Borderline Personality Disorder and Physical Health

BPD and Health

There has long been a noted link between borderline personality disorder (BPD) and poor physical health consequences. BPD certainly does not impact physical health for everyone, but for many, BPD drives behaviors that are known to be detrimental, or even dangerous.

Since BPD is a characterized by a deficit of emotion regulation skills, people with BPD sometimes engage in disparate attempts to feel better which can have long term negative consequences. A recent study examined some of these behaviors. They include:

  • alcohol and drug abuse

  • self-harm

  • chronic use of opioid, benzodiazepine, and anti-psychotic medications

  • smoking

  • poor diet

  • poor sexual health

  • poor adherence to medical treatments

There is also a relationship between BPD and binge-eating and sleep issues.

DBT is a treatment for BPD, and it used to target specific, problematic behaviors. While the focus is on emotional health, DBT could also target behaviors that have a negative effect on physical health.