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Sunday, September 14, 2003



When Love Can't Cure.

This article is from the September-October issue of Psychology Today.

"When Love Can't Cure" is a story about a psychiatrist who fell in love early in his career with a woman who suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder.

This article is interesting for many reasons, not the least is that the psychiatrist who writes it never shares his reflections on what inner demons might have led him to fall in love with this very disturbed woman.

Also, in the opening paragraphs--and only the opening paragraphs are available online--we learn quickly that when the psychiatrist met her, she was in the hospital following a suicide attempt. And that suicide attempt although oh so very blandly seems to be related to an abortion:

"She had been dating a guy and found out she was pregnant. Neither of them wanted the baby, so she had an abortion. After that he stopped spending time with her. 'He told me I was suffocating him,' she said. 'Men fall in love with me and then they leave me. Obviously, I'm not good enough. So I took a big piece of chocolate cake and I swallowed a whole bottle of pills, and then I went to bed.'"

The psychiatrist never mentions this again, but one does wonder why he starts the story of her distress with the abortion. He could have left out the first two sentences of that paragraph and simply said that she was distressed because her boyfriend left her.

From my perspective, the abortion probably was part of her distress, and the psychiatrist doesn't really know how to report that in this very mainstream, very pro-choice magazine. So he just puts it out there in an enigmatic way.

"Neither of them wanted the baby, so she had an abortion."

"The baby". That is also a way that this psychiatrist reveals his thoughts about this.

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