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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSONALITY DISORDERS
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Author Topic: Is cutting and suicidal ideation common to all pwBPD?  (Read 23058 times)
goochiegirl
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« on: March 14, 2006, 12:21:53 PM »

I have read in numerous places that approx 8-10% of BPDs commit suicide.  Not ATTEMPT, actually commit.  Well, I wonder how true this is, as I haven't read any such experiences here among nons.. shouldn't it be that 1 out of every 10-12 nons here have their BPDs commit suicide?  I don't think I ever read of a single case - tho maybe I'm not reading in the right sections.
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Mem
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2006, 02:32:24 AM »

I can think of a couple in Unchosen.  One had a BPsister who blamed her in the suicide note.  Another had a momster whom she blamed for her BPish brother's suicide. 

So much of what we do here is deal with ongoing BP relationships.  I don't know that it's really set up for grieving or that kind of catharsis. 

Also, we rely a lot on amateur diagnoses here--not every BP discussed here is a BP.  I suspect, also, we get higher-functioning BPs.  My BPsis seems to be one of the more severe cases here --with multiple hospitalizations for suicide threats.  But I think she's not a severe case when considered among the general clinical population.

--Mem
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snaillady2
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2006, 11:32:04 AM »

Over in Chosen in the last couple of weeks, one non was posting in regards to a suspected BPD patient who had taken a tylenol overdose and killed herself. I think the thread is titled, "One less BPD in the world..."  I do believe several nons have posted of their BPD's suicide attempts here on the boards.

Another reason why there is so little suicides among the nons may be that they have 1) extracted themselves and are no longer in contact with BPD person or 2) they are proactive enough to seek out information on the web on BPD, thus proactive enough to take suicide threats seriously. You will find a TON of nons posting about suicide threats here in the forum, and our Nook community has been very proactive in getting the info out that suicide threats are to be taken seriously at all costs. Therefore, we may have less BPD suicides here among Nookies because they are more informed. 

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sophie22
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2006, 12:52:02 PM »

my ex-friend has a suicide attempt in her history as well
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Mollyd
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2008, 07:46:38 PM »

The statistic I have heard is not that 10% of people with BPD actually committ suicide, but instead, that of the people with BPD who attempt suicide - 10% of those attempts result in death.

Molly
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salt
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« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2008, 09:45:32 AM »

I don't know the statistics, but I can say that my friend's mother committed suicide last year.  She was 55 years old and diagnosed with BPD.  She had also attempted suicide a couple of times in the past.  This time, she succeeded. 
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« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2008, 10:29:51 AM »

Dunno, but my BPD's dad committed suicide, and I'm sure that one or both of the parents must have been udBPD from the way they spoke of the childhood interactions (then again, my BPD is recollecting from within a BPD headset -- don't know how true or unskewed their memories are...).
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WalrusGumboot
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« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2008, 01:02:35 PM »

Suicide is a selfish act, and since the BPD is so consumed with their own selves, they regard their relief from their pain higher than the pain the suicide will cause their loved ones. That is, IF they have any loved ones left.

My wife over the course of the last 20 years of our marriage has systematically estranged her family and mine, and made me choose sides between her and my family, and I made the ignorant mistake of choosing her. I am now in the process of mending relationships with my family, and if she doesn't like it, she can leave. She has talked and made threats about suicide before, like wanting to run her car into a tree. I used to get so upset, but now I know what her condition is, I just ignore it. If she does one day, the way she is going, she will leave very few people to mourn.
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2008, 11:03:04 PM »

Another problem with suicide in BPD is it is hard to tell if they actually intended DEATH to happen. Most BPD and other personality disorder suicide attempts are done within the presence of others, leading to questions about suicidal intent. Contrast this to mood disorders where suicide rarely takes place in the presence of others. BPDs also lack a set date/plan for suicide and it is usually an impulsive act. This too differs from mood and other mental health disorders. I agree with walrus. They are out to hurt others by hurting themselves. My ex has had multiple "suicide attempts", although i think she consciously made sure she would be found. She would always call me after cutting herself or ODing on pills. She would then blame me for her pain. Saying, if i would have only acted in such a such a way she wouldn't have been in soo much pain and wanted to kill herself. Same goes for cheating. After she cheated on me she admitted it was just to get me back and show me she could hurt me the way i "hurt" her.
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2008, 09:36:46 PM »

