The International Handbook of Suicide Prevention: Research, Policy and Practice

By Rory C. O’Connor; Jane Pirkis | Go to book overview

7
Personality Disorders
and Suicidality

Joel Paris


Introduction

As defined by DSM-5 (American Psychiatric Association, 2013), personality disorders are characterized by abnormal patterns of inner experience and behavior that affect cognition, emotion, interpersonal functioning, and impulse control, are inflexible and pervasive, lead to clinically significant distress or impairment, are stable and of long duration, and have an onset in adolescence or early adulthood.

Personality disorders are common in practice, and were identified in about 45% of all patients in a large clinical sample (Zimmerman, Rothschild, & Chelminski, 2005). However, most of the research literature focuses on borderline personality disorder, in which suicidality is a key feature. Although there is evidence that about 5% of patients with antisocial personality will also die by suicide (Links, Gould, & Ratnayake, 2003; Martin, Cloninger, Guze, & Clayton, 1985; Robins, 1966), these patients are more likely to be seen in forensic settings than in psychiatric clinics. Although little is known about suicidality in other personality disorder categories, borderline personality disorder, associated with a wide range of psychopathology, has been the main object of clinical concern and research interest. Borderline personality disorder is characterized by unstable mood, impulsive behaviors, and unstable interpersonal relationships (Paris, 2008a). Suicidality (i.e., suicidal thoughts and threats), self-harm behaviors (such as cutting), and suicidal behaviors (particularly overdoses) are among its defining features. As reported by Soloff, Lynch, Kelly, Malone, and Mann (2000), patients with borderline personality disorder make a mean of three lifetime suicide attempts. Self-harm behaviors in borderline personality disorder usually involving superficial cuts to the wrists and arms, are very common, but it is important to understand that this behavior is not suicidal in intent. For the most part, patients cut to relieve emotional tension, not to die (Brown, Comtois, & Linehan, 2002). Patients with borderline personality disorder, who have problems with emotion regulation, may cut themselves addictively to reduce painful inner states (Linehan, 1993).

In contrast, overdoses of pills can be suicidal in intent, and are sometimes lifethreatening, but these behaviors vary greatly, both in nature and intent (Soloff et al., 2000). Overdoses usually occur following stressful life events, and patients describe their motivation as a wish to escape (Brown et al., 2002). Most of these incidents are

The International Handbook of Suicide Prevention, Second Edition. Edited by Rory C. O’Connor and Jane Pirkis. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Published 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

-124-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The International Handbook of Suicide Prevention: Research, Policy and Practice
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 823

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.