detrimental effect on people’s lives. Their relationships, work, personal lives, and health all suffer as a result of long term alcohol abuse. In addition, many people suffer silently with borderline personality disorder (BPD) or other mental health conditions. Find out how alcoholism and BPD are linked and why it is significant for those with addiction.


The interplay of genetics in addiction cannot be oversold. People whose families have a long history of addiction know there is some kind of genetic component to their drug and alcohol addiction, even if they try to seek help for their issues. Many things factor in, but this is one of them that cannot be stated enough. Like addiction, personality disorders (including BPD) are found among family members. There is no one gene responsible for BPD, though it appears genes may be passed down by those who have the disorder themselves.


Many factors play into how a person becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, as well as develops mental health issues from the environment in which they were raised. This includes any trauma, neglect, abuse, issues in the neighborhood like violence, and family conflict. Direct relationships cannot be drawn between environment and a person’s susceptibility to addiction but BPD is seen more often in adults with a history of trauma or neglect than in others who did not suffer abuse.

Drinking and BPD

A person who struggles with a mental health disorder may use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate. BPD is a serious issue which can cause a person emotional pain and trauma, along with trying to medicate past memories with substances. The challenge of helping a person with dual diagnosis is to make the right diagnosis and provide proper treatment. It may take some time, even years, to get a definitive diagnosis of co-occurring alcoholism with BPD. a successful approach to treatment may require specific types of therapy and treatment only available in certain places, depending on the program.

When a person has mental health issues and alcoholism, it only exacerbates their issues. It may make getting treatment hard if they don’t recognize, or want to see, the issues they have with mental health. BPD is a hard mental health diagnosis to admit to but it requires treatment that focuses on the individual’s root causes of trauma, neglect, or other issues they may have to help them in recovery. Treatment is the starting point of healing for people with BPD and alcoholism. 

The Palmetto Center is based on a Therapeutic Community model. We help people learn how to live free of addiction. Our community support provides structure while trained counselors offer life skills training and therapeutic techniques to help you move past addiction. Our program provides special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.