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Arch Suicide Res. 2008;12(1):1-19. doi: 10.1080/13811110701542010.

Epidemiology, risk factors, and psychopharmacological management of suicidal behavior in borderline personality disorder.

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  • 1University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.


Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a chronic psychiatric condition characterized by a pervasive pattern of instability in affect regulation and impulse control. These maladaptive coping strategies predispose individuals with BPD to suicidal behavior, and this diagnosis increases the risk for completed suicide. Empirical data indicate that adverse life events; a history of childhood trauma; and the presence of comorbid psychiatric conditions, in particular major depressive disorder and substance use disorders; confer an elevated risk of suicidal behavior in patients with BPD. Psychopharmacological interventions, including the use of antidepressants, anti-psychotics, and mood stabilizers, are considered in this review in terms of the evidence for their utility in reducing the risk of suicidal behavior in BPD.

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