Clinical Guidance: Suicide in Women With Borderline Personality Disorder and PTSD
Flashbacks from childhood or adult sexual trauma can trigger suicidal and nonsuicidal self-injurious behavior in chronically suicidal women with co-occurring borderline personality disorder and PTSD, according to Harned et al. (p. 1210). Use of the behavior for interpersonal needs, emotional numbing from the PTSD, and comorbid panic disorder possibly contribute to these behaviors. Treatment should be directed toward reducing trauma cue reactivity, as well as developing tolerance skills and substituting alternative, nonharmful behaviors. In an editorial (p. 1152), Dr. Burr Eichelman notes that this study provides evidence that PTSD causes psychopathology that is distinct from borderline personality disorder.