If you suffer from borderline disorder, you are more prone to develop certain other mental disorders than those who do not have borderline disorder.13,14 One of the most likely explanations of this is that some of the genes that increase the risk of developing borderline disorder also increase the risk for developing these other disorders as well.
The disorders that most often occur with borderline disorder include the following:
- mood disorders: major depressive disorder; dysthymia; bipolar disorder (depressive disorders)
- substance use disorders
- anxiety/panic disorders
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- eating disorders: bulimia; anorexia nervosa
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- other personality disorders
Often, the diagnosis of these disorders is made correctly in patients with borderline disorder, but the diagnosis of borderline disorder is missed. When this occurs, treatment for the other condition is typically less successful than it might otherwise be, mainly because the appropriate treatments for borderline disorder have not been utilized.
Conversely, the effective treatment of borderline disorder requires the prompt recognition of other disorders if they are also present and, if so, the appropriate additional treatment.
The early detection and effective treatment of a mental disorder co-occurring with borderline disorder may result in rapid improvement of the symptoms of borderline disorder if it is being properly treated itself. This is an added incentive to consider the presence of these disorders along with borderline disorder, and to treat them when present.
For these reasons, you and your psychiatrist should attempt to determine the presence of these co-occurring conditions, and to initiate promptly the appropriate additional treatments if indicated.