Marsha M. Linehan works with seriously suicidal people, having faced the same struggles when she was younger. She has developed new ways of treating the most serious of suicidal patients.
Marsha was diagnosed as having borderline personality disorder when she was younger.
Personally, I know someone with BPD with most of the classic signs of cutting, suicide attempts, chronic emptiness, impulsive behavior, etc. Unfortunately, I've seen first hand how this disorder, like most mental illnesses, can destabilize an entire family. With a strong support system, psychotherapy, and medication, these patients can often have a significant reduction in symptoms.
Borderlines are perhaps the most difficult patients to deal with in medicine, mainly due to a lack of understanding and patience from the healthcare professional. Some shrinks even give up on them entirely.