As many readers know, I maintain a forum for people who take buprenorphine for opioid dependence. The initial purpose of the forum was to serve as a source of accurate information about the new medication. Now, several years later, the forum is also a gathering place for people who share certain interests.
Studies have established a connection between opioid dependence and certain personality traits, including a tendency toward depression. In my conversations with people addicted to opioids, many describe an emptiness experienced throughout their lives. Opioids, prescribed or illicit, initially eased that emptiness, relieving the depression and for some even giving a sense, for the first time, that life was worth living.
I suspect that the emptiness experienced by people with borderline personality disorder is akin to the emptiness that some people find responsive to opioids. Over the years I’ve had many people write to me, independently, about a ‘hole’ they felt before taking pain pills. I suspect that the current studies of the antidepressant actions of buprenorphine are examining similar effects.