Are borderline personality disorder cartoons important?

In this article, we shall answer the question “are borderline personality disorder cartoons important?”. We shall also discuss what borderline personality disorder is, its causes, risk factors, and treatment methods. This information will help you ‌learn more about borderline personality disorder.

Are borderline personality disorder cartoons important?

Yes, borderline personality disorder cartoons are important.Cartoons can ‌educate others about borderline personality disorder and its symptoms, as well as to provide entertainment. This being said, cartoons should always be respectful and capture only that which is necessary in order to avoid stigmatization.

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

BPD (its acronym) is a mental disorder that affects how you feel about yourself and other people. It also causes problems in carrying out normal day-to-day activities. People with BPD have a negative self-image, find it difficult to control emotions, and have a series of unstable relationships.

People with BPD dislike being alone and have an extreme fear of abandonment. However, their negative traits of irritability, mood swings and impulsiveness tend to push people away, even those who love you and want to have a meaningful relationship with you. 

The symptoms of BPD start in early adulthood and seem to worsen in young adulthood, however, the symptoms tend to improve with age and one can function normally with BPD. with this information you will be able to identify some symptoms of borderline personality traits in cartoons mentioned in this article.

What are the signs and symptoms of BPD Portrayed in eating disorder cartoons

The signs and symptoms of BPD include:

Emotional symptoms

The emotional symptoms of BPD include:

  • Sorrow
  • Shame 
  • Terror
  • Rage 
  • Feelings of sadness and emptiness (long-term)
  • Severe mood swings. Some people feel suicidal and then feel better after a few hours. Mood swings vary; some feel better in the morning and some in the evening

Cognitive symptoms

  • Having upsetting thoughts, i.e. thinking that you are a terrible person
  • Auditory hallucinations. Some people hear voices in their heads telling them to harm themselves.
  • Prolonged episodes of hallucinations, i.e. hearing voices and delusions, i.e. believing that your family members want to kill you

The cognitive symptoms of a worsening condition show the need to seek medical help.

Behavioural symptoms

  • Self-harm, i.e. cutting yourself with a razor, burning your skin with cigarettes. The symptoms might go to the extreme of trying to commit suicide.
  • Engaging in reckless behaviour, i.e. having unprotected sex with strangers, binge drinking and extreme use of drugs, and going on shopping sprees.

Causes of BPD to help you understand how cartoon characters can end up having borderline personality

There is no single cause that can be identified as causing BPD. However, there are factors that predispose you to get BPD. They include;


There is a likelihood of BPD genes being passed from one generation to another. Research has shown that if a twin is diagnosed with BPD, there is a likelihood that the other one will have it too. There is no gene for BPD, so these findings should be treated with caution.

Problems with brain development

An MRI showed that people with BPD had a problem with the development of parts of the brain that regulate mood. They include; 

  • The hippocampus; regulates behaviour and self-control
  • Amygdala; regulates emotions
  • Orbitofrontal cortex; involved in planning and decision making

Brain chemicals

Altered levels of the neurotransmitters, especially serotonin, have been linked with depression, aggression and failure to control destructive urges.

Environmental factors

Common environmental factors common in people with BPD include exposure to long-term fear or distress, experienced physical, emotional or sexual abuse, parental neglect, and growing up with a family member with a mental illness.

Unresolved fear and anger from childhood can make you put unrealistic expectations on other people, like expecting people to be like a parent to you, expecting others to bully you, idolising others and behaving like others are adults and you are not.

3 reasons ‌borderline personality cartoons are important

For educational purposes

Borderline personality disorder cartoons provide us with a perspective of how persons living with the disorder feel. Of importance, we can understand the impact of the wide range of symptoms of BPD on people’s lives. They can also ‌illustrate how persons living with people suffering from BPD are affected by this disorder.


Cartoons provide us with a fun way of learning about other people’s experiences and drive home the need for social support for people living with borderline personality disorder.

Means of expression

The learning pyramid shows ‌we keep 20% of information that we learn through audio-visual sources and 30% of things we learn through demonstration. This information is important since cartoons fall in between these two categories depending on the content of the meme. Memes can therefore be used as a means of self expression, especially when spoken words ‌fail us. The same goes for people with borderline personality disorder. By the use of memes, they can show to us what goes on in their world.

Cartoon characters with borderline personality disorder

Gothel from Tangled

Gothel is Rapunzels stepmother. In this animation, she portrays the character of a borderline personality mother. The queen type, to be specific. This is because she tries to control Rapunzel from leaving the tower for her own selfish purposes, which include her happiness. 

Besides this, just like the queen, she plays the victim card when she feels threatened by Rapunzel’s need to leave the tower. In addition, she meets four of nine symptoms listed on the diagnostic criteria.

