In this article, we will explain why we believe Princess Diana had Borderline personality disorder. We will also look at the causes, symptoms and treatment methods for BPD and how to cope with the mental illness.
Did Princess Diana have Borderline Personality Disorder?
Yes, there is sufficient evidence to diagnose Princess Daina with BPD. This is because she had the following seven out of nine symptoms required for diagnosis;
- Unstable relationships.
- Unclear or shifting self-image.
- Impulsive, self-destructive behaviors.
- Extreme emotional swings.
- Chronic feelings of emptiness.
- Explosive anger.
The other two symptoms required for diagnosis are;
- Fear of abandonment
- Feeling suspicious or out of touch with reality.
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 succession of unstable relationships.
People with BPD dislike being alone and have an extreme fear of abandonment. r Negative traits of irritability, mood swings and impulsiveness tend to push people away. Those who love and want to have a meaningful relationship with them included.
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.
Signs and symptoms of BPD
The signs and symptoms of BPD include:
The emotional symptoms of BPD include:
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
5 reasons why we believe Princess Diana had BPD.
Since you are now aware of Borderline Personality Disorder symptoms, let us look at the symptoms that qualify her to have BPD.
Feelings of emptiness/ loneliness
According to a special report in the New York Times, her aides reveal that she often spent time alone once she retreated from the public eye. This time was used to ponder on her perceived inadequacies, think about her past, her enemies and plotting schemes.
The report also reveals that she had trouble with identity issues more so after becoming a member of the royal family. She did not know when her public life stopped and her private life began.
According to her brother’s eulogy, Princess Diana would at one moment be mature, helping others and at other moments immature and childlike. She was also known to have reckless love affairs.
Severe mood swings
Her brother reported her being level headed while at other times childish and exhibiting severe anger outbursts.
Princess Diana was reported to have impulsive angry outbursts. This symptom was often noted when she retreated from the public eye.
Causes of BPD
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
Altered levels of the neurotransmitters, especially serotonin, have been linked with depression, aggression and failure to control destructive urges.
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.
How to cope with borderline personality disorder
- 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 explained why Princess Diana had Borderline personality disorder. We also look at the symptoms, causes and treatment methods for this mental disorder. Finally, we look at how people with BPD can cope with the condition and live meaningful lives. We hope this information was useful.
Frequently asked questions: Princess Diana Borderline personality disorder
What personality type Did Princess Diana have?
Princess Diana was an INFP personality type.
Was Princess Diana a narcissist?
Though she portrayed a couple of narcissistic personality disorder symptoms, they were not enough for a full diagnosis. She was also known to be kind and affectionate, especially with her children. A character that narcissists are not known for.
What was special about Princess Diana?
She was the first royal bride to have a paying job before engagement.
Bedell, S.S. (1999). DIANA IN SEARCH OF HERSELF Portrait of a Troubled Princess. New York, New York. Times books.
Salters-Pedneault, K. (November 09, 2021). Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Criteria for Diagnosis. Verywell Mind. Retrieved from: https://www.verywellmind.com/borderline-personality-disorder-diagnosis-425174
The New York Times. (n.d). Diana in Search of Herself Portrait of a Troubled Princess By SALLY BEDELL SMITH. New York, New York. The New York Times. Retrieved from: https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/first/s/smith-diana.html