Support Promote Advocate

for Borderline Personality Disorder

Coexisting Conditions

On the page we will include resources relating to BPD and coexisting conditions.

The term 'coexisting disorders' (sometimes referred to as comorbidity) describes the presence of two or more conditions occurring in the same person.  These may be other mental health issues or physical illnesses.

The evidence base around this is fortunately increasing.

Coexisting mental health conditions are extremely common in people with BPD, with the symptoms of other diagnoses often overlapping. So it is important that they are diagnosed correctly and managed actively keeping in mind that the existence of another condition does not necessarily mean that they should be treated separately.

The most common coexisting mental health conditions associated with BPD include the following:

  • Major depressive disorder (35-85%)
  • Dysthymic disorder (25-65%)
  • Bipolar affective disorder (5-15%)
  • Generalised anxiety disorder (10-22%)
  • Panic disorder (30-50%)
  • Agoraphobia (10-35%)
  • Social phobia (25-50%)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (35-55%)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (15-25%)
  • Eating disorder (30-50%)
  • Substance use disorder (20-65%)
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (16-38%) (National Health and Medical Research Council 2012, Bateman and Krawitz 2013, Tomko, Trull et al. 2014)

People with BPD can often meet the criteria for another personality disorder with the most common being:

  • Avoidant personality disorder (35-47%)
  • Dependent personality disorder (40-50%)
  • Paranoid personality disorder (20-30%)
  • Antisocial personality disorder (15-25%, likely to be higher in forensic and prison services) (Bateman and Krawitz 2013) (McGlashan, Grilo et al. 2000, Zimmerman, Rothschild et al. 2005, Tomko, Trull et al. 2014).
  • BPD is less associated with schizoid, histrionic and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders (Zimmerman, Rothschild et al. 2005).

It is common for people with BPD to meet the criteria for one or more mental health disorders over the course of their life.

Complex PTSD (cPTSD) / PTSD

What is the Difference Between Borderline Personality Disorder and Complex PTSD (C-PTSD)?: Todd Grande

Borderline Personality Disorder and Complex PTSD: Differentiation and Treatment: Lois W. Choi-Kain,

Eating Disorders

Borderline Personality Disorder - Lady Diana, Marilyn Monroe and possibly a patient seeing you  (podcast)

Substance Use Disorder

Project Air Strategy Webinar/MHPN: Personality Disorders and Substance Use: Tips on effective treatment approaches