I honestly hope that this does not happen to my daughter...she has attempted by taking pills,cutting,and recently grabbing in a fit of rage..bleach to drink and the chopping block.I grabbed it all...dont know how I did it.I am her mom and she was out of control screaming for her boyfriend to come and he would not.He has had it.He can not handle it and she went into this rage.She has been in the hospital many times.She does NOT come from a abusive family..just the oppisite.I dont understand why this happens to her.She has the heart of gold and is the most loving girl...but her mind is disconnected when stress happens she can not control.Now she is talking about jumping in front of the subway,she says she can not do it anymore,she is in pain.She does not seem care that it would kill us if she did anything.She said the pain is too great.We all love her and give her tons of hugs and support she is in her 20s...she is going into a program she checked herself in.In the meantime I worry each and every day and pray that nothing sets her off...I feel so bad for those with BPD that dont have support I wish there was more awarness out there.

I am glad for boards like these. I want to know what happened here,was she born with it.She was ok until high school...is it because of more mature relationships are being formed in teen years and then young adulthood...

Does anyone know if there is a common reason for alot of these cases to be girls,early 20s,and in our case no abuse or family with any mental issues...(ADD mother,and Autisum newphew)

If I knew a root maybe we could work on that problem.

Thanks
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Joshua
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2008, 05:13:24 PM »

Another problem with suicide in BPD is it is hard to tell if they actually intended DEATH to happen. Most BPD and other personality disorder suicide attempts are done within the presence of others, leading to questions about suicidal intent. Contrast this to mood disorders where suicide rarely takes place in the presence of others. BPDs also lack a set date/plan for suicide and it is usually an impulsive act. This too differs from mood and other mental health disorders. I agree with walrus. They are out to hurt others by hurting themselves. My ex has had multiple "suicide attempts", although i think she consciously made sure she would be found. She would always call me after cutting herself or ODing on pills. She would then blame me for her pain. Saying, if i would have only acted in such a such a way she wouldn't have been in soo much pain and wanted to kill herself. Same goes for cheating. After she cheated on me she admitted it was just to get me back and show me she could hurt me the way i "hurt" her.

This kind of story disturbs me, in a way. I'm not saying your BP wasn't threatening/attempting "for the drama" as it were, but as a friend of a BP who successfully committed suicide, I take ALL threats/attempts extremely seriously- even veiled. And trust me- my friend fully intended to kill herself (self-inflicted gunshot to the head).

Please please PLEASE don't generalize all BPs as not intending to really kill themselves.
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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2008, 05:27:16 PM »



I second what you have said, Joshua, I lost a friend, too.

I would never characterize their self-harm or suicidal ideation or attempts as "selfish" acts.  Their pain is Unbearable.
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tired_mom
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« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2008, 02:10:58 PM »

I too second Joshua (or is it third?) in taking all BPD suicide talk seriously.

When my 16 y/o BPDd voices her suicidal idealizations - i listen. It is her attempt to seek help to push the thoughts away before they overcome her ability to cope with carrying them out. She doesn't always voice them however. She has attempted suicide

(8 times in the last 4 years) . I am trying to keep her from adding to the statistic of succeeding.

There are many aspects of BPD and to generalize that threats of suicide is all drama can lead others on this board to wrong conclusions, with a BPD in their lives.

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« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2008, 03:03:57 PM »

I have to take all suicide threats seriously. My boyfriend works closely with his counselor, but in general his pattern is to not say anything to other people until the crisis is in the past, sometimes weeks. this pattern has led his therapist to suggest inpatient to him at times which he does not want to do. He does come from a very abusive history, some of which I was in his life and witnessed. Tip of the iceberg kind of things. I cant honestly say i would have survived living his life. It is one of my greatest fears that he would commit suicide without saying anything beforehand so i try to encorage him to talk whenever he is feeling bad.
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« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2011, 06:10:20 AM »

Does everyone with BPD cut or self-mutilate. My mom fits alot of the description, but never any cutting that I am aware of.
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havana
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« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2011, 09:44:04 AM »

My wife never did.
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« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2011, 11:02:15 PM »

Does everyone with BPD cut or self-mutilate. My mom fits alot of the description, but never any cutting that I am aware of.

