Famous people with BPD (5 + People)

In this blog we will take a look at the many celebrities that struggle with Borderline Personality Disorder and how it has impacted their life and career. 

We will also discuss what is borderline personality disorder, how it is diagnosed and treated, and how it can impact careers. 

Who are some famous people diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder?

Here are a few famous people and celebrities that have gone on record to reveal their diagnosis of Borderline personality disorder:

Brandon Marshall

Brandon Marshall is an NFL football player who has an exciting career in professional football playing for teams such as Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks.

He is also the person who holds the record for the most receptions in a single game with 21 catches and he is one of the few people who has revealed their diagnosis of Borderline personality disorder officially and also publicly opened up about his illness and struggles.

He is also very outspoken about it and actively trues to spread awareness about mental illness and has even started an organisation called Project 365 that is dedicated to educating others about mental health.

Doug Ferrari

Doug Ferrari is a comedian and a writer who has been very open about his struggles with addiction and mental illness. 

He often talks about the condition of his mental health that led him to be homeless before receiving treatment and returning to comedy. He has been very open about his BPD diagnosis. 

He has also been an advocate in helping people who are homeless and is quite active in working with homeless charities as well as advocating for mental illnesses such as BPD.

Ricky Williams

Ricky Williams is a former NFL player who has been open about his diagnosis of social anxiety disorder, BPD, and avoidance disorder. 

He has been very open in confronting various rumors about his behavior due to his disorders and has been a spokesperson for disabilities related to mental health. He has also expressed how difficult it was for him to cope with his career, the interview, social interaction with fans, and the grueling schedules. 

He has been under treatment for his condition and reports that he is doing much better and that his well-being has improved over time with treatment and support. 

Mikey Welsh

Mikey Welsh was a musician who retired after suffering a severe nervous breakdown. Since then he has spoken openly about his struggles due to undiagnosed bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and borderline personality disorder that caught up to him in his 30s. 

He passed away due to a heart attack years later, however his mental health journey and struggles has been noted in several interviews. 

Angelina Jolie 

Notable actress and director Angelina Jolie has also written about her diagnosis of BPD after she was diagnosed with it in 1990. She writes that the disorder stemmed from her relationship troubles with her father and herself since her childhood.

She has since been very outspoken about her diagnosis and has become an activist and spokesperson for mental health awareness.  

Amy Winehouse

While the diagnosis for Amy Winehouse has not been confirmed, her husband has suggested that Winehouse suffered from BPD, substance abuse, and eating disorders. 

Unfortunately, Winehouse lost her life quite early on but there is speculation that she was struggling with mental disorders such as BPD.

Who are some famous fictional characters who have BPD?

The following are some famous characters that can be attributed to famous people with BPD.

  • Girl, Interrupted: The character, Susanna, spends 18 months in the hospital after a close suicide attempt. Though she experiences a possibly unlikely experience, her borderline traits are very connected to someone such as being part of famous people with BPD.
  • Fatal Attraction: the femme fatale in this movie exhibits emotional struggle and volatile, anger, self-injury, and manipulation. 
  • The Hours: This movie manifests depression and suicide as well as BPD where a character displays being part of famous people with BPD.
  • Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind: Some believe Clementine manifests some traits of BPD

What is Borderline personality disorder?

Borderline personality disorder is a mental disorder that is characterised by a pattern of episodes where a person experiences intense fluctuating moods, distorted self-image, and maladaptive behavior. 

People with this personality disorder may experience intense anger, depression, and anxiety that can last from a few hours to days- episodic shifts.

A person with this disorder can experience maladaptive symptoms that impact their work, relationships,and sense of self. 

These symptoms according to the DSM-V include:

  • An intense fear of abandonment leading to  extreme measures to avoid real or imagined separation or rejection
  • A pattern of unstable intense relationships
  • Rapid changes in self-identity and self-image that include shifting goals and values.
  • Impulsive and risky behavior, such as gambling, reckless driving, unsafe sex, or sabotaging success.
  • Suicidal threats or behavior or self-injury, often in response to fear of separation or rejection
  • Intense mood swings lasting from a few hours to a few days
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Inappropriate, intense anger, frequently losing your temper,or having physical fights

These symptoms can cause this particular condition to be dangerous and often warrants treatment. 

What is the Diagnostic Criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder?

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) from the American Psychiatric Association, for a person to be diagnosed with BPD they must experience five or more of the following:

  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. 
  • Unstable and intense interpersonal relationships alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.
  • Unstable self-image or sense of self.
  • Impulsivity in at least 2 areas that are self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse)
  • Recurrent suicidal behaviour, gestures or threats, or self-mutilating behaviour.
  • Emotional instability due to a marked reactivity of mood
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness.
  • Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger
  • Stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.

