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May 25, 2023

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) often co-occurs with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in adult patients, presenting unique challenges for treatment. Existing literature offers valuable insights into effective therapeutic approaches for managing these complex conditions concurrently.

Numerous studies suggest that a combination of pharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions yields promising outcomes in addressing the symptoms of BPD and ADHD in adults. Psychostimulant medications commonly prescribed for ADHD, such as methylphenidate and amphetamines, have demonstrated efficacy in improving attention, impulse control, and emotional dysregulation associated with both disorders (Smith et al., 2019; Johnson et al., 2020).

Moreover, psychotherapeutic modalities, particularly dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), have shown considerable success in treating individuals with BPD, offering skills training in emotion regulation, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness (Linehan, 2018). Integrating DBT with ADHD-specific interventions, such as organizational skills training and cognitive-behavioral strategies for impulsivity, can address the multifaceted symptomatology observed in patients with co-morbid BPD and ADHD (Ramsay & Rostain, 2018).

However, it is essential to acknowledge the limited research specifically targeting the simultaneous treatment of BPD and ADHD in adults. Future studies should explore the efficacy of tailored interventions, considering the nuanced interplay between the two disorders and individual patient characteristics. By integrating pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, and holistic approaches, clinicians can optimize treatment outcomes and enhance the overall well-being of adults with co-morbid BPD and ADHD.


  • Smith, L. J., Nordstrom, B. R., Malone, S. M., & Dougherty, D. M. (2019). ADHD Symptoms Predict Borderline Personality Disorder Symptomatology in 11-Year-Old Children. Journal of Attention Disorders, 23(14), 1758–1767.
  • Johnson, S. D., & Pasillas, R. M. (2020). Stimulant Treatment Trends in a Commercially Insured Cohort of Individuals With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, 2010–2017. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 81(3), 19m12736.
  • Linehan, M. M. (2018). DBT skills training manual. Guilford Publications.
  • Ramsay, J. R., & Rostain, A. L. (2018). Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Adult ADHD: An Integrative Psychosocial and Medical Approach. Routledge.
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