When people suffer from mental health disorders, they often feel forced to develop a personal method of coping with the disorder’s effects. Personality disorders, in particular, can be devastating to relationships with others and may lead suffering individuals to abuse drugs like Ritalin.
What Is a Personality Disorder?
Personality disorders are a class of mental illness that primarily interferes with perceiving and relating to people. A personality disorder is typically characterized by an inflexible, unhealthy pattern of thought and behavior in regards to people and situations. Those suffering from personality disorders find that they struggle to form meaningful relationships with others.
There are three different clusters of personality disorders with their own separate characteristics, identified as cluster A, B and C. Cluster A features eccentric behaviors such as irrational suspicion, blunted emotions, and distorted perceptions and includes the following disorders:
- Paranoid personality disorder
- Schizoid personality disorder
- Schizotypal personality disorder.
Cluster B is characterized by dramatic and emotional perceptions and reactions and includes:
- Antisocial personality disorder,
- Borderline personality disorder
- Histrionic personality disorder
- Narcissistic personality disorder
Those with these disorders might be egocentric or self-harming. In addition, they might lack the ability to empathize for others and may violate the rights of others.
Cluster C personality disorders are those that involve fear and anxiety including:
- Avoidant personality disorder
- Dependent personality disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
Those suffering from these disorders typically show perfectionistic behaviors, dependence on others, and feelings of inadequacy.
Personality Disorder and Ritalin Addiction
Because those with personality disorders experience such great social impairment, they must develop their own ways of coping with social isolation and inner conflict. Unfortunately, this leads many individuals to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Ritalin is a stimulant drug that is often abused for this reason. This drug is usually abused as a method of increasing focus, achieving a high, or losing weight.
Those with personality disorders may abuse Ritalin to improve their social lives. For example, someone with avoidant personality disorder might abuse the drug to calm sensory perceptions and fears, allowing him or her to interact better with others. In other cases, those with personality disorders may abuse the drug to achieve a high, allowing them to escape the reality of their disorder. Unfortunately, abusing Ritalin for these purposes results in increased problems.
Dangers of Abusing Ritalin with a Personality Disorder
There are several reasons that Ritalin abuse and addiction is dangerous for those with personality disorders. This is especially true for individuals with undiagnosed personality disorders. For example, stimulant medications like Ritalin may mask the symptoms of antisocial personality disorder, leading an individual to be unaware of the dual nature of his disorder. Because Ritalin addiction may mask the signs of personality disorders, the disorder may remain undiagnosed and therefore untreated. In addition to masking the problem, Ritalin can lead to intensification of the symptoms of the personality disorder. However, these symptoms are more likely to be attributed to the drug abuse instead of the underlying personality disorder.
Get Help for Ritalin Addiction
Suffering with a personality disorder is a daily struggle that will only get worse when Ritalin is involved. If you or a loved one has become addicted to Ritalin, please call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about treatment for Ritalin addiction and a co-occurring personality disorder.