Monday, December 12, 2016

BPD and Suicide - Reasons The Numbers Are High

By Jody.  Among all of the mental illnesses, research has shown that people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) have not only the highest number of suicide attempts, but also the highest rates of completion. Some studies have the numbers as high as 70% of people with BPD will attempt suicide at least once in their lifetime, while many will have multiple attempts, and the death rates are estimated as high as 10%. BPD is primarily characterized by unstable emotions, impulsive behavior, unstable sense of self, intense but unstable relationships, repeated sudden and rapid mood swings, self-harm, and frequent suicidal thoughts and actions.

I was not officially diagnosed until last year, but I have been suicidal since I was a child, hence my first attempt at age eight, and subsequent attempts over the years, which I had attributed solely to multiple childhood traumas and the death of my Mom. I knew there was “something wrong with me” but had no interest in finding out what, as it was easier to ignore than to deal with. When I was first diagnosed, I really had no clue what BPD was and wasn’t sure I was happy being placed into a diagnostic box, until I went home and did some reading and realized that these characteristics were all ones that I ones I had consistently displayed over the years, especially the suicide and self-harm.

After being diagnosed and realizing I was not the only one with these thoughts, I started doing some reading on the commonality of suicide and self-harm, and why it was so prevalent among individuals with BPD, and the same three things came up repeatedly, all which fit accurately with the attempts in my life.

  1. People with BPD experience extremely emotions, especially negative ones, at a much more intense level than that average person. It feels somewhat like always having an open wound that when touched even gently causes immense pain. These emotions often become so intense and overwhelming that our minds simply can’t process the pain and we often feel like the only way to end the pain, is to end our lives, even if we don’t necessarily want to die.
  2. One of the primary and most difficult symptoms of BPD to control is the impulsivity, which is the tendency to act quickly without recognizing consequences. For me, it feels like the emotional part of my brain has shut down the cognitive, rational side to the point that every thought and action then becomes emotively driven, and often that is what triggers the thoughts of suicide and self –harm. It is often recurrent attempts or injuries that are the only reasons people with BPD present for help.

  3. BPD is a chronic condition, meaning that not only does it often last for years but there are no medications to manage it directly, and those that are prescribed are generally for the symptoms of other illnesses that often present with BPD. The main road to recovery is through therapy, and sadly, for so many people that is not a viable option, whether it is for personal or financial reasons, BPD often goes untreated, hence the extreme number of suicide attempts.

Suicide is a subject that most people are ignorant to only because it has yet to directly affect them, however if the statistics keep rising at the current rate, it won’t be too long before everyone knows someone who has been affected. A simple conversation could help to save a life, so be the one to start it.

Additional Resources:

BPD is a chronic condition and usually lasts for years. Conditions that are more chronic may lead to more risk for suicide since they do not tend to get better quickly without treatment. BPD tends to co-occur with other mental disorders, such as bipolar disorder, major depression and schizoaffective disorder. When there are other mental disorders present, the risk of suicide increases.

Guest Blogger Note

Jody is a 3x suicide attempt survivor, childhood domestic violence survivor and sexual abuse survivor dealing with borderline personality disorder, depression, self-harm and anxiety.  Hoping to make the difference in at least one life.  You can find Jody on her BLOG or you can follow her on TWITTER.  She's a great friend to follow!

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
  • Images courtesy of Jody with permission.
  • Permission required before any part of this blog post is reprinted, reworded or used in any form. 
  • You are welcomed to share the LINK to this blog post.  

No comments:

Post a Comment





Blog Post And Images (c) 1/01/07 by Don Shetterly
  • Permission required in writing before any part of this blog is reprinted, reworded, transmitted or used in any format.
  • Feel free to share the blog post LINK and a brief summary.

  • “Amazon, the Amazon logo, MYHABIT, and the MYHABIT logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates.”