Borderline and Suicidal Thoughts
I’m 20 years old and I suffer from a Borderline personality disorder, which has been hell to deal with and try and change. I have had admissions to hospital and have been in DBT for a while and while I have made some slight improvments, it hasnt fully helped me.
I am, not through choice, ending with my current therapist whom I’m extremely attached to in quite an unhealthy way. I am absolutely dreading it and some bad behaviours have cropped up as of late. I will be seeing another therapist.
My problem is this. Life sucks. Its really sucking at the moment. Infact, its been bad for a good few years. Suicide. Wow. I cannot, for the past year, stop thinking about it. I have made numerous attempts, some serious, at ending my life. The closest ive come is hanging myself.
I am seriously suicidal again. And, the thing is, I think I am going to really do it this time. Suicide is talked openly in my therapy, but I never see the point of bringing it up , because she says suicide is my ‘choice’. I know it is, but that doesn’t help. I want help deep down. And I know at the moment I am not getting the help I need. My therapist doesn’t agree with putting me in a hospital in case I start a ‘suicide career’ because I can be very dependent on hospitals.
And so I feel hopeless. I know someone who could get me a gun if I asked. I am now too scared to hang myself due to the intense pain, but am seriously considering it.
What do I do? I can’t keep myself safe for much longer, and for the above reasons, no hospitals.
I don’t think they take me seriously. And when they don’t, I want to kill myself to punish them or prove that I can do it and that I was serious.
Is this typical BPD behaviour?
A. The emotional pain may be making it difficult for you to think clearly and rationally. I know that you are experiencing severe emotional distress but you need to realize that killing yourself is not the answer.
I have written about this article before but I think it is important to highlight again. The New York Times published an article in July 2008 entitled “The Urge to End It All” regarding suicide. The article describes the lives of individuals who have attempted suicide and survived. The “take away message” of the article is that many of the people who attempted suicide and survived are thankful they did not die. They decided to kill themselves because they could not think of an alternative way to end their suffering. Many were able to receive help and never thought about suicide again.
In the book Life After Life written by Raymond Moody there’s an interesting section about individuals who have attempted suicide and had near-death experiences. Those experiences were generally negative and “hellish.” Some people believed that they were literally entering hell. This was the opposite of the experiences of individuals who did not purposefully attempt to end their lives and who had near-death experiences as a result of an accident or serious compromise to their health. Generally, their experiences were positive and inspirational.
People assume that suicide will bring them relief, but what if the opposite occurs? What if there were no relief and suicide brought more pain and suffering? The truth is we don’t know what the “afterlife” brings nor do we know if an “afterlife” exists.
Part of the reason you may be considering suicide is because like the others in The New York Times article, you cannot think of another way to end your suffering. You feel helpless. You feel like you’re at a dead end. You’re ending a relationship with a therapist that you know is going to be difficult and you are unsure about how, or even if, you will be able to establish a relationship with your future therapist.
You also may be considering suicide because, as you mentioned in your letter, you want the people who you believe have failed you or who rejected you to feel guilty about having driven you to commit suicide. Perhaps you want them to feel the same pain you feel. This line of thinking is unhealthy. You would be sacrificing your life for the purpose of revenge. This would be the ultimate act of self-destruction.
Your specific question, as I understand it, is related to whether your behavior is normal for individuals with borderline personality disorder. It is difficult to determine what is normal and abnormal because each individual is different and unique, but I can say that it is not unusual for people with this disorder to contemplate suicide. Generally, the struggles you wrote about are very similar to others with borderline personality disorder.
If you’re feeling suicidal please contact this service. You can speak to a crisis counselor. I would urge you to call as often as you feel necessary. You have ruled out the hospital as treatment but I don’t think that is a good idea. If you need to be hospitalized then you should admit yourself. The hospital can help to keep you safe.
You said that deep down you want help. You also know at the moment you are not getting it. You deserve better help than you are apparently getting. People have recovered from borderline personality disorder. There is no easy cure for the disorder but people can live better lives with treatment. You know that you are not getting the help you need. It’s a matter of finding a successful and effective treatment. I would strongly encourage you not to give up hope.
I would like to leave you with this one last thought. Vikor Frankl, a well-known psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor wrote this when counseling clients who were considering suicide “…who can guarantee that in your case, it will not happen one day (i.e. that you will get better), sooner or later? But…you have to live to see the day on which it may happen, so you have to survive in order to see that day dawn, and from now on the responsibility for survival does not leave you.”
You said in your letter that your life was “sucking at the moment.” That “moment” will very likely pass, and according to the logic of Dr. Frankl, it is your responsibility to “see that day dawn.”
I wish you the best of luck and I hope that you will not give up hope because help is available.
Randle, K. (2009). Borderline and Suicidal Thoughts. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/09/29/borderline-and-suicidal-thoughts/