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Because BPD has several strong similarities to Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), it’s likely that many celebrities suffer from the condition. The lifestyle of the famous individual almost necessitates self-absorption and can easily escalate into extreme preoccupation with the self, or NPD. Volatile relationships and unstable mood are some of the characteristics shared by NPD and BPD. Some of the symptoms of BPD manifested in celebrity lifestyles are feelings of emptiness or boredom, frequent displays of inappropriate anger, impulsiveness, intolerance of being alone, self-injury, sexual confusion, eating disorders, substance abuse, and shame. Although some celebrity cases cannot be confirmed, the following is a list of both definite diagnoses and probable BPD sufferers based on the symptoms of the condition.
Doug Ferrari, or “Dougzilla,” is a famous comedian whose BPD diagnosis changed his life. Doug suffered from severe outbursts of anger, which eventually escalated to the point of destroying his home and beating his wife, which earned him jail time. He is now dedicated to personal maintenance, therapy, medications, and performing at charity events to call attention to BPD.
Angelina Jolie reportedly checked herself into the Neuropsychiatric Institute in the late 1990s due to self-reported suicidal and homicidal ideation. Once diagnosed with BPD, she began to improve and motherhood helped her to adapt to her condition.
Courtney Love was arrested in 2003 for breaking windows in her boyfriend’s apartment under the influence of controlled substances and was treated for an accidental overdose of oxycodone. After losing custody of her daughter, she entered rehab, then violated the terms of her parole and entered house arrest. This behavior is analogous to BPD outbursts.
Lindsay Lohan attended AA in 2006 and had a car accident in 2007, causing authorities to find cocaine in her vehicle. During the same year, she was arrested for a DUI and sent to rehab. She was cast in The Other Side in 2009, but was fired in 2010. This month, she’s been sentenced to jail for violating the terms of her probation.
Britney Spears has shown extreme impulsiveness in her marriages, the first of which was annulled after 55 hours because Spears hadn’t understood her actions. She’s also shaved her head, admitted herself to treatment facilities, and has felt “like a bad kid with ADD.”
Amy Winehouse’s life has been characterized by substance abuse, self-harm, depression, and eating disorders. She’s been documented wearing only jeans and a bra in public, arrested for possession of marijuana, has been to rehab, and has committed a “common assault” offense.
Susanna Kaysen, author of Girl, Interrupted, struggled with mental instability, being hospitalized at McLean, and re-adapting to the world at age 18. Her memoir was filmed as a movie in 1999 and stars Winona Ryder as Kaysen.
Princess Diana struggled to overcome an eating disorder and had difficulty maintaining relationships. Some experts attribute her BPD to the divorce of her parents and neglect during her childhood. Self-mutilation, binge eating, and promiscuity characterized the dissolution of her relationship with Charles.
Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald was a writer and the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald. She was hospitalized several times and diagnosed with schizophrenia and manic depression before she could be correctly categorized as a BPD sufferer.
Marilyn Monroe demonstrated promiscuity, suicidal ideation, and drug abuse, which are characteristics of BPD. She also experienced low self-esteem and extreme attachment in relationships out of fear of abandonment.
Jim Morrison suffered from severe identity disturbance, which is a characteristic of BPD. He felt a deficit in his “realness” and “aliveness” that was caused by internalizing important figures from childhood as the scaffolding for his sense of self.
Adolf Hitler demonstrated inappropriate ways of dealing with emotions and had the anti-social and narcissistic aspects of BPD.