Famous People With Borderline Personality Disorder

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Suffering from a mental disorder can often cause patients to feel isolated and lonely. It perpetuates the idea that no one quite understands how they think. It also causes a decline in self-esteem as these individuals consider their illness a barrier between them and their dreams. 

famous people borderline personality disorder

While suffering from mental disorders like depression, borderline personality disorder, and schizophrenia can be debilitating in a lot of different ways, they are not and should not be the cause of giving up on one’s dreams entirely. 

With proper medication and treatment compliance, a mental health condition like borderline personality disorder can be controlled to improve one’s lifestyle. Treatments can help prevent these illnesses to an extent that allows individuals to live a normal life and work towards achieving their dreams. 

So many famous people that we love and appreciate suffer from borderline personality disorder and still manage to make their name in history and showbiz.

What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental illness that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. 

borderline personality disorder

The DSM-5 specifically defines BPD as “ A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood.” People with BPD often experience intense emotions, fear of abandonment, low self-esteem, unstable relationships, and impulsive and self-destructive behaviors. They may also have difficulty controlling their anger and may engage in self-harm or suicidal behavior.

15 People You Might Know That Suffer From Borderline Personality Disorder

  1. Amber Heard

The infamous Aquaman actress recently appeared on our screens during the popular Depp Vs. Heard case. She has exhibited BPD symptoms more than once throughout the proceedings of the case, causing her to become a more widely known case of the disorder.

The actress is known for her intense mood swings, anger outbursts, bizarre acts of revenge, and paranoia. She has reportedly acknowledged this by joining a group of celebrities with borderline personality disorder.

  1. Pete Davidson

Famous for his appearance on Saturday Night Live (SNL) and as Kim Kardashian’s (now ex) boyfriend, Pete Davidson has spoken about his struggle with borderline personality disorder more than once. Often, he used his platform to talk about borderline personality disorder and raise awareness for it.

The actor has also been a victim of online bullying and trolling following his public acknowledgment of his disorder. But he countered these statements by simply saying, “Just because I suffer from a mental illness doesn’t mean I can’t be happy or in a relationship.”

  1. Princess Diana

While a lot of us have loved Princess Diana and held her in high regard, what most of us don’t know is that she might have suffered from borderline personality disorder. She had often publicly spoken about her struggles with mental illnesses.

She often spoke about her suicide attempts, her eating disorders, her panic attacks, and her feelings of insecurity and loneliness. While the criteria and definition of borderline personality disorder weren’t quite defined back then, experts suggest her symptoms were largely suggestive of the disorder. This was also corroborated by an unofficial background check by the Royal Family in the 20s.

  1. Brandon Marshall

Marshall is a former football player who played 13 seasons in the National Football League for teams like the Denver Broncos and New York Jets. 

Brandon publicly acknowledged his mental struggles and often spoke about how he deals with mood swings, impulsive behaviors, and instability in his relationships. However, Brandon did not let his illness take hold of him and reclaimed his life by actively seeking help and helping others like him.

He runs a foundation called Project 375 that aims to raise awareness for mental health conditions like BPD, depression, and anxiety. It also helps provide resources and support for individuals suffering or have someone close to them suffering from such disorders.

  1. Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse is a popular British singer and songwriter who also won the Grammy for her album “Back to Back.” Her struggles with alcohol and substance abuse were never hidden from the media. A lot of reports also suggest her having borderline personality disorder.

She often opened up about her struggles with drug abuse, self-harm, and depression during interviews. There were also numerous reports of her dysfunctional relationships and violent mood outbursts, which were suggestive of BPD as well.

  1. Joe Tracini

Joe Tracini is an English actor known for his works in sitcoms like My Spy Family and Coming Of Age. More recently, he has gotten famous for his show 10 Easy Ways To Not Kill Yourself

This show is centered around Joe’s borderline personality disorder diagnosis and how he plans to reclaim his career in stand-up comedy. However, his main adversary appears to be a voice in his head named Mike, which is a result of Tracini’s mental illness. While taking a light-hearted approach, Tracini aims to create awareness around BPD and help others see that a mental disorder is not terminal for one’s dreams.

  1. Angelina Jolie

While we know and love her as the beautiful Academy Award-winning actress and humanitarian, Angelina Jolie has had her fair share of struggles with mental health issues as well. The actress has been pretty candid about her BPD diagnosis and often spoke about her struggles during interviews.

During the late 1990s, the actress also reportedly got herself admitted to a psychiatric institution due to her repeated acts of self-harm and suicidal thoughts. However, she did well with treatment and started working towards her career success. Since then, the actress has starred in many box-office hits, including The Tourist, Wanted, and the more recent, Maleficent.

