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Addictive and Borderline Personality Disorders

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Substance addictive disorder and borderline personality disorder are two related disease. The American Psychological Association has published that 70% of all adult inmates have co-occurring mental health and substance abuse problems (as cited in Lu, 2015). People who tend to abuse substances may have behavior and emotional disorders, while patients with borderline personality disorder are usually at high risk of further harmful substance addictiveness. The treatment of addictive and borderline personality disorders should include simultaneous psychologist and physician help to demonstrate effective results.

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Amy Winehouses History and Psychological Diagnoses

Amy Winehouse was a popular British singer, who died at the age of 27 from accidental alcohol poisoning. She was known as a person with high level of addiction to diverse substances with unstable psychological condition. In 2007, Winehouse was hospitalized for heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, and ketamine mixture with vodka and whisky (Biography, 2017). Aggressive, self-injured, bored with life, she also suffered from the borderline personality disorder.

Everything was well in Winehouses life. As a child, she had a full family. At the age of 12 she was accepted into the prestigious Sylvia Young Theatre School (Biography, 2017), but she was expelled from it for lack of desire to study and piercing in her nose when she was 16 (Biography, 2017). It was the age, when her emotional instability, lack of motivation, and life priorities became to show up, what pointed at her unstable psychological condition. In 2003, the star got to know about career, but it did not prevent her from showing up drunk in public. Sooner, she gained the reputation of an emotionally unstable party girl. The problem of her addiction to alcohol and cigarettes together with emotional misbalance became unquestionable. Before her death in 2011, Amy saw her doctor and explained the reason of her long-term substances addiction as a result of being bored (Biography, 2017). She did not have the purpose in her life.

The situation became even worse, when alcohol and cigarettes addictive Winehouse met Blake Fielder Civil. Besides the fact that their relations had unstable character, what added stress to Amys weak psyche, Civil was the one who introduced hard drugs to the star. Since that time Winehouses environment became more harmful. Amys relationships with her boyfriend were often accompanied with dramatic scenes and fistfights. They often changed from idealization to devaluation. Moreover, they were totally centered on drug use and alcohol and physical abuse (Biography, 2017). All these characteristics prove that substances addiction was not the only reason of Amy Winehouses psychological health issues and the real reasons lied deep in her psychological condition.

Only in 2006, the singers musical supervisor offered her a course of rehabilitation from alcohol abuse, but she refused and decided to continue her career without extra help. Surprisingly, it went high unlike to the singers health condition, reputation, and relationships. Her scandal song Rehab took top 10 positions for several months. In 2007, the star married her drug-friend Blake. Her behavior became even stranger, as she continued using and mixing different kinds of drugs and smoking marijuana.

In 2009, Amy Winehouse divorced with her husband (Biography, 2017). Nobody knew weather it exacerbated her psychological condition, but in 2011 she drunk five times more than a fatal dose of alcohol after the short-term period of abstinence. Her doctor saw Amy a day before her death and admitted that she looked calm and somewhat guilty (Biography, 2017), at the same time she asserted him that she was not going to die than evening. Consequently, such a huge overdose of alcohol was bound more to an accidental than a suicidal case. Within her lifetime, Amy Winehouse showed herself as emotionally instable, sometimes aggressive, and impulsive person with heavy alcohol and drug addiction. The cases of hurting-herself and the tendency to explosive relationships with others show that substance abuse was not the only reason of her psychological dysfunction, but it was also correlated with borderline personality disorder diagnosis.

Two Different Theoretical Perspectives of Amy Winehouse Psychological Disorder

The psychological disorder of Amy Winehouse can be viewed from two different theoretical perspectives: substance use and addictive disorder and borderline personality disorder. The first disorder is based on the addiction and psychological problems, and the second one centers on the psychological problems and considers addictiveness as a spin-off activity. According to the theoretical perspective of addictive disorder, Amy Winehouse disrupted herself by the harm of alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. In general, the treatment of addictive disorder was guided with the help of psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, biological, and sociocultural approaches (Comer, 2016). The highest effectiveness demonstrated the biological approach with the combination of detoxication and antagonist drug usage. Other approaches showed a short-term effectiveness and were considered as more helpful together with inpatient treatment. Consequently, psychological help was considered as a little contributor to the treatment of heavy addictive disorders. For this reason, Amy Winehouse was offered full rehabilitation, which included not only outpatient (psychological) treatment, but also inpatient (pharmacological) one. Statistics indicate that in the USA only 11% (2.5 million people) of all those with substance use disorder receive treatment from a mental health professional (Comer, 2016). Consequently, the theoretical perspective of an addictive disorder considers medical help more effective than psychological. However, it also reviews it as the last in its treatment approaches.

