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Old 06-05-09, 11:07 PM
ADDMagnet ADDMagnet is offline
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Connection between ADHD and Personality Disorders?

This subject was brought up in another thread so I thought it would be a good idea to start a new thread on this subject.

First, let me start by saying that they are separate disorders. ADHD does not turn into a personality disorder. However, symptoms can overlap and in some cases, ADHD can be a risk factor for developing certain personality disorders.

Generally, it is the presence of conduct disorder, not simply ADHD, that puts one at risk for developing antisocial personality disorder. It doesn't mean that someone will definitely will develop the disorder.

The Milwaukee study of ADHD in adults (see the book "ADHD in Adults--What the Science Says" by Russell Barkley, Kevin Murphy and Mariellen Fischer) found a high comorbidity of personality disorders with adult ADHD, with the top three being Passive-Aggressive, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD). On the reverse side, there was a study done in Italy that indicated that a high percentage of adult patients with BPD would have qualified for a childhood diagnosis of ADHD (more than half). Unfortunately, there are few studies on ADHD in adults and even fewer that would include both ADHD and personality disorders.

No one knows the exact cause of personality disorders but generally, it is believed to be a combination of genetic/biological factors and trauma, abuse or other environmental stressors. There are some risk factors that have been identified but that is not equivalent to a cause.

Child abuse and/or trauma can affect the development of the brain, even causing damage to the brain or neural circuitry. If the individual already has a genetic or biological predisposition for a particular disorder, they are at greater risk for developing a disorder.

I liken it to Diabetes 2, where certain factors put one at risk for developing it. You can lessen the risk by doing certain things (like not smoking, eating healthier, exercising, etc) but some people will still develop Diabetes and others may be able to avoid it.

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Old 06-05-09, 11:26 PM
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Gina Gina is offline
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Re: Connection between ADHD and Personality Disorders?

Excellent response, ADDMagnet. Accurate and concise!
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Old 06-05-09, 11:37 PM
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Re: Connection between ADHD and Personality Disorders?

One particular personality disorder has a lot in common with ADHD in adults, and each can be misdiagnosed as the other, or both disorders can be present. This is the personality disorder that I am the most familiar with--borderline personality disorder (BPD).

If you look at the Utah criteria (WURS) for adult ADHD, several symptoms such as affective lability, hot temper, stress intolerance, and impulsivity are also indicative of BPD. Although the DSM-IV criteria for ADHD does not specifically list problems with emotional regulation, many books on ADHD discuss the emotional regulation problems usually associated with ADHD. And BPD is considered to be a disorder of emotional dysregulation.

My husband has both ADHD and BPD, as do my adult daughter, and recently diagnosed teenage son. I know others as well who have both but there are distinguishing factors between the two disorders.

To add to the confusion, BPD and bipolar disorder share some similarities in that they both involve mood swings and impulsive behavior. Again, there are some distinguishing factors if you know what to look for.
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Old 06-06-09, 12:51 AM
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Re: Connection between ADHD and Personality Disorders?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADDMagnet View Post

First, let me start by saying that they are separate disorders. ADHD does not turn into a personality disorder. However, symptoms can overlap and in some cases, ADHD can be a risk factor for developing certain personality disorders.

Hi ADDMagnet,

from my understanding the underlying basis for personalitydisorders is a way of viewing others and life in general based on an indviduals interactions with others over time and maifests in a way of reacting to others . There may well be a biological or genetic connection . i don't think they have found it yet.



my thought is someone who has ADHD can have problems interacting socially . can be abused and misunderstood by parents teachers and peers and be blamed for the way they are. If this is not caught as a child . (THE ADHD ) one coud easily develop into whats viewed as a personality disorder.

AND an ADULT with ADHD UNtreated could be fit into a personality disorder due to the overlap in symptoms in the criteria.

an adult with a personality disorder could vary well be and adultchild with ADHD.

one way to determine this would be to have an adult with a personality disorder recover from the criteria but still be left with the ADHD symptoms which still are thought to be the symptoms of some personality disorders.




just a therory of mine.

Infinity~ .
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