  1. Ricky Williams

Ricky Williams is an ex-football player who performed as a runner-back for 11 seasons in the National Football League and one season in the Canadian Football League. He famously got suspended due to his cannabis use and the league’s strict policies on anti-drug abuse.

Since his retirement, Ricky Williams has publicly acknowledged his struggles with substance abuse and also claimed to be diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, social anxiety disorder, and avoidance disorder. This made Ricky one of the few black famous people with borderline personality disorder, shedding light on the mental health conditions in the black community.

  1. Britney Spears

While Britney Spears rightfully rose to fame for her singing, she remained famous for her personal life struggles and public mental breakdowns. She has been a target of internet trolling and media sensationalization for over a decade. There is the infamous image of Britney going bald and smashing a car window with a baseball bat, pointing towards her violent tendencies.

While her diagnosis has never been confirmed and mainly consists of speculations, there have been various instances where she has exhibited symptoms of someone with borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder.

  1. Marilyn Monroe

Monroe was probably the most iconic Hollywood actress of the 1950s and is widely known for her beauty, talent, and style. However, the actress’s mental health struggles were not hidden from the world. She was known to struggle with insomnia, major depressive disorder, drug use, and mood swings.

While the diagnosis was non-existent at the time, a psychological biopsy was done on Marilyn Monroe by psychiatrists and clinical psychologists who concluded that Monroe suffered from borderline personality disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and bipolar disorder. Despite this, the actress remained one of the highest-rated actors of her time until her sudden, tragic death due to a barbiturate overdose.

  1. Courtney Love

Courtney Love is an actress, rock songwriter, and musician. She was also married to Kurt Cobain, the lead singer for Nirvana. Courtney has had a history of a traumatic childhood that led her to self-harm from a very young age. The actress used to be a stripper when she was 16, but that changed when she rose to fame for her music and acting. Love formed her rock band Hole in 1989, which went on to become one of the most influential rock bands of the time. 

Unfortunately, Courtney has not always made the headlines for the right reasons. She is known to be someone with an unstable personality, often regarded as a sociopath or a psychopath. According to an article by the NY Times, Love’s former private investigator admitted to having observed these traits in her, pointing towards a severe case of borderline personality disorder. Some reports also suggest her having a histrionic personality disorder.

  1. Madison Bailey

Bailey is widely known for her performance as Kiara Carrera on the popular teen drama series Outer Banks. She also has a successful modeling career and has over 8.3M Instagram followers.

The actress was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder when she was 17 and has since been dealing with her illness very openly. She has often spoken about her struggles publicly and even advocated for awareness about BPD. 

Madison Bailey is an idol for individuals her age. Despite her diagnosis and struggles, the actress made it to Elle’s Hollywood Rising Class of 2023. She has shown us time and time again that a mental illness is not the end of one’s career dreams.

  1. Anna Nicole Smith

Anna Nicole Smith was an American actress and model who started her career at the popular Playboy magazine in 1992. She quickly gained popularity for her alluring beauty and talent. The actress starred in Naked Gun 33, A Third, and then the E! reality TV show The Anna Nicole Show.

Anna’s mental health struggles with BPD, manic depression, and substance abuse largely came to the surface during the airing of the show, which often showed her intoxicated. There have also been media reports of her unstable relationships and addiction to prescription medications. The latter also led to her tragic passing away due to combined drug intoxication.

  1. Darell Hammond

In addition to Pete Davidson, another infamous cast member of Saturday Night Live, Darell Hammond, also struggled with several mental illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and borderline personality disorder.

In 2011, Hammond opened up about his childhood trauma and stories of abuse by his mother and lack of support from family members. Despite these hurdles, Hammond made a name for himself as a comedian and impressionist, impersonating over 107 celebrities on SNL, his impression of Bill Clinton being the most famous one.

  1. Marsha M. Linehan

While she’s not an actress or singer, Marsha Linehand’s story may be the most inspiring. Linehan is a psychologist and researcher known for her work on Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), one of the most effective treatments for behavioral personality disorder.

Having experienced the struggles of BPD, such as suicidal ideation, self-harm, and emotional instability first-hand, Linehan worked to create a treatment modality that helped her and many individuals like her. DBT combines cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness that help individuals cope with their emotions and work towards healthy relationships.

In conclusion, talking about this list of celebrities with disorders like BPD helps break the taboo around the conversation and brings awareness to it. It also acts as a ray of hope for individuals suffering from BPD or any other mental disorder that their illness is not as restrictive as it seems. By seeking professional help and complying with treatment, they can effectively manage their BPD symptoms and work towards their goals.