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Many people suffer from a silent killer, a disease that turns their mind against them, and causes them to engage in risky behavior that could even threaten their lives.
This disease is still stigmatized, and the fact that it’s not talked about worsens the effects for those who suffer from it. What’s this tragic and silent threat that so many people have?
Borderline personality disorder has made headlines as a mental health condition that affects a growing number of people. There are also many famous people with BPD, and when this condition goes untreated, the sufferer may spiral into a fatal cycle that could lead to depression and death.
Here’s everything you may want to learn about this mental health condition and famous people throughout history who have (or had) borderline personality disorder.
What Is Borderline Personality Disorder?
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a type of mental illness that affects your emotions and how you think about yourself and other people. When you can’t regulate or manage your emotions well, you are more likely to be impulsive, unstable, fear abandonment, and dislike being alone by yourself.
BPD negatively affects your relationship with yourself and those you have with others. Negative behaviors that plague you include anger and moodiness, and while you want a healthy and lasting relationship and friendships, your mental illness drives others away.
Common Signs/Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder
There are various symptoms or signs associated with borderline personality disorder. A person with BPD may:
Causes of Borderline Personality Disorder
There are various causes of BPD. High risk factors of borderline personality disorder include:
Treatment Options of Borderline Personality Disorder
The treatment options for BPD depend on the severity of the symptoms. Some patients benefit from evidence-based treatment, experiencing a better quality of life. Others with severe symptoms require intensive, in or out-patient care.
The most popular treatment options from a licensed mental health professional for BPD patients include:
It’s also recommended that the family and caregivers of someone with BPD go for therapy. This helps them better support the patient while still meeting their own needs.
If you have BPD or need help (or you know of someone in crisis), call or send a message to 988, chat online at 988lifeline.org, or call SAMHSA's National Helpline (800-663-4357).
25 Famous People with BPD
Famous people often suffer from BPD, and their position in the limelight doesn’t help their mental health.
Here are some famous BPD people you may not realize suffer from this significant disorder.
1. Jim Carrey
While you may see Jim Carrey as the eternal “funny man,” he has openly admitted to his struggles with depression. His traumatic childhood may have contributed to his BDP, and while this made him such an excellent comedian, it also left him with deep emotional scars that have affected his personal relationships.
Carrey deals with his BDP by painting and engaging in art.
2. Britney Spears
The “Hit Me, Baby” singer has been publicly documented while dealing with a mental breakdown. The psychotic episode is typical of someone with BDP, and the bouts of extreme love and hate that Britney Spears has for her many exes are also clear signs of BDP.
Spears is also known for mood swings, substance abuse, and expressing raging anger. Her behavior is classic for someone with BDP.
3. Jeffery Dahmer
As you can imagine, having BDP can cause you to become mentally unstable. U.S. serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is one example of an extreme BDP that escalated to darker sociopathy. Dahmer feared being alone, his victims were only killed once they tried to leave him.
His addictive personality manifested in obscene attachment to the bodies of his victims, and his murders always contained an element of intense rage.
4. Angelina Jolie
While Angelina Jolie may be raiding tombs, she also has her share of ghosts in the closet, and BDP is one such. Diagnosed in the 1990s with BDP, the movie star has struggled to form lasting relationships throughout her life.
She engaged in self-harming as a child, and she has committed to working with refugees and promoting humanitarian causes, showing that she has grown more stable and secure as an adult.
5. Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana’s life speaks of her BDP, and she suffered with her own depression and body issues. Her relationship with Charles had been one of almost mythic proportions, and when she realized he was not the idealized prince, her faith in relationships ended.
Her life was further traumatized by the constant pursuit of the paparazzi, which ultimately contributed to her death.
6. Amy Winehouse
Those with BPD often engage in self-harming activities like substance abuse and enter into dangerous relationships. Amy Winehouse is another example of a singer who suffered from BPD and died because of her risky behavior. Her overdose was preceded by depression and mental instability.
Her impulsive actions and dangerous choices like doing drugs were prompted by her BPD and also worsened her symptoms.
7. Amber Heard
Amber Heard’s recent media blitz with the Johnny Depp defamation trial has brought the spotlight home for a diagnosis of BPD. Her reckless behavior and mood swings, paired with her rage all point toward BPD, and her hedging between loving and hating her romantic partner indicate her mental instability.
Abuse, drugs, and a lack of real commitment all indicate she is incapable of forming lasting relationships that are healthy.
A forensic psychologist who interviewed the actress also confirmed a diagnosis of BPD.
8. Edgar Allan Poe
Being love-sick is one way of describing the relationship trials of someone with BPD, and Edgar Allan Poe is one such example. The poet and mystery writer is documented as being nervous and sensitive to relationships, which is typical of someone with BPD.
His preference for gambling and drinking all point to his mental state’s deterioration. The provoking incident for his BDP is rumored to be the loss of a childhood sweetheart.
9. Madison Bailey
The young actress Madison Bailey was diagnosed with BPD at 17, and she’s openly spoken about the ineffectiveness of therapy.
In her case, she’s turned to self-education, which helps her identify triggers that worsen her condition. She takes preventive steps and also works hard to deal with the crisis as it happens, taking care not to let her condition escalate.
10. Megan Fox
The media has often reported on the impulsive decisions of Megan Fox, and her slew of failed relationships have added to her mental health challenges. Being a part of the modeling and acting industry from a young age may also have contributed to her instability and lack of mature relationships.
Artists often create their evocative artworks to deal with their depression and anxiety, and one such artist is Michelangelo. The Renaissance painter and sculptor was known to be melancholy and he had frequent disputes with his professional relationships like commissioners.
