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PTSD, ADHD & BPD: Know the Major Difference Before Seeking Doctor


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A new study shows that nearly 31 million Americans, which means nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population, are dealing with some personality disorders. A personality disorder is a mental health disorder that heavily impacts the way individuals think, behave and deal with day-to-day issues. The disorders like BPD, antisocial personality disorder, PTSD, histrionic personality disorder, ADHD, etc. have affected people across the United States and around the world. 

These disorders impact every aspect of their lives and even lead to high-risk behaviors and suicidal thoughts. Though some disorders can be controlled or cured with the help of a therapist, others require long-term diagnosis or intensive treatment to minimize the risk of lifelong disorders. But, the biggest threat for both the patients and psychotherapists is to identify the type of disorder a person is dealing with. Out of all the personality disorders PTSD, ADHD, and BPD are considered to be the most complicated and hardest to treat disorders that could make things worse if not identified. Here, we have explained major differences between PTSD, ADHD, BPD to make things easier for you:

PTSD- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD or Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychiatric disorder that usually triggers when an individual has faced any traumatizing experience during their life. Terrifying events like a natural disaster, sudden death, serious accidents, sexual molestation (rape), terrorist act, etc. trigger uncontrollable thoughts about the incidence. 

Fear of something is a natural feeling experienced by everyone, yet most people recover from the trauma naturally. But, those who are unable to cope with the overwhelming events may be further diagnosed with PTSD. PTSD can occur with people of all ages despite their ethnicity, sexuality, or nationality. 

Signs & Symptoms

The symptoms of Post-traumatic stress disorder tend to appear within one month of a horrifying event that a person has witnessed before. However, it will take even years for the symptoms to fully appear. Having said that, here are some symptoms of the person dealing with PTSD:

  • Constant Nightmares/hallucinations
  • Flashbacks or fear of repeating the same horrifying incident that they have experienced before
  • Difficulty sleeping/concentrating
  • Angry outbursts
  • Hypersensitivity to possible danger
  • Feeling tensed/anxious
  • Depression
  • Phobias
  • Tiredness
  • Heavy sweating/shaking
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These symptoms can interfere with day-to-day tasks while disrupting the person’s professional life too. 

Risk Factors

PTSD varies from person to person and often reacts differently. As every person tends to manage fear, stress, or any related situation differently, not every individual may possess the symptom of PTSD. The development or the severity of PTSD will also depend on the type of support a sufferer is getting from the family members, friends, and professionals too.

People who were brutally abused, harassed and tortured physically or mentally as children are more exposed to PTSD. Both physical and sexual assault are the common factors that further make the person a victim and are more likely to develop PTSD.


The goal of PTSD treatment is to lessen the risk, reduce both mental and physical stress, and help a person to manage the disorder fearlessly. With the help of psychotherapy including certain antidepressants and medications, PTSD can be treated effectively

You must seek timely support and professional help to not allow PTSD to develop further.

ADHD- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that commonly occurs in childhood and often lasts into adolescence and adulthood. Being a hyperactivity disorder, ADHD makes it difficult for a person to manage, control, and pay attention to things. There is a possibility that your child is suffering from ADHD if he or she repeatedly struggles with low self-esteem, is unable to pay attention, and shows poor performance in school. There’s no perfect cure for ADHD but one can still manage some early symptoms through diagnosis and treatments.

Common Symptoms

Just like PTSD, the symptoms of ADHD differ from child to child while hampering their personal as well as school life negatively. A child dealing with ADHD might have symptoms like:

  • Failing to pay attention to details
  • Making careless and repeated mistakes whether in school or home
  • Lacking focus
  • Difficulty following instructions
  • Trouble organizing or managing day to day tasks
  • Talking too much or too less
  • Losing things easily
  • Daydreaming 
  • Not staying still or seated at one place
  • Acting without thinking
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The signs of ADHD can be mild, moderate to severe, and often affect males rather than females.

Risk Factors

Due to a lack of medical evidence, the risk factors related to ADHD are still unknown. Scientists and researchers are blaming possible risk factors that can cause ADHD in children. 

  • Brain injury
  • Usage of tobacco, alcohol, and other toxic chemicals at the time of pregnancy
  • Premature delivery
  • Low birth weight

Also, genetics could be the possible reason that can cause ADHD, but strong evidence is needed from scientists to prove this theory.

Treatment & Therapies

In most cases, ADHD can be treated easily by combining behavior therapy, medications, and regular training from parents. 

Although many doctors are finding the perfect cure for ADHD as of now, education and training can help the patients to cope up with daily challenges with ease.

BPD- Borderline Personality Disorder

BPD- Borderline Personality Disorder

Generally speaking, BPD or Borderline Personality Disorder is another stressful condition characterized by difficulties regulating emotions, behavior, goals, self-image, and even your likes or dislikes. People with BPD feel like they are on a rollercoaster ride having intense emotions of anger, anxiety, sadness, stress that can last for a few hours to plenty of days.

It is a form of mental illness that usually develops during adolescence or early adulthood. Unlike ADHD, a person with BPD feels extremely insecure and feels unstable about everything from their moods, thoughts, relationships to even identity. It is estimated that more than 75 percent of those diagnosed with BPD are mostly women. Recent research shows that men are equally affected with BPD but the number is quite less when compared to women.

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Symptoms & Diagnosis

Borderline personality disorder negatively affects their feelings, relationships, and behavior. The most common to complicated signs of BPD include:

  • Fear of abandonment
  • Unstable relationships
  • Unclear or shifting self-image
  • Impulsive, self-destructive behaviors
  • Self-harm like suicidal attempts or threats
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Explosive or uncontrollable anger
  • Struggling with paranoia or suspicious thoughts

Not every person experiencing BPD shows the same symptoms. Some individuals can have few symptoms while others can have many. Both victims and mental health professionals need to know the severity of BPD before giving medications.


The cause and effects of BPD in a person are not yet clear. But researchers suggest that several factors like genetics, brain structure, and family history are also responsible for triggering BPD. 

Some believe that environmental, social as well as cultural factors too can make the BPD worse.

When to Seek Doctor?

For ages, BPD is known to be the most difficult personality disorder to treat. Thanks to the evidence-based treatment that helps the patient to lessen the fewer or less severe symptoms of BPD.

BPD can be treated with the help of licensed mental health professionals who will further review patients’ medical conditions, medical evaluations, and even interviews with family members to provide the right diagnosis to the person.

If you notice signs of BPD in you or your family member, then find the best psychotherapist, medication, or hospitalization to receive appropriate support during your process. 


As PTSD, ADHD, and BPD are co-related in several ways, it is imperative to know the early warnings, diagnosis, and treatment procedures to treat each personality disorder comfortably.

Therefore, take into account every information related to PTSD, ADHD, and BPD before seeking a doctor.


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