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"Fighting for the Last Gasp"-Severe Borderline Personality Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Chronic Deliberate Ingestion of Foreign Bodies, and Palliative Struggles in Intensive Care.

Repeated deliberate ingestion of foreign bodies can have tragic long-term consequences. We report the case of a young woman with borderline personality disorder and chronic posttraumatic stress disorder, whose chronic repeated ingestion of razor blades and batteries eventually resulted in severe medical complications. We focus on the involvement of the consultation-liaison psychiatry team as part of her multidisciplinary care, predominantly in the intensive care environment. Her care posed extensive challenges due to the retraumatizing effects of the intensive care environment and the measures required to provide life-sustaining care when the young woman was emotionally dysregulated. Strategies used to address team dynamics and "compassion fatigue" are discussed, including some pertinent relevant literature that was used as educational material for staff to develop a better understanding of the confronting and apparently self-defeating antitherapeutic behavior she frequently displayed. The consultation-liaison psychiatry team has a significant role to play in such situations, carefully balancing patient advocacy roles while simultaneously supporting staff who may be vicariously traumatized by the substantial emotional challenges of providing care in these circumstances.

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