7 fictional characters (that have a borderline personality disorder)

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In this article, we will answer the question “which fictional characters have a borderline personality disorder?”. We shall also define borderline personality disorder and look at the causes and risk factors. We shall also look at how to cope with borderline personality disorder and treatment options.

By the end of this article, you will be fully competent in matters of borderline personality disorder.

Which fictional characters have a borderline personality disorder?

The fictional characters with borderline personality disorders are:

  • The Hulk
  • Elsa from ‘Frozen’
  • Patrick Bateman
  • Darth Vader
  • Bullseye
  • Harley Quinn
  • Amanda Young
  • Annie Wilkes

Why do we need the representation of BPD in fictional characters?

Art imitates real life. From movies, books, paintings and songs, we realize that we can relate to the character being represented through art. We sometimes find ourselves looking for movies, books and stories that we will relate with. We identify with characters that represent what we are going through and this makes us feel understood and that we are not alone in the journey.

Encountering fictional characters with borderline personalities, while you are going through the same, can make you feel understood as it validates your feelings. The characters also act as educators in spreading awareness of borderline personality disorders, and the symptoms and struggles they go through.

Spreading awareness helps in stopping stigmatisation and rather help people come out and speak about their struggles. Before we look at the fictional characters with BPD, let us briefly define it and the common symptoms.

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 ‌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 ‌improve with age and one can function normally with BPD. they 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
  • 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
  • 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.

7 fictional characters with a borderline personality disorder.

Elsa (Frozen)

From the outside, Elsa looks poised, regal and reserved, but in reality, she lives in fear as she wrestles with a mighty secret—she was born with the power to create ice and snow. It’s a beautiful ability, but also extremely dangerous. Haunted by the moment her magic nearly killed her younger sister Anna, Elsa has isolated herself, spending every waking minute trying to suppress her growing powers. 

Her mounting emotions trigger the magic, accidentally setting off an eternal winter ‌she can’t stop. She fears she’s becoming a monster and that no one, not even her sister, can help her.

Patrick Bateman

He is a fictional character created by novelist Bret Easton Ellis. He is a wealthy and materialistic yuppie and Wall Street investment banker who leads a secret life as a serial killer. He experiences turbulent emotions, has a low self-esteem, portrays impulsive behavior and intense mood swings.

Darth Vader (star wars)

He is a fictional character in the star wars franchise. He is a warrior that meets six of the nine diagnostic criteria for the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. In fact, this is one more than what is required to diagnose BPD.

One of the major symptoms of borderline personality disorder is his abandonment issues.

Harley Quinn (DC Comics)

A fictional character from DC comics, she is a supervillain who first appeared in the movie “Batman”. She is famous for her splitting personality, a major symptom of borderline personality disorder. She also has fear of abandonment, idolizing, has a history of abuse and impulsiveness. 

Amanda Young (saw)

Amanda Young is a fictional character in the Saw franchise. Her major BPD characteristics are impulsive behaviour and self-harm.

Annie Wilkes (Misery novel)

Anne Marie Wilkes Dugan, usually known as Annie Wilkes, is a character in the 1987 novel Misery, by Stephen King. Apart from suffering from a borderline personality disorder, she can also be diagnosed with schizoid, schizotypal and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Bullseye

Bullseye, also known as Lester, is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics who suffers from symptoms similar to those of borderline personality disorder. 

Clementine (eternal sunshine of the spotless minds)

She experiences intense emotions that shift quickly. She is vulnerable and very honest and does not mind if her honesty will hurt the other person. She is also very impulsive and unpredictable. Her free-spirited behaviours could be an indication of deeper underlying issues.

Jesica jones (marvel comics)

She is always afraid of losing people close to her. She also has a compulsive need for love. She had a traumatic life that could have triggered the symptoms of BPD.

BoJack Horseman

This character goes ahead to show how people with BPD are perceived. Many people conclude that people suffering from BPD cannot be helped and therefore, are denied treatment.

Mickey (love)

She had dependency issues with drugs, love and sex. She is constantly self-destructing especially after being separated from her partner. She also has a difficult relationship with her father and struggles a lot with relationships. The show, love, is rated to be among the few shows that portray the real struggles of people suffering from a borderline personality disorder.

Rebecca Bunch (crazy ex-girlfriend)

This character was actually diagnosed with borderline personality disorder in season 3. She was impulsive and had intense guilt that led to self-loathing. Many people have come out and identified with her. The character decided to dump her pills and move to West Covina to look for love and happiness.

Rapunzel (Tangled)

Some people related to Rapunzel for her intense emotions. She grew up listening to everything her mother said, then started questioning it, feeling guilt that led to self-hatred and then she finally broke free. She is able to ‘see the light’ in the end.

The hulk (the avengers)

The hulk struggles with his identity and his emotions which are usually intense and unpredictable. He spends a lot of time in isolation as he constantly fears that he will hurt those that are dear to him. He regrets a lot of things.

His character is loved by some, feared by others and most don’t understand him.

Harry Potter (Harry Potter series)

Although Harry Potter knew‌ he had a gift, was better and different from others, he used to second guess himself a lot. The positive side is that he was respectful to everyone he met.

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

Medication

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

Therapy

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.

Hospitalization

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.

Conclusion 

In this article, we have explained to you what borderline personality disorder is, its symptoms and its diagnostic criteria. We have also highlighted 7 fictional characters with borderline personality disorder, how to cope with the disorder, and, finally, listed treatment methods. We hope that this information educated you on matters concerning borderline personality disorder so that you can be an efficient mental health ambassador. 

Frequently asked questions: Fictional characters with borderline personality disorder

What superhero has BPD?

The Hulk struggles with identity and emotional issues. His emotions are often intense and unpredictable.

Does Anakin Skywalker have BPD?

One of the main characters in the “Star Wars” films meets the diagnostic criteria for borderline personality disorder, with six out of the possible nine symptoms portrayed.

What sitcom has a character with BPD?

“Welcome to me” is a SITCOM that features a woman with a borderline personality disorder.

What characters have personality disorders?

  • Willy Wonka had a schizotypal personality disorder
  • Batman had a schizoid personality disorder
  • The Grinch had an antisocial personality disorder
  • Anakin Skywalker had a borderline personality disorder
  • Derek Zoolander had a histrionic personality disorder
  • Walter White had a narcissistic personality disorder

Citations 

Virzi J. (March 8, 2018). 25 Fictional Characters People With Borderline Personality Disorder Relate To. retrieved from https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/25-fictional-characters-people-borderline-005354687.html

Skinner, Craig (July 11, 2013). “New Frozen Images And Descriptions Introduce Us To The Characters”. Bleeding Cool. retrieved on 13 May 2022.

NHS. (July 17, 2019). Causes- borderline personality disorder. Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/borderline-personality-disorder/causes/

Salters-Pedneault, K. Coping Skills for Borderline Personality Disorder. Verywellmind. Retrieved from: https://www.verywellmind.com/coping-skills-borderline-personality-disorder-425412

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