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BPD/adult child of an alcoholic

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Posted

My new therapist keeps coming back to two main points in our sessions: the adult child of an alcoholic, and the borderline personality. What are the differences and relationship and overlap between them? Does one have anything to do with the other? I realize BPD is a diagnostic label for a psychological disorder, while adult child of alcoholics seems more like just a psychological construct/concept to explain certain personality traits(?), but do they have anything to do with each other? Does growing up in an alcoholic unstable household trigger BPD?

I'm just sort of confused. Any explanations would be appreciated :).

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Posted

They can coincide, but not all children of alcoholics develop a personality disorders. Living around an alcoholic person can cause someone to become codependent or develop problems with addiction, stress and mental health issues etc.

Marsha Linehans theory is that a combination of innate biological sensitivity in the brain to stress, along with a childhood where the sufferer was invalidated/neglected/abused/traumatized can combine to make a child adapt coping skills to survive. Over time and as that child grows up, the coping methods fail to work or have other consequences. It is these behaviors, not your personality or core self, which make up BPD, which is great because therapy can help you get new and healther skills.

People with BPD can be very perceptive, sensitve, creative, kind and brave. We do what we do to get by because we were never given the tools everyone else got given. We can and do recover.

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