By Sarah Schuster
“I had no idea I’d try to take my own life in the morning.”
This is what Milly Smith, who runs the popular Instagram account selfloveclubb, wrote beneath a photo that was taken seven hours before she attempted suicide. Although this might be surprising to some, Smith lives with borderline personality disorder, which she explains, “means that my mood can switch to suicidal in seconds over the slightest trigger.”
Suicidal isn’t just crying, for those with a troubled life and long build ups to breaking point, it’s also snap decisions made whilst your son sleeps in the same house and your loving partner kissed you goodnight hours before.
This photo was taken just 7 hours before I tried to take my own life for the 3rd time. This photo was taken in the morning, we went for a walk and for some food with Eli. We laughed and enjoyed our time. That evening I took an overdose that left me in hospital for a week. . I had no idea I'd try to take my own life in the morning, I was smiling and loved the way my hair looked hence the selfie. Having BPD (undiagnosed for so long because the NHS wouldn't listen) means that my mood can switch to suicidal in seconds over the slightest trigger. . Suicidal isn't just crying, for those with a troubled life and long build ups to breaking point, it's also snap decisions made whilst your son sleeps in the same house and your loving partner kissed you goodnight hours before. . We need to learn how suicidal tendencies can present themselves beyond our ignorance to the topic. By listening and learning even the tiniest triggers/signs we can save lives. ❤️
The impulsivity that often accompanies borderline personality disordercan sometimes factor into a person’s risk of attempting suicide. That’s why it’s important, as Smith explains, “to learn how suicidal tendencies can present themselves.” We’ve asked our community before how suicidality presents itself in ways others may not expect. Here are some of the things they shared with us:
1. “I usually start cleaning things, like my social media accounts (removing pictures, quotes, statuses etc.). I also tend to avoid going out and try sleeping a lot to pass time and avoid emotions.” — Lauren G.
2. “Dress really colorfully. I tend to overcompensate for my depression with colorful clothes.” — Brandi S.
3. “Obsessively filing and painting my nails, trying to make them perfect. It distracts the hands and mind.” — Angela L.
4. “Not making decisions — just letting things happen around me.” — Laura M
5. “I stop planning for the future. Halloween costume? What Christmas presents to buy? I stop all of that trivial planning.” — Tanya L.
6. “I start over-expending and exaggerating everything I do. I push myself harder so that people don’t worry about me, but then I reach a breaking point and disappear for a couple of days. I will also start rearranging things, even if they’re minuscule to some. It helps me get a clearer view on things if I feel like I can control what I’m doing.” — Jolyn T.
This isn’t the first time Smith has busted misconceptions about suicide and mental health. She’s posted about her chronic illness, the physical side effects of medication and about how depression doesn’t have a look.
If you have borderline personality disorder and struggle with impulsivity and suicidal thoughts, this list of unexpected coping techniques for people with borderline personality disorder might help. It might also be helpful to come up with your own safety plan if you have the tendency to feel suddenly suicidal, including knowing people you can call and coping strategies you can implement. It can be scary to feel so much at once, and you don’t have to cope with it alone.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resourcespage.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.