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Borderline and 

What you need to know

After much consideration, I have decided to write about a topic that is close to my heart: self-harm. It is a subject that is often associated with Borderline Personality Disorder, and statistics indicate that more and more people are resorting to it.

I wish someone had told me early on how devastating the consequences can be and how important it is to seek help. Therefore, I want you to encourage to be attentive and seek support if needed. On this informational page, I will approach the topic with sensitivity, avoiding details or triggers. Self-harm is a serious issue, and if you are affected by it, I strongly urge you to seek help.

I will discuss the following topics:


In collaboration with Mindemy, I have created a self-help course: "Free Yourself from Self-Harming Behavior!" Use the code LAENGLE40 to get a discount on the course.



Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI): Scientific facts and personal insights


It is important to note that Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) differs from suicidality, as NSSI typically does not aim at a suicide attempt but serves as a coping mechanism for emotional distress. NSSI can actually be seen as a survival strategy, and individuals report that it helped them tolerate difficult emotions.

Scientific facts about NSSI (Non-Suicidal Self-Injury):

  • NSSI refers to repetitive self-injurious behavior without suicidal intentions.

  • It affects individuals of different ages, genders, and cultural backgrounds.

  • NSSI can take various forms, such as cutting, burning, scratching, or other methods.

  • It is often used as a coping mechanism to deal with intense emotional states or to break through emotional numbness.

  • NSSI is not always a direct indicator of a mental disorder, but it can be associated with various mental illnesses such as Borderline Personality Disorder, depression, or anxiety disorders.

Source: "Non-suicidal Self-Injury in Adolescents: Current Understandings and Future Directions", Whitlock, J., et al. Published in: The Lancet Psychiatry, Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 83-91, March 2014.

Self-harming behavior and Borderline Personality Disorder

For individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder, NSSI can serve various functions. It can act as a coping mechanism to deal with intense emotional states or serve as a form of self-regulation.


The experience of physical pain can provide temporary relief and break through emotional numbness. It can also serve as an expression of internal emotional pain or a cry for help.

It is important to emphasize that NSSI in Borderline Personality Disorder is a symptom of the condition and should not be misunderstood as manipulative behavior or a means to gain attention.


Individuals who engage in self-harm require professional support and treatment to learn alternative coping strategies and address the underlying emotional difficulties.

Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder and NSSI

The treatment typically involves a multimodal approach that combines various approaches such as psychotherapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and, if necessary, medication support.


By working with therapists and developing emotion regulation skills, individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder can learn alternative ways of self-care and coping with emotional challenges.

Together with Mindemy, I have created a self-help course: Free Yourself from Self-Harming Behavior! Use the code LAENGLE40 to get a discount!

Areas of self-harming behavior:

Self-harming behavior can be divided into different areas or categories. It is important to note that these categories are not always clearly delineated and there can be individual differences. However, the following areas can be mentioned:

  • Physical self-injury: This includes actions where a person intentionally harms themselves physically.

  • Substance abuse: Some individuals use substances to numb themselves or alleviate emotional pain.

  • Eating disorders: Eating disorders can also be considered forms of self-harming behavior as they can affect both physical and mental health.

  • Risky or self-endangering behavior: This includes actions where a person puts themselves in situations that jeopardize their safety or health.

It is important to emphasize that self-harming behavior can vary greatly from person to person. Each individual has a unique history and motivation behind their self-harming behavior, and it is important to consider this within the context of professional support and treatment.

Why self-harming behavior is so destructive and why individuals should seek help quickly:

The downward spiral of NSSI is rapid and severe. It leads to:

  • Physical health risks: Self-injury, substance abuse, or risky behavior can result in serious injuries, infections, scarring, or even life-threatening conditions. There is also the danger of overdoses, poisoning, or other physical harm.

  • Long-term consequences: Self-harming behavior can have long-term negative effects on physical and mental health. Scarring, permanent physical damage, or worsening of existing health problems can significantly impair the quality of life.

  • Reinforcement of emotional suffering: While self-harming behavior may provide some temporary relief or distraction, it intensifies emotional suffering in the long run. It can lead to shame, guilt, self-devaluation, and a cycle of self-destruction.

  • Impact on interpersonal relationships: Self-harming behavior can also have significant effects on interpersonal relationships. It can lead to misunderstandings, tension, or rejection and undermine the trust and support of friends, family members, and partners.

  • Potential deterioration of mental health: Self-harming behavior can exacerbate existing mental illnesses or increase the risk of further mental health issues. It can amplify the symptoms of depression, anxiety disorders, or Borderline Personality Disorder and impact therapy or treatment outcomes.

The sooner you seek help and stop engaging in self-harming behavior, the easier it becomes. As someone with experience in this area, I appeal to you: Get help!

Personal insights from someone who has self-harmed:

I engaged in self-harm when I felt desperate, helpless, and overwhelmed by intense emotions for which I had no adequate coping strategies.

Afterward, I struggled with deep feelings of shame.

In comparison to healthy shame, which can prompt moral behavior, my shame became toxic as it drove me to withdraw and isolate myself.

An important part of my healing process was admitting that I needed help and recognizing that my self-harm was once a survival strategy for enduring the unbearable over an extended period. I learned to overcome the shame and talk about what I was doing.


I quickly learned that I was not alone. There are many people who understand and have experienced self-destructive behavior. This alleviated a significant portion of my shame.

Through extensive therapy, I was able to identify patterns in my behavior and gradually change them. Today, I am capable of using healthier coping strategies. Instead of harming myself, I can engage in physical activities like sports, ensure sufficient sleep, or have a self-care evening as ways to relax and relieve tension.

It is important to emphasize that self-harm should never be glorified or promoted. If you are struggling with self-harm or know someone who needs help, please seek professional support from mental health experts. The healing process requires time, patience, and the right support to discover healthier ways of managing intense emotions and leading a fulfilling life.

Together with Mindemy, I have created a self-help course: "Free Yourself from Self-Destructive Behavior!" Use the code LAENGLE40 to get a discount on it!

Borderline and self-harm: There is hope for you too!

In conclusion, I want to emphasize that there is hope and that change is possible. Self-harming behavior can be an expression of deep pain and suffering, but it is crucial to recognize that there are alternative ways to cope with these feelings and find support.

You are not alone in your struggle, and there are people willing to help you and accompany you on your healing journey.


By finding the courage to accept yourself, seeking support, and learning healthy coping strategies, you can gradually move towards a life filled with self-love, strength, and inner peace. You deserve to lead a happy and fulfilling life.

With love,


Nicht-suizidales selbstverletzendes Verhalten: Wissenschaftliche Fakten und persönliche Einblicke
Selbstschädigendes Verhalten und Borderline-Persönlichkeitsstörung:
Behandlung von Borderline und SVV
Bereiche selbstschädigendes Verhalten
Warum du selbstschädigendes Verhalten so zerstörerisch ist und Betroffene isch schnell Hilfe holen sollen
Persönliche Einblicke von jemandem, der sich selbst verletzt hat:
Borderline und Selbstverletzung: Es gibt auch für dich Hoffnung!
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