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Smoking, Drinking, Substance Abuse, and ADHD

Borderline personality and alcoholism associated with ADD?

Hi. My entire family was diagnosed with ADHD and
ADD in various combinations about 7 years ago. My daughter was the first to get an official diagnosis at age 14, so once I was assessed I hyper focused on ADHD research and it’s symptoms and comorbid conditions and possible ways to change your life through medication and cognitive behavioural therapy. I believe the two of us continue to look and learn. My comorbid condition is basic GAD and my 21 year old daughter suffers from social anxiety. But my sister was a dangerous alcoholic when diagnosed. After being medicated her life turned around completely. She has two little ones, 5 and 7. I’ve never been too sure what her comorbid condition might be. We have a bipolar cousin so we know compared to her my sister does not have that. But in the last 6 months she seems to have returned to her substance abuse although she continues to take her meds. I believe she needs to see a specialist and have her meds altered in some way but beyond that, she’s lost her mind. After my father in laws funeral about five weeks ago she went insane at a hotel room after drinking two and a half bottles of wine. She was belligerent and nasty and said the most horrible things to people I’ve ever heard. She verbally, emotionally and physically went after my daughter, a good friend of mine and then my husband, all in front of her children. No one had spoken to her since. I’ve been researching borderline personality disorders and I know with all the reading I have done it’s not generally the first thing one thinks of in terms if ADHD and a comorbid condition. But she seems to fit the bill. Especially after reading “Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, And Volatile Relationshi: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship” by
Christine Ann Lawson. But I know borderline personalities are one of the most difficult to diagnose and treat as part of the problem is the person refuses to see it in themselves and treatment is very difficult.  She does not drink daily but simply binges whenever she DOES drink. Leaving a trail of destruction behind her. There is talk of removing her children from her. Is there any hope? Does anyone know if ADD is often connected with borderline personalities? Any treatment or advice? Thanks for your time and consideration. Sophie


My experience would indicate that most professionals will recommend that your sister first seek help for her drinking problem before attempting to add more medications and/or diagnoses. Granted, drinking problems can be treated concurrently and often are, so a professional skilled in treating a drinking problem and behavioral disorders should be sought. Likely, there is a relationship, but it becomes difficult to medicate and recommend treatments if alcohol will continue to interfere.  This will not be an easy challenge, but you have much support out here and elsewhere.

Posted by Bapa on Feb 26, 2014 at 6:53pm

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