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How Personality Disorders Complicate the Addiction Recovery Process

Addiction is a mental illness, so it commonly appears alongside other conditions. People who already have a mental disorder are more likely than others to develop another disorder. An example is personality disorders. Learn why co-occurring mental disorders complicate the addiction recovery process.

Personality Disorders

Most doctors describe personality disorders as maladaptive behavioral patterns that manifest over time. These behavior patterns make it difficult for people to function normally in society. Adding addiction to the mix can make life even more difficult.

Comorbidity

Doctors use comorbidity to describe a situation in which multiple disorders occur in one person. This term can describe conditions that occur at the same time or one after the other. It differs slightly from other terms that describe co-occurring disorders because comorbidity implies that the interaction between disorders makes them both worse.

Comorbidity describes addiction and personality disorders perfectly. While both mental disorders are a problem on their own, they become much worse in pairs. People usually have to receive treatment for both conditions to see any kind of long-lasting improvement.

Is Addiction Really a Mental Illness?

Make no mistake: addiction is a mental illness. It changes the fundamental way that the brain works. It also causes a chemical imbalance that leaves people with hard-to-control impulses. Many researchers believe that the chemical imbalance opens the door for more mental disorders. While mental illnesses usually occur together, there are situations in which people have only one.

Types of Personality Disorders

“Personality disorder” is a broad term. The most common types include:

  • Borderline PD
  • Obsessive-compulsive PD
  • Schizoid PD
  • Antisocial PD

Each personality disorder affects addiction in different ways. For example, people with obsessive-compulsive disorder obsess over their drugs of choice. Some of these disorders are more likely to lead to addiction as well. For instance, people with antisocial PD often use drugs to deal with social anxiety.

Complications of Dual Mental Disorders

Addiction is a mental disorder, and pairing it with another disorder makes addiction treatment more difficult. One reason why dual mental disorders complicate treatment is that both need treatment. Treating one disorder without addressing the other often leads to relapse.

Also, studies show that people with personality disorders have a difficult time developing relationships. Being unable to develop bonds makes it more difficult for people to open up during therapy. Since therapy is an important part of addiction treatment, having a personality disorder further complicates the healing process.

The complications that arise depend heavily on the disorders that people have. For example, people with paranoid PD are extremely distrustful of others. Their distrust can lead to severe roadblocks on the path to recovery. With time, therapists can overcome these obstacles with more than the average number of therapy sessions.

Let the Experts at Memphis Recovery Help You With Co-Occurring Disorders

At Memphis Recovery, we work hard to ensure that our clients get the help that they need to overcome addiction. We take great pride in offering a wide range of treatment programs with the needs of our clients in mind. Some of the programs available at our center include:

In addition, Memphis Recovery gladly accepts people who suffer from co-occurring disorders. We provide dual diagnosis and trauma therapy.

Our aftercare program lasts for six months. It continues to provide support long after the on-site rehab stay is over. We also offer ways for our clients to reduce stress. For example, we have music and art therapy classes.

Don’t let drug addiction control your life anymore. Learn what it takes to overcome your addiction at Memphis Recovery. Reach out to us today at 866-304-8254 for more information.