Does Cristina Yang from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ have BPD? (+9 Signs of issues)

In this blogpost, we will be explaining if Cristina Yang has BPD. We will also be discussing the various signs of mental health issues and emotional immaturity which Cristina Yang portrays in Grey’s Anatomy.

Does Cristina Yang from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ have BPD?

No, Cristian Yang does not have BPD. The doctor who appears as a main character in the drama series ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ is not confirmed to have Borderline Personality Disorder at any point in the show.

But, Cristina Yang is shown to portray a number of signs of BPD throughout the series which have led many fans and viewers to assume that she indeed has this particular personality disorder.

At the same time, this diagnosis of Cristina Yang is not exactly confirmed by the creators and writers of the series. The only mental health issue that is clearly pinned on Cristina Yang is Brief Reactive Psychosis.

This is also known as Brief Psychotic Disorder and generally occurs as a response to some traumatic incident. In Cristina’s case, this reaction was brought on by a plane crash. This caused Cristina a lot of anxiety and stress and she became a danger to herself and even others.

In the series, Cristina Yang needs to be hospitalized as a result of her Brief Reactive Psychosis. While this is generally the assumption that is given to Cristina Yang, others believe that she might actually be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

This Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is clearly seen in Season 6 of the series where Cristina witnesses a shooting at the hospital. She also finds it difficult to perform her duties as each and every loud noise reminds her of the shooting.

Eventually, as a result of Cristina’s PTSD, she is forced to take a break from her career as she is not able to function in a hospital environment. However, she goes back to work after helping someone who was hurt in a school shooting incident.

Signs of Cristina Yang’s mental health issues

Cristina Yang, portrayed by the actress Sandra Oh in the series Grey’s Anatomy, is definitely quite an interesting character. Most fans and viewers originally assume that the character is a cold-hearted person who lacks empathy.

But, in taking a closer look at the character and her back story, it can be understood that she actually shows more human qualities than many others. Some of the signs of mental health issues and emotional conflicts that Cristina Yang portrays in Grey’s Anatomy are listed below.

She doesn’t care about people

Cristina Yang comes across as a very selfish person to begin with and rarely shows that she can be sympathetic and empathetic towards others. She definitely does not care about others much and puts herself first all the time.

She is clearly arrogant in nature

Cristina is one of the most arrogant characters in Grey’s Anatomy. She is not just arrogant to her other co-workers but even to Meredith whom she calls her ‘person’. In one of the episodes, Cristian calls the interns the names of the Seven Dwarves.

This type of arrogance can also be seen in certain personality disorders like Narcissistic Personality Disorder and even Antisocial Personality Disorder. It becomes problematic for Cristina as many people cut off ties with her and stop being friends with her.

She shows a very sarcastic attitude

Even in her speech, Cristina Yang is often pretty rude and even sarcastic. Simultaneously, many fans of the show actually celebrate her sarcasm as a sign of strength. But, being sarcastic and rude all the time shows deeper emotional conflicts and is also present in personality disorders.

She has delusions of grandeur

Grey’s Anatomy is easily a wonderland of many egos working together and competing against each other, including that of Cristina Yang. Cristina always believes that she is the best and that the opinions and thoughts of others do not count for much.

She gives the silent treatment often

One of the most frustrating things to see in the series is Cristina Yang’s silent treatment. In fact, this is her go-to move for anything that upsets her. This is called repression and is not exactly a healthy behavior.

Repression leads a person to bury their feelings and emotions, which may later manifest into a full-blown mental health disorder. Repression also does not allow a person to talk it out and resolve conflicts, and only temporarily buries them.

She wants to be right all the time

Another unhealthy behavior portrayed by Cristina Yang is her toxic need to be right all the time. She does not take into consideration the opinions and facts of others but aims to put herself in the right. In many instances, this has caused many relationship problems for Cristina Yang.

She wants to prove herself constantly

Cristina Yang definitely has many delusions that she is indeed the best surgeon in the hospital. Of course, this is just a delusion and not exactly a fact. Therefore, Cristina continuously strives to prove herself.

She somehow manages to insert herself into many surgeries, even if she is not part of the team. This also leads to several conflicts with other surgeons. The problem with this is that Cristina has the need to operate, even when she knows that she is not capable.

For example, after a mass shooting at the hospital, Cristina is definitely traumatized due to the incident. However, she still tries to operate. During surgery, Cristina hears a tray being dropped and immediately goes into panic as she relives the shooting.

She has commitment issues

Cristina Yang is also known for her commitment issues throughout the series. She is also known for jumping from relationship to relationship with powerful doctors at the hospital, which earns her a bad reputation.

She does not show much stability in her relationships and seems to seek something superficial in nature, rather than a deep emotional connection. In the series, Cristian Yang gets engaged to Dr. Burke, even though they don’t exactly share a stable relationship.

Despite all their troubles, the pair eventually decides to make it through the wedding. However, on the day of the wedding, Burke stands up Cristina, mainly blaming her clear phobias of commitment.

These commitment issues continue on even with many other relationships. And despite her high intelligence, Cristina almost always finds herself with the wrong person. Negative relationship patterns like these can also signify some deep-rooted mental health issues.  

She experiences PTSD at one point

Cristina Yang’s actual mental health issues came into light at mainly two instances in the series. The first was when she experienced Brief Reactive Psychosis after going through the plane crash.

In the events of the plane-crash, Cristina and a group of other doctors were stranded in a jungle and she had to see a person die, while trying her best to keep the others and herself alive. She also had her limbs dislocated which led to even more struggles.

This particular incident leads to her struggles with psychosis and eventually she needs to be restrained and sedated after the rescue attempt. Another case where Cristina seriously needs help in her mental health is after the mass shooting at the hospital.

Eventually, Cristina leaves the hospital to become a bartender and leaves an alternate life. She however, goes back to being a doctor after she saves a victim of a school shooting as she finds a renewed sense of self-confidence.

Looking at her backstory, it is pretty understandable that Cristina might not react well to stress and trauma. She reveals to Owen in one of the episodes that she had to watch her father bleed to death in front of her after a car accident.


In this blogpost, we have explained if Cristina Yang has BPD. We have also discussed the various signs of mental health issues and emotional immaturity which Cristina Yang portrays in Grey’s Anatomy.

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