As Made Famous by Marilyn Monroe: How BPD Manifests Itself

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Marilyn Monroe was one of the most famous actresses of all time. She played a variety of roles and assumed different personality traits for each one. What is particularly ironic and interesting about her is that she is known to have suffered from a Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). 

This means that displayed all of the classic BPD symptoms both on the screen or off it in her personal life. Ms Monroe constantly struggled to define her own personality, even though many of us think we know the sort of person she was from her public persona.

Here is a look at the traits that define someone with BPD and how it manifests itself.

Understanding this type of mental illness

BPD should be understood for what it is, a form of mental illness. It is a condition that has a severe impact on a person’s ability to keep any sort of control over their emotions.

This loss of emotional control often produces extreme behaviors. Acting impulsively and experiencing wild mood swings are just two classic symptoms of BPD.

Someone who is suffering from BPD will tend to adopt extreme views that they view something as really good or really bad. There is rarely a middle ground with BPD.

This volatility creates emotional instability and threatens relationships when someone with BPD displays such mood swings and indulges in dangerous and impulsive behaviors.

People with BPD are often at a higher risk of self-harm and suicidal behavior. Sadly, Marilyn Monroe proved that point with the way her life appears to have ended.

At odds with yourself

One of the ways that BPD manifests itself is in the way a person who has this disorder tends to display a public form of their personality that is very different to the way their inner self feels.

It is a sort of chameleon-like existence where you are viewed as being one type of person in public but your private inner thoughts and feelings are alien to your outward personality displays and behaviors.

Someone like Marilyn Monroe is a good example of what this means to be someone with BPD. She adapted roles and acted her way through public appearances, but probably felt very different inside to what we were all seeing.

Other things going on

It can often be the case that there are competing diagnoses and BPD is just one of the problems that a person is trying to cope with.

BPD can often be the most controlling disorder and takes a starring role over other issues such as eating disorders. Feelings can often get channeled through BPD but they become distorted.

It is for that very reason that it is usually the best course of action to target BPD as a priority when looking to help someone overcome their problems. Once you have greater control over your feelings and understand what is going on inside it can usually help other treatments to be successful.

Marilyn Monroe acted out her life, both in the public eye and privately, as a result of her BPD. Do you recognize any of these traits?

Diagnosing and treating BPD can make a huge and positive difference.



Olivia is psychologist and entrepreneur from Brisbane. Mother of two beautiful children and proud owner of two silly boxer dogs. She is passionate writer, a traveler and conscious consumer, seeking healthy and sustainable products to incorporate into the lives of her family. Her motto is “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

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