Does Amelia Shepherd have BPD? (+9 Signs of BPD)

This blogpost will be explaining if Amelia Shepherd has BPD. We will also be discussing the different signs of BPD and other mental health issues that Amelia Shepherd shows in the series, Grey Anatomy.

Does Amelia Shepherd have BPD?

No, Amelia Shepherd does not have BPD. In the drama series, Grey Anatomy, Amelia Shepherd is not confirmed to have Borderline Personality Disorder. But, she definitely shows a number of signs of struggling with BPD in the series.

As a result of this, many fans who have studied the show and the characters closely have felt that she actually suffers from this personality disorder. Apart from Borderline Personality Disorder, Amelia is also known to struggle with addiction throughout the series.

She is mainly prone to addiction to opioids. In one tragic accident, Amelia and her fiancé Ryan Kerrigan decide to get sober, but not before doing drugs one more time. In the morning, Ryan is found dead having overdosed on the drugs.

In the series, Grey’s Anatomy, Amelia Shepherd is an ambitious neurosurgeon and is also the sister of Derek Shepherd, another doctor in the same hospital as her. Her story arcs are one of the most interesting and inspiring from the Grey’s Anatomy catalog.

Signs of Amelia Shepherd’s BPD

In the Grey’s Anatomy series, Amelia Shepherd suffers from several mental health issues, which have actually not been confirmed by the creators. However, it is most likely Borderline Personality Disorder since she portrays a number of signs of this mental health disorder.

Some of the signs of Borderline Personality Disorder and even other mental health issues that Amelia Shepherd portrays in the Grey’s Anatomy series have been discussed in the following points.

She struggles with addiction

One main trait which is associated with Amelia Shepherd is that she struggles with an opioid addiction. She is even engaged to a fellow addict Ryan Kerrigan, who dies from an overdose after they both decide to get sober.

She also went back to doing drugs a couple of times in the series, and during this time she treats her family and her friends in a disappointing manner. Addiction issues can be experienced in Borderline Personality Disorder and even other mood disorders.

She goes from relationship to relationship

She can also be seen going from relationship to relationship in the series. Amelia Shepherd goes through a number of failed relationships, including one with Owen Hunt which actually seemed like it would end in bliss for both of them.

Borderline Personality Disorder is characterized by instability in relationships, with the person going through an intense cycle. While Amelia does not show signs of the BPD relationship cycle, this pattern of jumping from person to person is a sign of some deep emotional conflicts.

She has a distorted self-image

In the Grey’s Anatomy series, Amelia Shepherd is certainly one of the most confused characters, who never has a proper foothold of her self-identity and self-esteem. Her principles and morals constantly change during the show.

One example of this can be seen in her approach to motherhood. Amelia is always in doubt as to whether she wants a baby or not, and even after giving birth, she seems to be confused and unwilling to be a good mother.

Borderline Personality Disorder can lead a person to have a major distorted self-image and poor self-esteem. This can also be seen in other areas of Amelia Shepherd’s life, including her romantic relationships and even her professional career.

She is prone to impulsive behaviors

Amelia Shepherd is definitely one of the most intuitive doctors in the show and often goes by her gut. Even when the case is a challenging one, she immediately jumps in head-first without properly thinking it through.

High levels of impulsivity are seen in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, but in Amelia’s case, it may be a sign of Borderline Personality Disorder, considering all her other symptoms. At the same time, her brain tumor diagnosis may also be partially to blame for this.

Amelia goes through many mood swings

Amelia Shepherd can also be seen to go through many mood swings. Frequent mood swings are definitely a main sign of Borderline Personality Disorder. These mood swings in Amelia are also easily triggered by even little factors.

At the same time, many viewers of the show have felt that Amelia’s many mood swings are actually caused by her brain tumor. But, even after her tumor has been removed, she still shows a lot of moodiness which can be a pain for others around her.

She expects sympathy all the time

Amelia Shepherd can also be seen to constantly expect others to sympathize with her since she has struggled with addiction in the past. This can also point to her distorted self-image and her need for others to love her, even if they are just sympathizing with her.

She also uses her struggles with addiction to lead many men on during the entirety of her appearances in the show. Once they get hooked on to her, she then abandons them. This is definitely a sign of the Borderline Personality Disorder relationship cycle.

She takes on more than she can chew

In one such instance, Amelia takes in an addict, Betty, and her baby Leo. Amelia strongly feels that she can empathize with Betty since she has struggled with addiction herself in the past. She means well since she thinks that she can use her expertise and knowledge to help Betty.

However, the experience does not exactly go well for Amelia, since Betty still struggles with her addiction and does not come home one day. This traumatizes Amelia, and she basically goes through the same feelings as she did when she struggled with her own addiction.

This might not be a sign of Borderline Personality Disorder per se, but goes on to show how poor Amelia’s self-esteem is that she constantly seeks ways to boost it. She is desperate to create a niche for herself in the world that often bites her back and hurts her even more.

She does not handle Derek’s death well

Amelia Shepherd is the sister of Derek Shepherd. Even though both of them don’t necessarily share a very close and healthy bond, it certainly is the closest when compared to Amelia’s relationships with her other siblings.

When Derek dies, Amelia is in surgery for the removal of her brain tumor and only learns of her brother’s death much later on. When she is finally told of her brother’s death, Amelia does not react as a normal person would and actually seems to have no feelings on the subject.

She actually goes on to make jokes about Derek’s death during the year, which makes everyone else pretty uncomfortable. However, she later breaks down in a public setting and even tries to go back to drugs to deal with the pain of losing her brother.

This also points to how different Amelia’s brain works and how her mental health issues even affect her grief process. She does not process the information immediately, but it takes many months before she is able to handle her brother’s death properly.

She does not change after her surgery

Many of Amelia’s reckless behaviors have been solely blamed on her brain tumor. However, it can be seen that even after her brain tumor is removed, her personality does not change at all. This also adds to the theory that her mental health issues are due to an undiagnosed disorder.


This blogpost has explained if Amelia Shepherd has BPD. We have also discussed the different signs of BPD and other mental health issues that Amelia Shepherd shows in the series, Grey Anatomy.

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