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Ask Dr. Z Your Own Question

Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5045
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Im not sure where to turn, Ive been trying to deal with my

Resolved Question:

I'm not sure where to turn, I've been trying to deal with my girlfriend for almost six years, I think she has Borderline personality disorder. Or is the proper term emotional disregulation disorder? I don't know to what degree but over the years I've felt myself becoming unraveled because of what happens between us. In the last two and a half years I can't count how many times she has tried to kill herself, every time I have brought her back from going through with it. Now she says she has a plan and it'll be the last time, she's too tired to live. I know it isn't my fault, no matter what she says. How do I deal with this? What do I say? Is everything I do to help her just wrong?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

DoctorZ :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

DoctorZ :

I am very sorry that your girlfriend is having these suicidal ideations and that you are feeling frustrated on how to help her

DoctorZ :

It is still called Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and it is a very complex disorder, in which frequent suicide attempts or hurting of ones self (e.g. cutting) are frequent symptoms

DoctorZ :

When she has a plan to commit suicide and verbalizes her thoughts of this to you, you have to call the authorities and have her seen by a mental health specialist immediately, this is for her own safety.

DoctorZ :

As far as treatment is concerned the best type of therapy to help her is called Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) this is the best therapy to help individuals diagnosed with BPD. Here is a self-help DBT link that can give you a better idea of what it is

Customer:

I've tried, I called the police to check on her and even tried getting in touch with her parents, she has reported my number to the police as someone to be ignored and told her parents the same thing.

DoctorZ :

I am sorry she has done that, usually the police still must investigate though.

Customer:

One thing I should mention, it is a long distance relationship.

DoctorZ :

But many individuals with BPD do not want the help and feel like they are cycling with these behavior patterns

DoctorZ :

In reality, if she is not going to forced into treatment by the authorities, she has to go in voluntarily. Relationships with someone who has BPD and not seeking treatment are usually unsuccessful due to their mood swings and volatility.

Customer:

I'll try the site you mentioned.

Customer:

Yes the mood swings are....frustrating.

DoctorZ :

So far you are doing everything right to help her, she is just not making an effort to accept that help or anyone's help for a sustained period of time

Customer:

In all her suicide attempts she contacts me to tell me how I have forced her to do it, I know that isn't true but does she do it to seek help or attention or...I've had to start closing myself off emotionally to keep from breaking myself.

DoctorZ :

She does it to seek attention mostly, but she will follow through with the attempt or she will purposely self-injure herself and say it was a suicide attempt, either way both are taken very seriously.

DoctorZ :

This is a part of the BPD disorder because her emotional regulation is very imbalanced and she magnifies every single negative emotion to a disproportionate degree

Customer:

Will she need a specialist in BPD?

DoctorZ :

Yes that will be beneficial for her. If she gets a therapist that can teach DBT, most likely they know a lot about BPD as well. DBT was first designed to treat individuals with BPD.

DoctorZ :

This is why DBT is the most successful therapy treatment for individual diagnosed with BPD

Customer:

Alright. Thank you very much, I'll try to get her to seek treatment. One last question, I know she'll attempt suicide or self harm again, is there something I can do to keep her from following through?

DoctorZ :

Well that is very difficult because the reason she does self-harm is because she is blaming you for something that you did not do. The only way to prevent her from self-harming is by listening to her and accepting all the blame, but that will just reinforce her behavior more and she will continue to do this. But it may help in the immediate moment

Customer:

Alright. Again, thank you for taking the time.

DoctorZ :

Anytime, I am happy to help

DoctorZ :

If you have any other questions or concerns please feel free to contact me again at anytime

DoctorZ :

I want to wish you and your girlfriend the best of luck with everything

DoctorZ :

I hope I provided you with excellent service tonight

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5045
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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