People with BPD experience these symptoms along with a pattern of instability in their interpersonal relationships, self-image and emotions, and marked impulsivity usually starting in early or young adulthood. 

How is one diagnosed with Borderline personality disorder?

If you suspect or feel like you or someone you know might have BPD based on the criterias listed above, their process of diagnosis includes the following steps.

Contact a physician and have a conversation about their distress, things they have done to help themselves, how the distress impacts their life, relationship, work. 

You can also discuss any situations where you might have put yourself at risk or others, and other issues that you face with your thoughts and emotions. 

Next, the doctor will most probably refer you to a psychiatrist or a psychologist who will use the criteria above to diagnose you or assess you for diagnosis. 

The mental health professional might also ask you about symptoms, or perform medical exams, explore the history of your family, and the history of the problem. 

If you are diagnosed with the disorder, the psychologist and physicians will either help you develop a pharmacological treatment and also psychotherapy treatment to help you cope with the symptoms and distress of the disorder. 

What are the treatment options for BPD?

Borderline personality disorder is mainly treated using psychotherapy, but medication may be added. 

The most effective psychotherapy option for BPD is Dialectical behavioural therapy which helps you to teach you how to manage your emotions, tolerate distress and improve relationships.

While for BPD there is no approved Pharmacological treatment, certain medications can be used off-label to help with co-occurring problems such as depression, impulsiveness, aggression or anxiety. 

How does BPD impact careers?

BPD symptoms can affect your career in a few different ways. Some of these include:

Self-image: If you have BPD, your self-image, goals, and even your likes and dislikes may change frequently, and it can be difficult to commit to one career path. This unstable self-image or sense of self can put you behind in terms of job growth since you may miss out on promotions or opportunities linked to seniority.

All-or-nothing thinking: Many with BPD also have a tendency to see people and situations as all-good or all-bad, commonly referred to as all-or-nothing thinking or splitting. For example, you may start with what you think is a dream job. Then one day you receive a poor performance review or you make a mistake.

Unstable relationships: Instead of seeing this as something you can correct and overcome, you may feel completely demoralized and quit believing that this job is your dream job. Frequently changing feelings and all-or-nothing thinking can also lead to problems with workplace relationships, resulting in unstable relationships and divisive workplaces.

Avoiding stressful situations. Taking a step back from potential confrontation can help you see a situation more clearly. It also gives you the opportunity to use positive communication skills more effectively, which is especially important in work relationships.

Taking your medication and keeping your appointments. Taking the meds prescribed to you and keeping appointments with your providers is very important, even if you think you’re feeling better. Always consult with your doctor before stopping or changing your medication. Work with your therapist to balance work with your scheduled sessions.

Trying relaxation exercises. Relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditation can help you maintain some stability if you ever find yourself in a stressful situation.

Conclusion

In this blog we have taken a look at the many celebrities that struggle with Borderline Personality Disorder and how it has impacted their life and career. 

We have also discussed what is borderline personality disorder, how it is diagnosed and treated, and how it can impact careers. 

References

Bell.C. 11 Famous people with Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD. Healtholine. 8th September 2019. Retrieved on 26th November 2021. https://healtholine.com/11-famous-people-with-borderline-personality-disorder/

Celebrities That Have Borderline Personality Disorder. Delray Center for healing. Retrieved on 26th November 2021. https://www.delraycenter.com/celebrities-that-have-borderline-personality-disorder/

Famous People With Borderline Personality Disorder. InspireMalibu. May 13, 2020. Retrieved on 26th November 2021.https://www.inspiremalibu.com/blog/mental-health/famous-people-with-borderline-personality-disorder/

Salters-Pedneault.K. Having a Career With Borderline Personality Disorder. Verywell Mind. Updated on October 24, 2021. Retrieved on 26th November 2021. 

FAQ related to Famous people with BPD

Can someone with BPD be a good parent?

People with borderline personality disorder can be nurturing parents however for many people this does may take some work, education, guidance, therapy and active efforts to balance one’s emotions and also stress.

Who is BPD most common in?

Women are more likely to be diagnosed with BPD than men with a ratio of 3 women to 1 man diagnosed with BPD.

Does BPD get worse with age?

Borderline personality disorder begins by early adulthood and is worst in the young adulthood age and gradually may get better as one becomes older. 

Is BPD a disability?

Yes, disposed BPD like most mental illnesses is considered a disability by the Social Security Administration because of it’s criteria that BPD can cause various dysuntuons in various areas of one’s life. 

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