5 Fictional Characters with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?

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In this blog, we will explore the fictional characters who have Borderline personality disorder, what Borderline personality disorder is, symptoms of BPD, and also answer frequently asked questions.

Are There Fictional Characters with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?

Yes, there are fictional characters that suffer from a borderline personality disorder and they are briefly listed below:

  • Hulk from Avengers
  • Anakin Skywalk from Star Wars
  • Clementine from Eternal Sunshine of spotless ming
  • Maleficient from maleficient
  • Susana from Girl interrupted

We will discuss these characters in detail in the latter part of the blog.

What is Borderline Personality disorder (BPD)?

A borderline personality disorder is a mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and acts. It is often characterized by dysregulation of emotions, instability in moods, impulsivity, and issues with relationships. 

What are the signs and symptoms of BPD?

  • An extreme level of fear of abandonment
  • An unstable pattern of relationships
  • Sudden and abrupt changes in self-image and self-concept
  • Self-harming tendencies or suicidal threats as a response to their fear of rejection or separation
  • Unstable mood and a lot of mood swings
  • Impulsivity in behavior and indulgence in risky behaviors

Fictional characters with BPD

Art and cinema are our retreat places. When in reality we can not find people who may relate to us we turn our heads towards art be it literature or cinema. Perhaps that is exactly why arts hold so much importance in our lives. For who can imagine a life without it?

Here is the list of fictional characters who have Borderline Personality disorder:-

  • Clementine from “Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind”

Clementine is one of the favored characters of all time. She bears a charismatic profile, and it impulsive and jumps from one thing to another, but at the same time she feels every motion to its deepest grade possible, she is vulnerable and carries a vigorous honesty within her.

Clementine is also the example of the MPDG trope – ‘The manic pixie dream girl’ the ‘oh so free’ behaviors/habits of clementine are not just free but also a symptom of her mental illness. 

While going through the downs of their relationship, the audience realizes that pouring liquor in her coffee isn’t some strange habit of hers but a substance abuse problem, which also leads to the accident in Joel’s car. 

She is quite mercurial and also resentful to Joel which gets nasty in the movie. Her struggles with the drinking problem, as well as impulsivity, are the indicators of her struggle with Borderline Personality Disorder.

  • The Hulk from “The Avengers”

Our dear Hulk is a sweetheart beneath that huge green-muscled body of his.

He really struggles with processing his emotions and his identity. Being a BPD guy he is often quite unpredictable. 

There are people who do not understand him and those who fear him. He feels worried about people whom he loves and this can be a tricky situation – not being able to trust one’s own self near their loved ones.

He keeps himself isolated to safeguard whom he loves, that’s his life, and surely a lot of people who suffer from Borderline personality disorder can relate to him.

  • Anakin Skywalker from “Star wars”

Anakin in the Star Wars saga begins as a beloved character but ends up being the most hated as Darth Vader. He knows he is good although a bit exceptional. His paranoia consumes him. 

The paranoia of being cheated and meted with the injustice of being denied his deserving place in the star wars universe devours him. He is a loving character, he loves his wife Padme Amidala but because of his ability to not trust anyone around him, he forfeits his love too.

One might call it ‘hamartia’ in philosophical terms, which brings this hero down and makes his character tragic while psychological profiling hints towards BPD. he has a preoccupation with abandonment and loss, separation problems, extreme sensitivity towards potential dangers to himself, anger outbursts, and no sense of security bout his identity. 

The common notion that people who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder are evil needs to be condemned here. He does not become all of a sudden or attain BPD all of a sudden but the symptoms of BPD are well evident even when he was a kid.

His impulsivity, anger, passion, and frequent altercations between how he feels and what he thinks, he keeps splitting quite often in the saga, lack of surety about his identity are all classic symptoms of BPD. 

What is even more important is the depiction of BPD in a male character. Stereotypically BPD is associated with women, as they can be more irrational than men et al. but men too struggle with BPD and it is not a “gender-based” mental illness.

  • Jessica Jones from “Jessica Jones”

She is broken but strong. Her strength to fight the bad guys as well as to fight her emotionally harrowing past is an inspiration to many fans. 

The Marvel Universe offers a haven to many fans who can relate to these more and more ‘humanly superheroes’. Like many BPD patients, she needs love but is always scared of losing those about whom she cares and loves.

  • Ralph in Wreck-It-Ralph

The 2012 Disney movie that follows arcade game character Wreck-It-Ralph is always tired of being deemed as the bad guy in comparison to the dear Fix-It-Felix character. 

So Wreck-it-Ralph begins his journey of dismantling his ‘the bad guy’ hallmark and wishes to become the hero of the game but instead ends up starting more and more havoc in the movie. Although there is zero mention of any mental illness in the movie, one symptom often depicted in the movie is his impulsivity. 

He often takes decisions based on no logic and wants to please others to gain validation. At the beginning of the movie he feels completely alone and useless and says “Man, it sure must be nice to be the good guy” he often feels a bit empty. 