His depression and lack of joy is clearly seen in his drawings and also some of his sculptures.
12. Linda Hamilton
Despite surviving the Terminator several times, Linda Hamilton has a long-standing history of risky behavior, substance abuse, and failed relationships.
She’s been married numerous times, and she’s been publicly mentioned as battling the effects of bipolar disorder, which is sometimes seen as a mental illness on the BPD spectrum.
Hamilton admits to her mental health issues, calling her long battle her “lost years.” She advocates treatment options and medication for those suffering from this mental disorder.
13. Ben Stiller
The comedian and actor Ben Stiller is known for being an absolute perfectionist about his work. He has serious mood swings when things don’t go as planned, and he acts out with violent rage when he is disappointed.
His BPD diagnosis is public knowledge, but the actor is uncomfortable with discussing his mental health in public—and he uses humor to hide his true feelings.
14. Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan rose to fame as a child actress and has been dealing with mental health issues for many years. Her self-harming activities and body issues are typical of BPD.
She is known for alcohol and substance abuse, and her lack of secure relationships all show her moody nature and inability to commit.
15. Ernest Hemingway
The famous writer Ernest Hemingway struggled with mental health issues for years. His depression, alcoholism, and repetitive suicidal thoughts are well-documented. His relationships were strained, and he acted obsessively toward his multiple ex-wives.
Ultimately, he committed suicide by shooting himself, which reflects his volatile nature.
16. Linsey Godfrey
Drama characterizes the lives of those with BPD, and Linsey Godfrey is one such drama-diva who displays typical behavior of someone with BPD. The Bold and the Beautiful star publicly admitted to having an abortion, which she showed no remorse for.
Her volatile personality and lack of emotional attachment reinforced her diagnosis which she shared on Instagram in 2021, that she has bipolar 2 and BPD.
17. Brandon Marshall
The prestige that comes with being a sports star often contributes to relationship failures, and the public pressure of being a celeb has painted the spotlight on Brandon Marshall. The NFL wide receiver has become a public figurehead for mental health issues.
His diagnosis with BPD has become public knowledge, and Marshall uses his public position to create awareness and educate people about BPD.
18. Robbie Williams
While we can only speculate about a possible diagnosis of BPD for Robbie Williams, the singing superstar has publicly admitted to his mental health struggles. His public outbursts and volatile relationships have shown his inability to connect and really commit to healthy relationships.
Robbie Williams also has a history of risky behavior and impulsive acts, which are typical of BPD.
19. Pete Davidson
The Saturday Night Live comedian Pete Davidson has admitted in an interview to his diagnosis with BPD. While he continues dating, he admits that relationships are extra challenging to those with this mental illness.
While he abused drugs, he now promotes treatment for BPD.
20. Vincent van Gogh
Another artist who is believed to have suffered BPD is Vincent van Gogh. The famous painter was mostly unsuccessful in life, and it was only after his passing (by his own hand) that his work reached acclaim and sold.
Van Gogh engaged in several reckless acts like cutting off an ear to apologize for an argument, drinking turpentine, and spending hours in baking sun (which gave him sunstroke). He is also rumored to have been in love with his cousin.
Depression, failed relationships, and self-mutilation are typical of BPD.
21. Selena Gomez
The singing sensation and actress Selena Gomez was diagnosed with bipolar personality disorder in 2020. Since then, she has created awareness of mental health issues, and it’s her goal to help create a society where people feel comfortable discussing mental health challenges.
22. Marilyn Monroe
The iconic Marilyn Monroe suffered from BPD. She showed several signs of the mental health condition, such as being depressed, trying to commit suicide, spending time in mental health institutions, and showing abandonment issues.
Monroe had a history of substance abuse, failed relationships, and erratic behavior.
23. Marsha Lineham
Marsha Lineham, a psychologist and author, created DBT to treat BPD. DBT uses acceptance and mindfulness to help borderline personality disorder patients.
Lineham has BPD, and her diagnosis motivated her to find a therapy form to help others with this mental illness.
24. Sinead O’Connor
Sinead O’Connor, a popular Irish musician, was famous for risky and impulsive behavior. Just think of her ripping the photo of the pope on an episode of Saturday Night Live.
O’Conner has BPD, bipolar disorder, and complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), explaining her erratic behavior, including trying to commit suicide in 1999 (she died from an overdose in 2023). She was outspoken about her mental struggles and penned a memoir about her traumatic and abusive past and more.
25. Carrie Fisher
Carrie Fisher, famous for playing Princess (or General) Leia in Star Wars was diagnosed with BPD at the age of 24. Fisher didn’t believe that she had a mental illness, and only realized at 28 that she did have BPD after a drug overdose.
Her BPD was the result of a traumatic childhood. Her daughter was the reason why she continued with treatment and why she wanted to get better.
Final Thoughts on Famous People with BPD
Do you have signs of borderline personality disorder? This unspoken ailment has claimed many lives, destroyed relationships, and it’s by no means a celebrity-only condition.
While many famous people with BPD are stepping forward to raise awareness, many people still lack any empathy or care regarding the disorder and its tragic impact on many.
So, before you label another celeb post of recklessness and abuse as being “attention-seeking behavior,” remember that these are people, and they suffer too. Need some help practicing kindness, use these 57 quotes to build a healthy mindset and body.
And if you want more resources about famous people and their struggles, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 55 Famous Failures Who Became Successful People
- 17 Successful and Famous People with Disabilities
- 15 Famous & Successful People with a Stutter
Finally, if you want to focus on a great HEALTH habit that increases your energy and helps with your weight goals, then take 30-seconds each morning to prepare this drink to feel energized throughout the day.