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When it comes to Borderline Personality Disorder, the trope is a prime example of the ways in which women suffering from the condition are dismissed out of hand for experiencing emotions that may be extreme, but that are nonetheless valid.

People diagnosed with BPD are as much as three times more likely to be women than men, which doesn’t help with the inherent misogyny surrounding how people think about the condition.

Then there’s the fact that the direct portrayal of BPD in pop culture is often over-the-top and disturbing—the character Dennis Reynolds from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia was diagnosed with it in season 10 (“Psycho Pete Returns”). Dennis who describes himself, without a shimmer of irony, as a “golden god”; who takes being compared to a serial killer as a compliment; who regularly allows trivialities to send him into fits of rage.

They are evident in songs, and in TV shows and films, often capturing BPD’s primary traits: fear of abandonment, feeling unlovable, hypersexuality, and impulsive behaviors.Like the club Groucho Marx didn’t want to belong to, if somebody loves you, they must be an idiot because you know—your BPD tells you—that you are fundamentally unlovable.BPD and My Dating Life Long before I was diagnosed, my first boyfriend bore the brunt: At 17, we should have been exploring ourselves and each other, but he was hacking down my walls while I stood back and burned bridges.BPD in Pop Culture While there are few apt, direct portrayals of BPD in broad society, representations manage to creep into common consciousness through TV, film, and music, leaving the public, at least subconsciously, more aware of the disorder than they may realize.Even I managed to read Susanna Kaysen’s memoir Girl, Interrupted (perhaps more commonly recognized in its 1999 Winona Ryder filmic reimagining) twice and didn’t glean that it was ostensibly describing what I had.In this age of dynamic information, there is often a strange dichotomy framing mental health.Access to lived examples via blogs and social media means people are chipping away at stigmas every day.On the other, more chilling hand, a constant feed of experiences means interpretations of illness can be easily warped.Take Urban Outfitters’ “depression T-shirt,” or the well-documented and unconquerable pro-anorexia websites and Tumblr blogs as particularly saddening examples.While these representations are regularly problematic, there are some that seize the essence of BPD and help to communicate its existence, flattering or otherwise.Perhaps most pointedly, there is the psycho ex-girlfriend trope.

33 comments

  1. May 19, 2015. The only way men could possibly make it through the dating scene in one piece is to learn the art of how to choose a woman who is most likely to enhance his. At least one in 10 women has one, so educate yourself - the most common ones are Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissism, Sociopath, and.

  2. Mar 2, 2016. 17 things to never say to a girl with Borderline Personality Disorder. "I would never date a girl with BPD, they're way too clingy and needy. Women are traditionally deemed prone to over-sharing, tears and obsessive "crushes" – and female BPD sufferers are often ridiculed as an exaggerated stereotype.

  3. Sep 7, 2016. Dating a person with BPD is not part of your deal – or so you thought. Jodi Arias – in my opinion, – a good example of a woman with quiet BPD she functions superficially well but her chameleon-like façade breaks open once her relational views are challenged murdered her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander;.

  4. Apr 26, 2016. There's a scene in How I Met Your Mother during Lily and Marshall's break-up where Lily lets herself into his apartment and hides behind the couch, only to leap out when he tries to get close to another woman. Not cool, we're agreed. But, as the heady world of BPD will teach you—it happens. When dating.

  5. Jun 1, 2017. All three women agree that BPD has taken a toll on their dating lives and has put them in less than ideal situations. Courtney admits, “I only really had two relationships before meeting my husband, one of which was problematic on both sides, but was definitely destroyed by my drug addiction and cheating.

  6. Dating can be a complex and tricky endeavor. Relationships require work, compromise, communication, empathy, and understanding. Things become even more complicated if you are dating someone with Borderline Personality Disorder BPD. While the beginnings of a relationship with someone who has Borderline.

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