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Expert on mental illness reveals her own fight, The New York Times, Jun. 23, 2011

Therapist Marsha Linehan, who created a new form of therapy called dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), shares her personal story of severe mental illness and suicidality in this New York Times article. “So many people have begged me to come forward,” said Linehan. “I just thought – well, have to do this. I owe it to them.” In her youth, Linehan spent 26 months hospitalized for self-injurious behavior. Later on, she became a psychologist and gained fame for her work with severely suicidal, difficult to treat patients, including those diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Linehan says she decided to focus on “the very worst cases, because I figured these are the most miserable people in the world…and I understood their suffering because I’d been there, in hell, with no idea how to get out.” Research on DBT conducted in the 1980s and 1990s found that patients with BPD who received dialectical behavioral therapy were more likely to stay in treatment and made fewer suicide attempts than patients who received other treatments. The therapy is also used for juvenile offenders and people with substance abuse or eating disorders.

Read the article at www.nytimes.com