These include;

  • frantic efforts to avoid real or perceived abandonment (not including self-harm or suicidal behavior). She tries to prevent Rapunzel from leaving her.
  • a pattern of intense, unstable relationships alternating between idealization and devaluation. When Rapunzel is not asking to leave the tower, Gothel sees her as the ideal daughter until she speaks about leaving and her views about her daughter change for the negative.
  • persistently unstable self-image. Her mood is dependent on Rapunzel’s mood state. She also gets angry when Rapunzel is unhappy.
  • inappropriate, intense anger. This is demonstrated when she gets angry with Rapunzel for dreaming of leaving the tower.


Daria from Daria

Daria is an MTV sitcom that features a brilliant yet timid girl who tries to go under the radar at Lawndale Highschool. Though Daria is an intelligent girl, she is portrayed in a constant struggle to find love and maintain relationships. This is illustrated by her desire to cling to her friendship with her best friend, who she allows to see her true character.

Rick from Ricky and Morty

Rick is a cartoon character in the sitcom Rick and Morty. In this famous cartoon, Rick portrays the symptoms of a person with a borderline personality disorder. This is illustrated by his fluctuating confidence, a clear sign of instability. Besides this, rick’s suicide attempt, his chronic substance abuse problems, impulsivity, hypersensitivity and tendency to overreact, and his constant lack of regard for his personal welfare, are clear signs of borderline personality disorder.

Elsa from Frozen

Elsa, from the animation Frozen, depicts a person suffering from a borderline personality disorder. This can be confirmed by her pervasive pattern of instability, in this case, her emotions. Simply put, when she is happy, she can use her powers positively and when she is stressed or angry, she can use her powers to hurt those around her.

BoJack from BoJack Horseman

BoJack Horseman is one of Netflix’s most successful sitcom shows. Bojack portrays a character with a borderline personality disorder in the following ways;

  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. This can be illustrated when Bojack gets Todd addicted to video games, so he must stay reliant on Bojack.
  • a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.
  • identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self. Bojack is constantly unsure about his own skills, personality traits, and moral compass. (Character Diagnosis, 2017)
  • Impulsivity in at least two areas. In this show, we see that Bojack likes to squander money, we also notice that he is an alcoholic and also indulges in self-damaging sexual activity.

How to cope with borderline personality disorder

Ways of coping with BPD include:

  • Learn the grounding techniques that can help you focus on the present and divert your attention from harmful thoughts. Grounding techniques include counting from 0 to 10, 10 to 0, clenching and unclenching your fists, curling and uncurling your toes, or remembering the names of everyone in the room.
  • Avoid alcohol and substances abuse as they can destabilize your emotional state
  • Listen to calming music when feeling low
  • Eat healthy balanced diets
  • Practice gratitude. This helps to inspire positivity in life.
  • Have sufficient sleep
  • Keep in touch with your feelings and emotional states by journaling.
  • Keep a positive company that will encourage you.
  • Share your feelings and fears with your friends
  • Visit your therapist regularly.
  • Identify your anger triggers so that you can stop early.
  • Engage in physical activities that can divert your mind away from harmful thoughts.
  • Take a warm shower when experiencing a borderline episode
  • Express yourself through art.

Treatment for BPD


There is no medication for BPD but medication can be given for the symptoms that manifest, i.e. antipsychotics, antidepressants and anxiolytics


Dialectical Behavioral Therapy will help you respond to emotional situations with positive coping mechanisms and with reason and proper judgment. This will reduce seeing things in white and black.


This is necessary if you are experiencing extreme symptoms like suicidal thoughts and attempts, or hallucinations and delusions that are affecting your daily functioning and relationship with others.


In this article, we discussed why borderline personality cartoons are important. We also looked at BPD causes, symptoms, treatment options, and coping skills. We hope this information was helpful.

If you have questions feel free to reach out in the comment section.


Character Diagnosis. (2017, August 11). Bojack Horseman has (BPD) Borderline Personality… Character Diagnosis. Retrieved July 25, 2022, from

Daria Wiki. (1998, February 16). Arts ‘N Crass | Daria Wiki | Fandom. Daria Wiki. Retrieved July 25, 2022, from 

Hansen, J. (2018, August 10). BoJack Horseman Asks Food to Do Too Much. Eater. Retrieved July 25, 2022, from 

Morse, F. (2015, May 12). Anorexia and Frozen: How people with eating disorders find Elsa inspiring. BBC. Retrieved July 25, 2022, from

NHS. (July 17, 2019). Causes- borderline personality disorder. Retrieved from

Kristalyn Salters-Pedneault. (28th November 2021). Borderline Personality Disorder. Verywellmind. Retrieved from:

Salters-Pedneault, K. Coping Skills for Borderline Personality Disorder. Verywellmind. Retrieved from:

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