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From the JAMA Network
July 14, 2015

Reducing Suicide Risk in Borderline Personality Disorder

Author Affiliations
  • 1Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Psychosocial Research and the Borderline Personality Disorder Center, McLean Hospital, Belmont, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2015;314(2):181-182. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.4557

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by recurrent suicidality and self-harm, excessive anger, and severe sensitivity to rejection or abandonment. Although this disorder is often thought to be chronic and resistant to treatment, most patients with BPD will experience remission of symptoms, and treatments have been shown to be effective. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), introduced in 1993, was the first evidence-based treatment for BPD, and while other treatments have been developed,1,2 DBT remains the best validated and most widely recognized. Dialectical behavior therapy is resource intensive; it requires individual and group therapy components, weekly meetings between the 2 clinicians, and availability of the individual therapist at all hours. Both the individual and group components help patients build skills in managing intense feelings, self-awareness, and interpersonal effectiveness, all of which diminish self-harm and suicidality.