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Q: “What Is Trauma’s Relationship to BPD and ADHD?”

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Q: “How should clinicians understand a patient’s experience with trauma and adverse events in relation to conditions that are often associated with trauma, like borderline personality disorder (BPD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

How should clinicians take traumatic events into consideration when evaluating and treating these patients?”With ADHD, we know that individuals have a higher risk for various kinds of trauma.1 We also know that the signs of trauma — like inattention and emotional dysregulation — can overlap with the signs of ADHD.

Attention issues, for example, can be due to intrusive thoughts about a traumatic event. A stimulant medication can improve inattention in ADHD, but it won’t help inattention if it’s trauma-based and unrelated to ADHD.

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