People with Borderline Personality Disorder sometimes engage in acts of self harm. These acts of self harm are wide ranging; they’re also dramatic and startling in many cases. These behaviors include:
- Blunt force trauma: This type of self harm includes banging one’s head on a hard surface, punching oneself, and using a hammer or other tool to inflict damage and pain to the body.
- Cutting: This is one of the most common and widely known types of self harm that those with BPD engage in. Cutters use a variety of tools such as scissors, razor blades, knives, needles, and broken glass. Scars often result and many people who cut try to cover up their injuries while some people actually try to put them on display.
- Burning: People resorting to this tactic use cigarettes, matches, lighters, and hot objects to burn themselves. They usually only burn a small area each time, but the resulting scars can often occur over a large part of the body.
- Intentional accidents: Folks who set themselves up for accidents may not look like they’re trying to hurt themselves, but their failure to take even the most basic, reasonable precautions tips you off to their true motives. These people often end up in far more than their share of mishaps and investigation often reveals that they set ladders on obviously unstable ground or fail to use essential safety equipment.
- Miscellaneous self injurious behaviors: These include swallowing harmful objects, inserting objects into body cavities, hair pulling, consuming harmful chemicals, pushing one’s eyeballs, or biting one’s body.
You’re probably wondering what the motivation is for these various acts of self harm that seemingly would result in no gains for the person who does them. The answer to your question is that there is no single motivation for self harm. Both mental health professionals and those with BPD have suggested a variety of possible motivations including:
- To distract from emotional pain: You can’t underestimate the unbearable nature of inner pain experienced by those with BPD. Although the pain from self injurious acts rarely matches the internal, emotional pain, it does pull one’s attention away from the overwhelming emotions for a little while.
- To …