He fears that he will lose Vanellope to someone, so his fear of abandonment never really leaves him. In the first fifteen minutes of the film, he displays countless emotions, he gets sad, angry, laughing, frightened, which makes other people exhausted, the same must happen in real life too, we assume. 

Ralph has no bloody idea of who he is or was or wants to be. He does not possess enough self-confidence and has an unreliable self-image.

  • Susana in “The Girl Interrupted” 

“Girl, Interrupted” is set in the 1960s and its main character Susana Kaysen is diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder during her time in the psychiatric hospital after she tries to kill herself. 

Although Susana has been diagnosed as a patient with BPD it is Lisa, her friend from the psychiatric hospital who fits more into the criteria of BPD. Lisa is a manipulative character and shows ‘black and white thinking as well as self-harm. Susana’s BPD is subtle when compared to that of Lisa. The problem with movies and books portraying mental illness is that they often try to romanticize it or try to make it look cool, which in reality is just not the case, it is more of a painful struggle than a beautified or minimized state of being.

  • Alice Keig in “Welcome to me”

Welcome to me is a 2014 comedy-drama starring Kristen Wig, she is diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder, in the movie she wins a lottery and uses that money to establish a talk show about herself. BPD’s most significant character is the unstable relationship it causes, which is much evident in the life of Alice. 

She performs skits based on her past life and during those skits she throws away the still hurting wounds by naming almost every person in her life. She does not know what to hide and what to not and overshares the intimate details of her life which are one of the things due to which BPD folks suffer.

The film portrays BPD in a humane light. But one problem with the movie is the issue with medication. In the movie, her unstable behaviour is a direct cause of not taking medication. But for medical purposes let’s make it clear here that there are no specific medications for treating Borderline Personality Disorder. Only Co-occurring mental illnesses can be treated like depression or anxiety, which may or may not aid in reducing the BPD symptoms.

  • Maleficent

A person with Borderline PersonalityDisorder shows extreme emotional reactions and is impulsive, with a history of reactive relationships.

Maleficent from sleeping beauty is portrayed as the evilest character amongst the Disney villains. And this is what needs to be questioned. Where is the evil behavior coming from? She is quite well till aurora’s baptism. Since she is not invited, she takes it to heart. 

She becomes extremely upset and wishes to put a curse upon Princess Aurora and everyone in the kingdom – how would you characterize such behaviour? It is surely not what a mentally stable person who is not going through something major would do. 

She is of course motivated by her feelings but one can not ignore that she is quite impulsive. In her pain and anger, she cannot reign her kingdom. Also one can argue against the depiction of maleficent as an evil person, which is the most popular characterization of very BPD character on screen.

  • Lucy Van Pelt from “Charlie Brown”

Lucy is a bossy person in the cartoon and shows zero empathy or sympathy for that matter to Charlie Brown, by pulling away from the football as soon as he tries to kick it, to make fun of him in front of everybody. She also teases her brother Linus and shows quite unpredictable mood swings and goes on ranting angrily. She keeps scourging compliments but deep down she wishes for better self-esteem and is insecure about herself.

  • Esther Greenwood from The Bell Jar

Esther Greenwood from Bell Jar is a brilliant, enormously talented woman who is slowly feeling herself melt away in the crack-up. Her breakdown is portrayed in the book masterfully with such intensity that her insanity manifests itself completely rationally, as real as going to the movies. 

Her journey into the dark, shadowy and unknowing corners of her psyche are well relatable to every BPD patient who themselves have felt the clutches of splitting tearing their flesh apart. It is haunting but only real to be exposed to what Esther goes through.

Conclusion

We answered the question “Are There Fictional Characters with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?” and also covered what borderline personality disorder is, what are the symptoms of BPD, and also discussed fictional characters who have BPD.

Frequently asked questions: Are There Fictional Characters with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?

Which Disney princess has Borderline Personality Disorder?

In part I of the Frozen Series, Elsa experiences something similar to Borderline Personality Disorder. Elsa in frozen exhibits a clear outward display of the emotional turmoil she feels inside.

Who is more likely to be diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder?

Women are to be far more likely to be diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder as compared to men. The ratio, if to be calculated would turn out to be 3:1, meaning, 75% women against 25% men.

What mental disorder does joker have?

Joker seems to exhibit a strange cocktail of features of particular personality traits like narcissistic personality disorder self-esteem because he wants attention by whatever means possible and psychopathy as he displays zero empathy for his victims.

What is Harley Quinn’s personality type?

Harley Quinn shows an Unhealthy ENFP personality type. She demonstrates an intense need to conjoin emotionally with other people. She is very people-oriented but also remains Introspective.

Which fictional character has BPD?

BoJack Horseman has BPD, Hulk has BPD, Maleficient has BPD, Anakin Skywalker has BPD, and many more functional characters. 

What mental disorders does Harley Quinn have?

Harley Quinn suffers from Histrionic personality disorder. 

References 

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/25-fictional-characters-people-borderline-005354687.html
https://www.ranker.com/list/cartoon-characters-suffering-from-mental-disorders/anncasano
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6514.The_Bell_Jar

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