How ‘Outer Banks’ Star Madison Bailey Copes With Her Personality Disorder

Outer Banks star Madison Bailey lives with a borderline personality disorder — and she’s OK with it! Find out how the talented actor copes with her mental illness. 

Madison Bailey mental illness
Jonathan Daviss, Madison Bailey, and Rudy Pankow | Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix

Madison Bailey plays the sole female Pogue in ‘Outer Banks’ 

Bailey’s character, Kiara is the only female member of the infamous Pogues in season 1 of Outer Banks — until Sarah Cameron (Madelyn Cline) comes along. Ki maintains the balance in the group, which is useful considering John B’s (Chase Stokes) erratic decision making, Pope’s (Jonathan Daviss) inclination toward stress, and J.J.’s (Rudy Pankow) intolerance for authority. 

Many fans are excited about Bailey’s return for season 2 — whenever that may be. 

Madison Bailey lives with a borderline personality disorder 

Having a personality disorder is one of the most common types of mental illness, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Essentially, personality disorders alter a person’s way of thinking and feeling, which directly impacts their behavior. Around the age of 17, Bailey was diagnosed with this form of mental illness. Instead of letting it define her, Bailey views it as something she’s figuring out “day by day.” 

The cause of Bailey’s type of personality disorder is unknown, but the symptoms are vastly understood, both by medical professionals and Bailey herself. “It’s not something I know everything about,” she admitted to ET. Bailey works hard to educate herself to understand better how her brain works. 

Madison Bailey doesn’t feel she needs therapy 

One of the most common treatments for personality disorders is therapy, but Bailey won’t go. “I’m not a therapy person,” she shared. “I’m very internal with the way that I like to deal with things.” Instead, Bailey chooses to self-educate and act accordingly. “I got my diagnosis, and that’s what I needed — a word to call it other than ‘crazy.’” When she realized what her triggers were, Bailey was able to take control. 

The ‘Outer Banks’ star has found the positive in her mental illness 

Bailey believes there are pros and cons to her disorder, but she stays focused on the positive. “One of the main [pros] is that [my] likes and dislikes change often,” she shared. This constant change in aesthetic and vibe keep Bailey’s life interesting. “My music taste changes often,” she continued. “I have a very broad personality, which allows me to connect with a lot of people.”


‘Outer Banks’: How Madison Bailey Influenced Her Role As Kiara

This ability to connect shines in her role as Kiara. “Being sensitive was such a hard thing [and] that’s another one of the main components of this disorder — having an exposed nerve to every emotion and feeling. But it allows me to connect with so many more people. I’m able to put myself in other people’s shoes easily, and deliver empathy with authenticity.”

Madison takes a natural approach to her borderline personality disorder

Instead of using therapy, Bailey prefers meditation and natural crystals to help her find balance. Acting has been helpful, too. “On days when it’s really hard to be myself, it’s really easy to be somebody else,” Bailey admitted. And for that, we love her!