Does Joe from ‘You’ have BPD? (+3 Other diagnoses)

The current detailed article will be discussing if Joe from ‘You’ has BPD by listing the different signs and symptoms of this personality disorder that he shows. Additionally, we will look at the other mental health disorders that Joe might have.

Does Joe from ‘You’ have BPD?

Yes. Joe from ‘You’ has BPD. Joe Goldberg is the antagonist of the series ‘You’ where he plays a stalker who is obsessed with a woman named Guinevere. While he is definitely an obsessed and psychopathic stalker, he is not exactly confirmed to have BPD in the series.

Joe Goldberg in fact, shows a combination of Borderline Personality Disorder along with a number of other personality disorders. In the series, Joe definitely shows a number of characteristic signs and symptoms of struggling with BPD, such as,

He has a number of unstable relationships

Joe Golderg goes through a number of unstable relationships. While his relationships are truly intense in nature, he has never been able to stay in one for too long a time. More often than not, Joe’s partner moves away from him rather than the other way round.

According to the series, Joe’s first romantic partner was Candace and they both shared an incredible relationship until she cheated on him. Joe was devastated and started acting obsessive even then, leading her to move all the way to Italy to stay away from him.

Joe then starts becoming obsessed with Beck who visits his bookstore and starts stalking her. Eventually, both of them get into a relationship. Even here, Joe feels the need to get too involved in Beck’s personal and familial life and this becomes problematic for her.

In the second season, Joe starts another tumultuous relationship with Love Quinn with whom he becomes obsessed. The problem with Joe is that he gets too intense in a relationship too easily and is not ready for anyone to come in between him and his girl.

There is no open conversation and no trust between the partners in all of Joe’s relationships. In fact, there is no evidence of stability in any of his relationships; only obsession, stalking and control.

He shows frequent anger outbursts

Joe Goldberg might be very emotionally intelligent enough to manipulate any one, women and men. But, he is definitely known to lose his cool at times, especially when he feels that he is losing ground or control in a relationship.

Often, Joe takes his anger out in a very covert and subtle manner. But his actions are definitely devious and quite violent. For instance, he locks Beck in a literal cage when he feels that she is nosing too much about his past and showing signs of leaving him.

He has also locked many other people in a box and killed them one by on; especially those who he feels are a threat to his relationship. Basically, Joe does not know how to deal with his anger and his feelings and immediately starts out with violence and homicide on his mind.

He is definitely impulsive and reckless

Joe also shows a lot of impulsivity and recklessness throughout the series. His impulsivity clouds his thinking and he does not calculate he consequences of his actions. This impulsivity is the main reason why Joe urns to killing other people whom he thinks are threats to him.

He definitely has a distorted self-image

Joe Goldberg even seems to have a distorted self-image. He does not seem to understand properly as to who he is and what his principles are. He basically uses others and their relationships with him as a reflection of his self-image.

Psychological disorders in Joe from ‘You’

Joe Goldberg in ‘You’ is a classified stalker and a psychopath. He is also a serial killer and does not seem to feel any guilt or remorse for his actions. Many mental health experts and psychologists have tried their best to diagnose Joe Goldberg.

Joe Goldberg certainly shows a number of signs and symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder. At the same time, he also shows signs and symptoms of many other mental health disorders and issues like the ones discussed as follows.

  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Narcissistic Personality Disorder is definitely one of the mental health disorders that Joe Goldberg seems to struggle with along with Borderline Personality Disorder.

The symptoms from both these personality disorders are many times shared since they both are from the Cluster-B of Personality Disorder. Joe definitely is narcissistic in nature since all he thinks about is himself and his interests.

In all his relationships, Joe aims to make himself happy. In fact, his relationships are almost always a one-way street since he stalks his partners and emotionally manipulates them to play along to his music.

When Joe is confronted by his partners about his actions and his suspicious past, he emotionally manipulates them and gaslights them. This is another characteristic trait of narcissistic people and may even border on psychopathy.

  • PTSD: Another possible diagnosis for Joe Goldberg from ‘You’ is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This can be assumed based on Joe’s backstory about his childhood and his upbringing by his parents.

Joe did not live with happy parents who loved each other. His father was abusive towards him and his mother certainly did not love his father. His mother often cheated on her husband and Joe definitely knew about this.

He also took on a protective role of his mother, a pattern which continued on to other relationships in his life. He also kills his father to protect his father at one point. After his mother hands him over to social services, he starts protecting a mother-figure there as well.

Being raised up in a painful childhood such as this is bound to leave a lot of painful imprints on a child’s mind. Joe’s childhood led him to act protective of any woman he genuinely liked, and also not trust other men.

  • Attachment Disorder: Joe Goldberg from ‘You’ also seems to struggle with Attachment Disorder. He does not know how to create and stay in healthy relationships. The only relationships he has known his whole life are unhealthy ones.

Those who have Attachment Disorder also find it hard to control their emotions, which can explain Joe’s mood swings from extreme to extreme. They may also try their hardest to make friends, albeit these measures that they take to make friends might not always be healthy.

Most of the time, those who have Attachment Disorder might stay away from social situations, but only may approach certain people whom they think are safe and nice in their definition, just like Joe Goldberg.

Joe also shows signs of getting irritated and frustrated, especially when he feels threatened by some intruder in his current relationship, which further fuels the theory that he might actually have this particular disorder.

Attachment Disorder is mostly caused by a dysfunctional childhood where the child never has good role-models for healthy relationships. In the case of Joe, his parents never actually had a positive relationship with his mother cheating on his father, and his father abusing him.

Joe’s mother telling him that she needed him to protect her, and other women like her, stuck steadfastly in his head. This leads to his over-protective and obsessive relationship with other women throughout his life.


The current detailed article has discussed if Joe from ‘You’ has BPD by listing the different signs and symptoms of this personality disorder that he shows. Additionally, we have looked at the other mental health disorders that Joe might have.

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