Concurrent Disorders: Personality Disorder
Personality disorders are very common in those seeking help with addictive behaviours. Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder are the most frequently associated with substance abuse. For example, there are estimates that approximately 80 % of individuals with an Antisocial Personality Disorder and 60-70 % of individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder will end up abusing illegal substances, and/or display other forms of addictive behaviours.
Please Note: Hope successfully treats many clients with common mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, usually together with addiction. However Hope Rehab is not a substitute for a psychiatric unit and do not have a psychiatrist onsite. We know our program is ideal for clients suffering with many types of mental health issues. We work closely with the Doctors/Psychiatrists at the hospital opposite who provide all our detox and medication needs. All clients must undergo a formal psychological assessment with our team and need to be able to function safely in our community. The reason we are selective is to protect all clients from unnecessary disappointment and disruption. If you are in any doubt please double check with our admissions department.
The Dangers of Self-Medicating When Suffering With A Personality Disorder
People who are dealing with a personality disorder can be tempted to turn to alcohol or drugs in an attempt to soothe their inner discomfort. This act of self-medication can feel like it is working in the beginning, but it is actually making the situation worse. The person can then end up in a catch-22 situation where it is not possible to effectively treat the personality disorder because of the substance abuse, and it is not possible to effectively treat the substance abuse because of the personality disorder.
What are Personality Disorders?
Personality Disorders can be defined as enduring patterns of thinking and behaving that deviate significantly from standard cultural norms, and these patterns typically cause significant impairment in all areas of functioning. Individuals with personality disorders usually display strongly inflexible and rigid ways of thinking, perceiving and responding to the world around them. They also tend to be unable to adapt to changing contexts or circumstances, and they are very much resistant to change.
Personality disorders are associated with ways of thinking and feeling about oneself and others that significantly and adversely affect how an individual functions in many aspects of life.
– American Psychiatric Association (Personality_Disorders_Factsheet.pdf)
Are there different types of Personality Disorders?
In short, yes. The Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-V) lists currently ten different types of personality disorder, and as mentioned above, three of those are most commonly associated with serious substance abuse problems:
All 10 Types of Personality Disorder
It is possible to divide personality disorders into three clusters
The exact symptoms a person experiences depends on the type of personality disorder, but they can include:
Why are Personality Disorders so Difficult to Treat in Rehab Settings?
Individuals with comorbid personality and substance use disorders pose significant conundrums to addictions rehab centers as they:
What Treatment does Hope Rehab Center Offer for Personality Disordered Clients?
It is important to remember that personality difficulties exist on a continuum, ranging from adaptive/useful ways of being in the world on one end of the continuum, to maladaptive/unhelpful ways of being in the world on the other end of the continuum. Most of us, substance dependent or not, display at least some behaviours on the maladaptive and unhelpful end of the spectrum when we are in distress, and when things are not going well for us.
While we do not offer specialized long-term treatment for specific personality disorders at Hope Rehab Center, we carefully assess in which life areas and to what degree individuals struggle. Based on this assessment, our skilled team members tailor individual therapy sessions to address these specific needs and challenges and to improve overall functioning. Furthermore, Hope Rehab Center offers proven interventions to address addictive behaviours, anxiety and depression, all of which typically accompany personality problems and when treated improve day to day functioning.
Our team has a good track record of helping clients who have been diagnosed with a personality disorder. We provide individualised care to ensure that you have access to the resources you need to transform your life. You will be warmly welcomed into our therapeutic community, and you will be entering an environment where amazing transformations happen on an almost daily basis.
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