No. Therapists get this wrong a lot.
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« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2011, 11:50:07 AM »

it's not always blatant. My BPD wife is a scab scratcher and picker.  There are some cuts that are years old.
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« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2011, 10:12:36 PM »

My ex sometimes bite's and picks at her lips to the point where they bleed and get very sore. I used to have to constantly pull her hand away while we were watching a movie or something, she'd just sit there destroying her lips i don't think she even realised she was doing it.  Sometimes we couldn't even kiss or make out because her lips were so sore.

It only seem'd to happen when she was nervous or stressed out like when people bite there nails, I don't know if it's a BPD thing or just common but sometimes her lips looked really painful, surely it cant be normal.
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greenjay
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« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2011, 01:25:55 PM »

My m has had suicidal tendencies ever since I can remember. She would hold a sharp knife to her wrists and neck, she would put her head in the oven, take a bottle of sleeping pills, etc. It was a very stressful time in the household, and my father did not know what to do so he did nothing. My m is now 80 and continues to do the same ___. Last summer it was a bottle of rubbling alcohol and some sleeping pills. It is truly amazing that she is still alive, at the ripe old age of 80! Triggers are when she is overwhelmed or stressed, feels abandoned, when she has returned for a trip, or at christmas time. I don't get it. I am slowly getting it, with the help of this site, however! It makes me so sad and I pity her so much. I have tried desperately to get her help, but she wants no part of it.
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« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2011, 01:51:25 PM »

My BPD SO does neither.  She used to slap herself, until one day I slapped myself.  She got very upset and told me not to do that.  I told her, that's how I feel when you slap yourself  cry  She apologized, and promised never to do it again, and she hasn't.  xoxo  It's the only time in nearly the 9 years we have been together that I have actually gotten through to her.  About ANYTHING. 
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« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2011, 01:53:13 PM »

I'm so glad she stopped, cause that hurt!   
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« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2011, 02:58:48 PM »

my pwBPD doesn't to that specifically, but she does pick scabs, destroy her face trying to pop zits, and is a "secret night eater"  that claims she can't control her weight due to "thyroid issues"...she is 33 years old and very obese...
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« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2013, 10:21:59 AM »

Only once out of coutless times did my pwBPD cut "because" of something I said.  It makes me feel very sad.  I'd like to think of myself as someone who would never "cause" that much pain.
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mosaicbird
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« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2013, 10:41:53 AM »

Numerous times, yes. But I don't operate under the belief that it was "because" of me...   I don't have that much power over people. Her self-injury was an expression of pain that came from deep within her - pain that existed long before I came into her life. It could have been triggered by things that went on between us, but it was not because of me, and it's a burden I refuse to take upon myself. Yes, I caused her pain, but I am not the cause of anyone being disordered enough to self-injure in response to that pain.

Scott, I'm not sure why you're determined to take on so much responsibility for your ex's actions, but it seems to be a pattern in your posts, and it comes across as hubris, grandiose thinking, and/or poor boundaries on your part. She was her own person, with her own internal demons, and they existed before you came into her life.
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« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2013, 10:49:53 AM »

Thank you mosaicbird.  Perhaps my grandiose thinking is a product of having to take responsibility for everything in the r/s for 11 years.  I'm only now realizing that her actions were just that - hers.
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« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2013, 04:18:38 PM »

Jumping back towards the starting concept . . . Cutting (or Self-Injury, in general) and Suicide Ideation -- very different things.

The Self-Injury is usually a method of Self-Medicating the out-of-control brain.  When the amygdala goes hyper, the self-injury can calm it down immediately.  Sort of impressive in that regard.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20537612

www.scientopia.org/blogs/scicurious/2010/09/01/the-neuroscience-of-self-inflicted-harm/

The Suicide part is more likely an attempt to stop the pain, as well, but permanently.

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