Self-damaging behavior is so common within people with Borderline Disorder that some experts in the field consider it the most important issue facing those with the Disorder. Some people engage in behaviors that include Recurrent Suicidal Behavior, Gestures, Threats or Self-Mutilating Behavior. These acts can range in severity from behaviors that seek help, are attempts to gain attention, to gain control or can be life threatening. Understanding the degree to which impulsivity affects your behavior is important to helping you understand how to determine the approaches you take on your treatment path.
If you are a person with Borderline Disorder who engages in these behaviors you may harm yourself physically by scratching or cutting your wrists, arms or other parts of your body, burning yourself, or overdosing with medications. This may be done in an attempt to have others take care of you, or to “get even” with someone or to get your way, or to express internal feelings externally. More often, you may hurt yourself to relieve the emotional pain that you feel and to make life more tolerable when it has reached a level you can no longer tolerate.
These symptoms are very distressing for those who are in relationship to you, your families and all those who love you. If you engage in such behaviors, we at the Black Sheep Project recommend that you see a psychiatrist who is experienced and trained in Borderline Disorder to determine if you have the Disorder. Regardless, a mental health specialist can help you find the root of your self-harm, and find healthier ways to deal with your painful emotions. Remember, we are with you.
If you have harmed yourself severely or believe that your self injury may be life threatening or if you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. You can also utilize the “GET SUPPORT” resources located at the bottom of this page.
- “Cutting.” Edited by D'Arcy Lyness, KidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation, July 2015, kidshealth.org/en/teens/cutting.html#
- Mayo Clinic. “Self-Injury/Cutting.” Mayo Clinic, 8 Aug. 2017, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/self-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20350950