Ariana Grande, Pete Davidson, and the BPD Stigma

I need to start off by saying that I know it’s not my job to make assumptions about people’s personal lives. It’s not my place to speak about somebody’s personal life as if I am intimately familiar with it. But when somebody’s life choices may impact my own life, I feel that I can speak on that part of it. PEOPLE WITH BORDERLINE CAN BE IN RELATIONSHIPS. That is not what this article is about. As I’ve watched the whirlwind that has been Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson’s relationship, my worry about how people will treat me because of my BPD diagnosis has increased. Let me explain.

So if you follow current pop star events, you know that singer, Ariana Grande, and SNL actor, Pete Davidson, have gotten engaged after being together for only a few weeks. Both individuals were in long-term relationships that ended recently. Davidson has been open about his BPD diagnosis since fall of 2017, around the time when he discussed mental health on SNL (which I had issues with, but that’s an entirely different blog post for another day). He has been in therapy and is very open about how well it has worked for him, and what his recovery has been like, and for that, I am thankful. Davidson has shined a healthy, non-stigma encouraging light on BPD. That’s not my concern with this newly engaged couple.

No matter who it is, a family member, the weird friend from high school, or a well-known celebrity, engagements that happen after a few weeks raises eyebrows. And probably some questions as well. Sometimes they work out, but most of the time, they don’t. It takes years to get to know somebody, and it’s a challenge to make a commitment to something you don’t know most things about. Celebrity marriages seem especially vulnerable to divorce, and even amicable splits catch a lot of hot and heavy gossip from the media. So when I heard Davidson and Grande were engaged, my red flags went up.

With the quick engagement, many people are quick to blame his mental health problems and cast a negative vibe over their relationship. BPD is already getting talked about in a negative way because of the nature of their relationship. If they break up, imagine all the negative press mental health, and especially BPD, are going to get. If you google BPD, you get articles saying we’re abusive, manipulative, and are unable to have a healthy relationship. If a celebrity with BPD breaks up with their significant other, no matter how amicable, I worry that those articles are going to increase in number and will have a “real life” example as proof that people with BPD are terrible partners. Borderline Personality Disorder does not mean someone is an unhealthy person. I used to be unhealthy, in part because of my BPD, but I got treatment and am now quite healthy in that respect. I can have, and have had, healthy relationships despite my BPD. I just hope the rest of the internet remembers that those with BPD can be healthy if Davidson and Grande’s relationship doesn’t last.


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