Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental health condition that affects an individual’s thoughts, emotions, and relationships. This means that people who experience BPD feel emotions intensely and for extended periods of time, and it is harder for them to return to a stable baseline after an emotionally triggering event.
This difficulty can lead to impulsivity, poor self-image, stormy relationships, and intense emotional responses to stressors. Struggling with self-regulation can also result in dangerous behaviors such as self-harm (e.g. cutting).
It’s estimated that 1.6% of the adult U.S. population has BPD, but that number may be as high as 5.9%. Nearly 75% of people diagnosed with BPD are women. Recent research suggests that men may be equally affected by BPD but are commonly misdiagnosed with PTSD or depression.
People with BPD experience wide mood swings and can display a great sense of instability and insecurity. Per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual diagnostic framework, some key signs and symptoms may include:
- Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment by friends and family.
- Unstable personal relationships that alternate between idealization (“I’m so in love!”) and devaluation (“I hate her”). This is also sometimes known as “splitting.”
- Distorted and unstable self-image, which affects moods, values, opinions, goals, and relationships.
- Impulsive behaviors can have dangerous outcomes, such as excessive spending, unsafe sex, substance abuse, or reckless driving.
- Self-harming behavior including suicidal threats or attempts.
- Periods of intense depressed mood, irritability, or anxiety lasting a few hours to a few days.
- Chronic feelings of boredom or emptiness.
- Inappropriate, intense, or uncontrollable anger—often followed by shame and guilt.
- Dissociative feelings—disconnecting from your thoughts or sense of identity or “out of body” type of feelings—and stress-related paranoid thoughts. Severe cases of stress can also lead to brief psychotic episodes.
While it can be challenging to navigate, some celebrities have been open about their struggles with BPD, shedding light on the importance of mental health awareness and destigmatization. In this article, we’ll explore a few notable personalities who have shared their experiences with Borderline Personality Disorder.
- Pete Davidson: The Humor Amidst the Struggle
Comedian and Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson has not only made a name for himself with his comedic talent but has also been open about his personal battle with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). In various interviews, Davidson has peeled back the layers of his mental health journey, providing a glimpse into the challenges he has faced. Beyond the laughter he brings to audiences, Davidson has become a vocal advocate for mental health awareness.
Davidson’s candid discussions about BPD emphasize the crucial importance of seeking help. He doesn’t shy away from the tough topics, using his platform to encourage others to prioritize their well-being. By sharing his experiences, Davidson becomes a relatable figure for those who may be going through similar struggles. His humor becomes a tool not just for entertainment but also for breaking down the walls of stigma surrounding mental health issues.
- Demi Lovato: A Pop Icon Fighting Stigma
Pop sensation Demi Lovato has been a beacon of strength in the realm of mental health advocacy. Beyond her chart-topping hits, Lovato has used her platform to shed light on the importance of seeking treatment for mental health issues, including her own battle with BPD. Through documentaries and interviews, Lovato has provided fans with an intimate look into the highs and lows of her mental health journey.
Lovato’s openness about her struggles contributes significantly to breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health. Her advocacy extends beyond personal narratives, urging society to reevaluate its approach to mental well-being. By discussing the complexities of BPD, Lovato becomes not only a pop sensation but also a relatable figure for fans navigating their own mental health challenges.
- Brandon Marshall: Tackling Mental Health in the NFL
Former NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall has not only left an indelible mark on the football field but has also become a vocal advocate for mental health awareness. Marshall’s journey with BPD led him to establish the Brandon Marshall Foundation, a testament to his commitment to promoting mental health awareness and supporting those in need.
Marshall’s openness about his mental health challenges has been instrumental in reducing the stigma surrounding mental health in the often hyper-masculine world of sports. By sharing his experiences, he has demonstrated that mental health knows no boundaries, affecting individuals regardless of their profession or athletic prowess. Marshall’s advocacy extends beyond the foundation, as he continues to challenge stereotypes and encourage open conversations about mental health in the NFL and beyond.
- Winona Ryder: Fame, Fortune, and Mental Health Advocacy
Renowned actress Winona Ryder has not only graced the silver screen with her talent but has also become a voice for mental health awareness. In interviews, Ryder has delved into the impact of fame on mental well-being, offering insights into her personal experience with BPD. Her openness contributes to dismantling stereotypes about mental health in the entertainment industry.
Ryder’s advocacy reinforces the idea that anyone, regardless of their success, can face mental health challenges. By sharing her story, she helps normalize conversations about mental health in Hollywood, an industry often characterized by glamour and fame. Ryder’s courage in discussing her struggles adds a layer of authenticity to her public persona, making her an inspiration for those who may feel isolated in their own battles with BPD.
- Pete Wentz: Breaking Chords and Stigmas
Fall Out Boy bassist and lyricist Pete Wentz has not only made a mark in the world of rock music but has also been an advocate for open conversations about mental health. Wentz has been transparent about his journey, including his struggles with BPD. Through interviews and public statements, Wentz urges fans to prioritize their well-being and seek help when needed.
Wentz’s openness helps break down the stigma surrounding mental health in the world of rock music, an industry known for its rebellious and often tumultuous culture. By sharing his experiences, Wentz becomes a relatable figure for fans who may be grappling with their mental health. His advocacy extends beyond the stage, making a significant impact on how mental health is perceived within the music community.
Celebrities who openly discuss their battles with Borderline Personality Disorder play a crucial role in raising awareness, reducing stigma, and encouraging individuals to seek help. By sharing their personal stories, these public figures demonstrate that mental health challenges are not limited to any specific demographic and that seeking support is a sign of strength. As society continues to progress toward greater understanding and acceptance of mental health issues, these celebrities contribute to a more compassionate and informed conversation around BPD and other mental health conditions.