Traumatic stress in patients with chronic suicidal behavior and characteristics of borderline personality disorder



Suicidal behavior and a high level of traumatic stress are important criteria for the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD) — a diagnosis which is not often used in Russian psychiatry. 17 psychiatric hospital patients with chronic suicidal behavior and expressed features of BPD were examined using the Essen Trauma Inventory. The Essen Trauma Inventory is a reliable tool for determining the occurrence frequency of different types of traumatic stress, subjective severity of the event and the extent of its influence on the person's future life. The vast majority of patients (82,3%) noted that events associated with stress in interpersonal relationships were present in their lives, which is an important criteria for BPD. The highest metrics on the subjective assessment of the severity of the traumatic event were seen for following parameters: "interpersonal difficulty" with partner and relatives (35,2%), death of a significant other (5,8%), violent actions from a significant other (5,8%), and sexual abuse (5,8 percent). 41% of patients noted that the most stressful event happened more than five years ago, more than half of patients (64,7%) believe that the traumatic event they experienced had a significant impact on their overall life satisfaction. The analysis of subjective self-reports on the impact of the most severe traumatic events revealed that 23,5% of respondents from the surveyed sample had symptoms of PTSD. The authors conclude that it is necessary to draw the attention of national experts to this category of patients as well as apply scientifically valid methods of psychotherapy that have proven effective when working with them

General Information

Keywords: traumatic stress, borderline personality disorder, suicidal behavior, interpersonal relationships, Essen Trauma Inventory, satisfaction with life

Journal rubric: Empirical Researches

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Gorchakova V.A., Kholmogorova A.B., Palin A.V., Arbuzova L.A. Traumatic stress in patients with chronic suicidal behavior and characteristics of borderline personality disorder. Konsul'tativnaya psikhologiya i psikhoterapiya = Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2014. Vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 119–139. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Vera A. Gorchakova, e-mail:

Alla B. Kholmogorova, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Leading Researcher, Moscow Research Institute of Psychiatry (A Branch of the National Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Narcology), Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

A. V. Palin, Russia, e-mail:

L. A. Arbuzova



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