The inpatient choice of addictive treatment for Amy Winehouse is explained by the fact that she was not likely to suffer from sociocultural discrimination or lack of nurturance in childhood. Her genetic predisposition was not researched in full, but she could have dopamine receptor less than 20% as the majority of substance use disorder participants had. However, at the same time, cognitive-behavioral explanation of her problems was clearly viewed as well. Her abuse rose at times of tension, as if she was trying to medicate herself with different substances. Moreover, she was addicted not to one certain drug, but to drugs of all kinds, what pointed at classical conditioning of cognitive-behavioral view on the problem. The theoretical perspective of the borderline personality disorder in contrast to substance use and addictive disorder perspective considered the psychological factors as a starting point of addictions. Stacy Lu (2015) reported that 80% of females detainees who used drugs had symptoms of depression. Considering such statistics, it was rational to start treatment of the substance addiction in a cabinet of a knowledgeable psychologist.

Amy Winehouse showed her impulsiveness, social protest, and aggressiveness before her 16. All these characteristics together with further drug and alcohol abuse and a tendency to self-injury were common for the borderline personality disorder. It is a serious mental illness, which leads to the instability of character and the inability to achieve long-term goals (many of Winehouse concerts were canceled because of the psychological problems). Magazine Psychology Today has reported that young adults are in greater risk of borderline personality disorder and it fades with age (Borderline psychology disorder, 2017). So, it could be reasonable to ask Amy to visit a competent psychologist to prevent exacerbation of her problem when she was a teenager, because correct treatment on time always results in successful results (DeAngelis, 2001). The theoretical perspective of the borderline personality disorder is founded on the individual therapy. It offers to screen every client who visits a doctor for possible substances abuse. It aims to stop the problem at the beginning and prevent its hard consequences in the future. Such approach is based on the cause and effect. It aims to find and eliminate the roots of depression, anxiety, and other more serious behavioral disorders what will help to prevent any kind of substance addiction appearance in the future.

Analysis of Addictive and Borderline Personality Disorders

The theoretical perspective on substance use and addictive personality disorder is used more frequently in the practice in the USA today. As a rule, substance addiction is treated with medicines. Psychological reasons and factors are considered too, but they take the secondary role. The effectiveness and fast progress are the main reasons of such treatment. However, there are also many psychological dysfunctions which are at their initial stage. Thus, it can be easier and less harmful for health to prevent them with psychologists help rather than with physicians.

Borderline personality disorders perspective emphasizes on the value of the help of psychologists and underlines that it is underestimated nowadays. Statistics proves such facts, as only small percentage of addicted patients receives consultation from the psychologists. Such approach views emotional and behavioral disorders as a predisposition to further substance addictiveness. Specialists, who support such approach, believe that every patient of a psychologist should be automatically examined for current substance abuse or predisposition to it, as the issue is much easier to eliminate at the beginning than to treat at the severe stages.

Both above mentioned theoretical perspectives have their ratio. Of course, it is better and less costly to prevent danger and start treating the nations problem number one in psychologists cabinets. However, such practice is not possible to apply at once as it needs medical services reformation and additional psychologists education. The direct medical treatment of addictive disorder cases shows its effectiveness in severe cases, but the majority of the clients with slight substance abuse and their relatives often stretch such hospitalization, what exacerbates the illness treatment in the future.

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It is obvious that addictive and borderline personality disorders are tightly connected and, therefore, treatment of these disorders should also come along. The most rational strategy is to implement the borderline personality disorders perspective for initial marks of substance abuse and to treat it with the help of psychologist at its beginning. Addictive disorder perspective in its way should be implemented for more sever and neglected cases, but psychologists help should not be omitted too.

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