Parasuicidality and Patient Careerism: Treatment Recidivism and the Dialectics of Failure

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The author interprets parasuicidal behavior as a means certain individuals use to sustain patient careers. Contrary to the current trend to identify this behavior solely as the defining symptom of borderline personality disorder, the author argues that parasuicidality often emerges from the symbiotic relationship between individuals with particular existential needs and the medicalized institutions that serve them.

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