It’s not uncommon for people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) to also be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In fact, studies have found that BPD and PTSD co-occur from about 25 percent to 60 percent of the time in people with BPD.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, on its own, is not an uncommon diagnosis. Between 2 percent and 9 percent of the population has had some degree of PTSD, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder usually occurs as the result of a traumatic experience such as abuse, a serious accident, natural disasters, rape, war, or witnessing a tragic event. PTSD most commonly occurs in people who have been exposed to multiple traumatic events early in life. Like Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD more commonly occurs in females.
Symptoms of PTSD
The symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can impact your health, emotions, and memory. They can develop at any time after the traumatic event you experienced, even years later.
Symptoms of PTSD include the following:
- Flashbacks about the traumatic event
- Nightmares and daydreams about the trauma
- Difficulty concentrating
- Uncontrollable anger
- Feelings of depression, worry, or guilt
- Lack of interest in activities you previously found enjoyable
- Avoiding places, people, or situations that remind you of the traumatic event
While it is normal to experience many of these symptoms following any type of trauma, if the symptoms continue for more than a month, there is a good chance you have developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The following are some factors that put you at an increased risk for developing PTSD:
- How long the trauma lasted
- How intense the trauma was
- How strong your reaction to the trauma was
- How much you felt in control of the event
- How close you were to the trauma
- How much help and support you got after the event
While it is possible to lead a normal life despite the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a full recovery requires professional PTSD treatment. If you have both PTSD and Borderline Personality Disorder, you will need to simultaneously treat the symptoms of both psychiatric disorders to make a complete recovery.
A treatment center for PTSD will help you to work through your PTSD symptoms and address the trauma that triggered the disorder. Treatment for PTSD usually includes individual therapy, group therapy, and specialized therapies such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Somatic Experiencing (SE).
BPD treatment will also involve individual and group therapy, most likely through the use of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).
If you are suffering with the symptoms of PTSD, with or without BPD, know that you can get effective treatment that can help you stop reliving your trauma and get on with your life.