Borderline personality disorder(BPD) is long-term abnormal behaviour with symptoms like lack of stability in relationships, unstable sense of self and emotions, fear of abandonment and tendency to harm self and others. Depression, substance abuse, and eating disorders are some of the symptoms usually associated with BPD. Suicidal tendency is a major setback of this condition. But then, as with many other psychological issues, this one is also treatable if identified and treated in the starting phase. There are many famous people with borderline personality disorder.
One would think that fame, money and comforts make life worthwhile, but more often than not, that is not the case. The fact that many famous personalities have gone through a phase of BPD in their life only proves this. Let us talk about ten famous people with the mental health condition known as BPD…
1. Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie is a famous American actress, filmmaker and humanitarian. She has received an academy award, two Screen Actor awards and three golden globe awards. She has played the lead role in many successful movies and also later ventured into direction, production and screenwriting.
At one point in her career, she was one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood. But her life story is not all rosy and pleasant. During her 20s, she struggled with eating disorders and insomnia and then got into substance abuse. She happens to be one of the most famous people with borderline personality disorder.
Later, she voluntarily reached out for professional help to deal with suicidal and homicidal thoughts. She has since then moved on and is now married to famous Bollywood actor Brad Pitt and is mother to six lovely children, of which three are adopted.
2. Amy Winehouse
Amy Jade Winehouse was an English singer/songwriter famous for her expressive contralto vocals and electric mix of various music genres. She was the recipient of many awards like the Brit Award, Ivor Novello Award and Grammy awards. Even when she was at the peak of success and had a promising career ahead of her in the music industry, she had trouble maintaining her sanity when it came to her personal life.
She battled with substance abuse, mood swings and weight loss issues for quite some time. She has opened up about her issues with depression, eating disorders and mood swings in many interviews. She went through multiple phases of substance abuse and violent mood swings and finally succumbed to death at the young age of 27 due to alcohol poisoning.
3. Princess Diana
Diana, Princess of Wales, was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales. She was born into a family of British novelty and became Lady Diana when her father inherited the title of Earl of Spencer. Her marriage to Prince Charles was considered a fairytale wedding and had a global television viewership of 750 million. As Princess of Wales, Diana undertook Royal duties, represented the Queen at various functions, and was part of many charity programs.
But later, her married life went through some rough patches and ended in a divorce. Some believe that her relationship with Prince Charles is said to have broken due to her behavioural issues, which included mood swings, eating disorders and self-harming tendencies. She as well is one of the famous with borderline personality disorder. Lady Diana passed away in a car crash at the age of 36, and the funeral was a widely watched event worldwide.
4. Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was a German politician who was the leader of the Nazi Party and Chancellor of Germany for over a decade. He was responsible for the initiation of World War II by attacking Poland. He was the central figure of the Holocaust that was directed towards killing Jews. Researchers believe that Hitler had various health issues and was a neurotic psychopath.
One of the books on him states that he suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder. He was under a varied number of medications for various health issues, including Parkinson’s disease. He had also started having a stimulant drug at a later stage of life and later got addicted to it, which in turn is said to have contributed to his infamous erratic behaviour and inflexible decision-making. He committed suicide along with his wife for two days when it was certain that he was going to be captured by the Soviet army.
5. Doug Ferrari
Doug is one of the celebrities from a field which you will never associate with emotional issues. He was a Comedian. After winning a comedy show in 1984, he was doing well for himself with Stage performances, writing, etc. He believes that BPD is a silent killer as you don’t realize what is going wrong for a long time.
He was going through depression, anxiety, poor self-image and mood swings. Finally, his marriage was also got impacted by illness. He started isolating himself from people and was staying in slum hotels and shelters. His friends and people from the comedy community helped him, and finally, he was able to get over the situation and get back to work; his personal life also got back on track with his wife coming back to stay with him.
6. Mike Wallace
Mike Wallace was an American journalist, game show host, actor and media personality. He was the recipient of various awards in the field of journalism. He interviewed a wide range of prominent personalities during his career as lead reporter on the famous show “60 Minutes”. For many years, Mike suffered depression unknowingly. It worsened after a lawsuit was filed by one of the personalities he had interviewed over some of the statements made in the documentary.
Mike was diagnosed with clinical depression and was on anti-depressants and therapy for a very long time. He kept his situation under wraps for a very long time, thinking it would impact his public image. Mike passed away due to natural causes two days before his 94th birthday. He is again one of the most famous people with borderline personality disorder.
7. Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe was an American model, actress and singer and was considered a major sex symbol during the 1950s and early 1960s. She started her career with modelling and later got into motion pictures. She featured in a number of successful commercial movies and received the Golden Globe awards. She got into multiple tiffs with Studios over her choice of movies, role, and remuneration during her acting career.
Her private life became a much-discussed topic when she struggled with addiction, depression and anxiety. She also suffered from low self-esteem and fear of abandonment, which made her too clingy in relationships. She had two marriages, both highly publicized and ended in divorce. She died at the age of 36 from an overdose of drugs.
8. Britney Spears
Britney Spears is an American singer, dancer and songwriter. With her debut album, she shot to international stardom. The albums that followed were also chart-busters and broke many international sales records. She received various prestigious awards like Grammy, MTV Music Video and Lifetime Achievement awards. She is considered a pop icon and a major influencer of teen pop in the 1990s.
Later she got into serious issues on her personal front, including depression, substance abuse and mood swings. Her erratic behaviour and hospitalizations impacted her career negatively. Though it is said that she was one of the most famous people with borderline personality disorder, it is still not confirmed. she continued to release music albums that were successful and top sellers. She had two failed marriages and various temporary relationships.
9. Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Churchill was a British politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice. He was also an officer of the British army, a historian, a writer and an artist. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature for his lifetime achievement. He held many cabinet and political positions during his political career, which spanned around 50 years.
As per his long-term doctor’s comments, Churchill was suffering from what can now be understood as clinical depression, and Churchill referred to this condition as “black dog” at that time. One of the books on Churchill goes on to say that his mood swings were triggered by some of the military defeats and other adverse political developments. His associates stated that he was a victim of worry and over-strain but never received any medication for it.
10. Ludwig Van Beethoven
Beethoven was a renowned music composer and, to date, remains one of the most famous and influential composers. He was a great source of confidence for others for being able to create and play music in spite of being completely deaf. His talent in music was evident at a young age itself, and his father was his first teacher though later he had other teachers. The actual cause of his deafness is not known, but his hearing deteriorated with time and reached a point where he was completely deaf.
He was then using conversation books to communicate with people. He was suffering from long periods of fever and emotional illness, and this caused some of the low periods in his musical path. His emotional issues are said to be caused by his deafness, his brother’s death and a legal battle for his nephew. Beethoven passed away at the age of 56, and an autopsy revealed damaged liver which may have been due to excessive drinking.
Many more celebrities and famous people have borderline personality disorder and other mental illness. They have made great contributions to the world through being most intelligent, creative and outspoken. One can only hope that they come forward, offering hope and encouragement to others like the brave football superstar Brandon Marshall, who has started a foundation on BPD awareness and treatment.
My only hope is that maybe this will help all the silent BPD sufferers out there. If you are one of them, leave a comment and let us know your thoughts and consider giving BPD.ORG.UK a visit for more information.